Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interview with Michiel Walrave

I've already written something about this amazing artist and singer of The Real Danger and Nothing Done. Now it's time for the interview...
You are designing T shirts, covers, logos, posters, skateboard decks etc. Of all of that, what do you the most enjoy working on?

-Skateboard decks for sure. It's a real challenge to design something that has a lasting impact. I have always been influenced a great deal by old skateboard graphics and I try to design graphics that will be remembered. I enjoy designing posters a lot as well, mostly because of the mixture of illustration and graphic design. Plus, I don't work directly for the bands but for the venues, which makes things a lot easier…I can basically do whatever I want. 

Which mediums do you prefer to use?

-I always start out with a pencil drawing. I then ink it, which sounds fancier than it is, because I use really cheap black pens for my drawings. I then scan the drawing and color it in Photoshop..add lettering, et cetera.
So my stuff starts out analog and then it becomes digital.

 How did you start doing stuff for the bands?

-I guess that started because I was designing shirts for my own band back in the mid 90's…eventually other bands started asking me to design stuff (mainly t-shirts) for them. I think the first shirt I did for No Turning Back really got me a lot of attention because there weren't many people drawing shirt designs like that during that time, but after that it kind of snowballed. A couple years after that I drew a LOT of designs for bands from all over the world.

You designed 3 Mental shirts, tell me something about them. Besides that, did you do anything else for Lockin' Out crew?

-I think Greg emailed me after he saw a flyer I drew for an Amsterdam show with Mental and my old band, Nothing Done. I drew 3 designs, and I guess a lot of people have 1 or 2 of those shirts, seeing how they were sold during their first European tour. It was cool because I loved Mental and they were a band that did something unlike all the other bands back then (even though it's not that long ago)..But yeah, that was fun to do and it got me a lot of attention. Never did anything else for the LO label though.

How would you describe Antistrot to someone who maybe haven't heard of it?

-Antistrot was an art collective from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Essentially we were a group of painters who made art together - mostly paintings, drawings and murals. We got kind of popular eventually, resulting  in exhibitions all over the world…New York, Miami, Tokyo..all over Europe.

 What's going on with Antistrot at the moment? It's not active anymore, right?

-Antistrot broke up a while ago…it's kind of like the same as when a band breaks up, some members couldn't work together anymore, so the collective fell apart. However, a bunch of us remained friends and we decided to just start again, paint together and have fun. As of now we don't have a new name, but we are working on new paintings for upcoming exhibitions. For most people, the difference between the new group and the old Antistrot won't be that obvious, but we think we took our style of painting to a new level.

You did some amazing designs for skate decks. How did you get involved with that? Do you skate?

-I started skating when I was about 12 years old, and got my first real deck a couple years later..1989..after that I got really into it and I have never really stopped doing it - meaning that I always had a skateboard, even if I went months  without actually skating, haha. I am just a skateboarder, simple as that. In the early 2000's I started actively collecting old, vintage skateboards for the art and the memmories. Right now I have a decent collection.
The old skateboard artists had a really deep impact on me, so my style of drawing always looked a bit like that. So it only made sense that I would try to get into that whole scene, trying to be able to make deck graphics. Through  the collector scene I met some people who asked me to do graphics for them, and I also designed 2 decks (new one will be out in march 2011) for my band, The Real Danger.

 What's going on with The Real Danger and Nothing Done at the moment?

-TRD are out playing shows and writing songs for a 3rd LP..our guitarplayer just got home from a tour with The Apers in the US, so we haven't done too much for a couple months, but we played a show yesterday  and more will follow. Like I said, a new deck will be out soon, so that's pretty cool. Nothing Done played 1 show a couple weeks ago, after not having played for 2,5 years. That band is as good as done, we might play a last show  soon, but nothing's certain yet.

 Can we expect to see The Real Danger somewhere in Southeastern Europe?

-I think so…I'm not sure when we'll do a new tour, but I'm sure we'll make it there eventually!

 And for the end, your favorite Descendents song would be?

-Haha, that's a hard question…I'll probably gor for a later song, and by later I mean from the Enjoy/All era - maybe Clean Sheets or something.

Check out the rest of his work on:

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