D*Face Interviewed: The London Street Artist Behind Blink-182's New Album Art
How did you come up with the idea for the artwork? Did the band give you a brief?
It was quite tricky because time was the tightest thing, because I have a hugely-busy schedule – just like the band do when they're touring. I'm all over the place painting, and I've got shows coming up and projects on the go. So for me, it was like: ‘You’ve been working on this album for a while, if you could have just given me a heads-up before now then I could have had time to find something for you!’ But they came back and said ‘anything that you do would be really cool for us, have you got anything that you're working on that we could use?’
The album title at the time was either going to be ‘Los Angeles’ or ‘California’ – there was also the name ‘Riot’ – all of which had good reference points in my work anyway. So I threw them a bunch of ideas because I really wanted to do it for them – I had a look at what I'd already got and what I'd been working on to see if anything fitted with those album titles. They sent me a couple of tracks, and gave me the brief that they wanted the artwork to represent California, but with a subversive side to show that it's not always great and there's always something under the surface, in the underbelly – which, predominantly, is what my work represents. So that was a perfect brief.
But those first ideas that I sent, they said ‘nothing’s really doing it for us.’ There was an illustration, however, that I'd worked on about a year and a half ago that I’d parked up and not got round to finishing. I looked at it and thought how California, to me, is about driving, the birth of the hot-rod and that whole lifestyle – so it made sense if it had a car in it. So that was the first checkpoint for me where I realised it was working. I sent that idea over and Matt [Skiba] and Travis were like ‘that's the one. That the shit!’ But, to be honest with you, Mark [Hoppus] was like ‘I'm not so sure...’ – so it wasn’t straightforward, let’s put it like that!
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