Making Ways: The Art of Music
The Art of Dead Cross: Justin Pearson, Eric Livingston, and Bran Black Moon
This episode is dedicated in memory of Eric Livingston.
We’re talking about the art of the music of Dead Cross, a thrash metal supergroup featuring vocalist Mike Patton from Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and Fantômas, drummer Dave Lombardo of Slayer fame, guitarist Michael Crain from Retox, and today’s guest –– bassist Justin Pearson also from the Locust, Head Wound City, and Deaf Club.
Justin is joined by artist Eric Livingston who did all the artwork for Dead Cross, the new album “II,” and the band’s now highly recognizable multi-limbed skeleton featured on their first album, as well as music videos like the group’s frenetic “Seizure and Desist.” And Justin’s longtime creative partner –– designer Bran Black Moon is here too, Bran is a creative force who has been working with Justin and his acclaimed record label Three One G for years.
In this conversation, we talk all about the art of the band Dead Cross, the new record and how all the band’s artwork came together, early days and origin stories, deep dive into the creative and collaboration process, the freedom and unexpected rigidness of creating artwork for metal music, more of Bran’s background and Eric’s approach to making artwork and creative direction, and how Justin collaborates for Dead Cross, his record label Three One G, and his projects like Planet B, The Locust, Deaf Club, and more.
Big thanks to Monica at Speakeasy and Justin for making it all happen.
Bonus Episode: Beginner's Mind with David Wain and Craig Wedren04:51In this bonus episode, you'll hear film / TV composer, songwriter, and singer Craig Wedren of the band Shudder to Think with director, writer, and actor David Wain of The State, Stella, and Wet Hot American Summer fame as they discuss finding inspiration and tricking yourself into a beginner's mindset.And if you missed our full episode with David and Craig, get it here:https://www.makingways.co/episodes/episode/9e516618/david-wain-and-craig-wedren-the-art-of-music-for-film-tv-and-wet-hot-american-summerHear more from Craig Wedren at http://www.craigwedren.com. See more from David Wain at https://davidwain.com. Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.
Zack and Sera: The Art of Sera Cahoone with illustrator Zack Bolotin32:50In this episode, we’re joined by two of Seattle’s finest –– Americana singer-songwriter Sera Cahoone and artist Zack Bolotin. Sera played drums with the adored indie rock group, Carissa’s Wierd, and later with Band of Horses. She went on to release four solo records, two on Sub Pop, and in 2019 received a Gold Record for her work with Band of Horses. She’s toured with Indigo Girls and Dave Matthews. You might have heard Sera on KEXP or NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series or featured in the pages of Elle Magazine too. Her music is stunningly bittersweet, grounded in folk tradition with beautiful musicianship and soaring lovelorn lyrics. Hit play on Sera and you’ll be so happy you did. Zack Bolotin is an illustrator, photographer, and coffee & record shop owner at Porchlight. You’ll hear the origin story of how his retail endeavor accidentally led him to a career as a poster artist and illustrator. And he hasn’t looked back since, working with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, New Pornographers, Olivia Rodrigo, Jawbreaker, The Head and the Heart, and of course today’s guest Sera Cahoone. Hear more from Sera Cahoone at https://www.seracahoone.com. See Zack Bolotin’s work at https://www.zackbolotin.com. Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.
David Wain and Craig Wedren: The Art of Music for Film, TV, and Wet Hot American Summer37:57We’re talking about the art of music for film and TV with composer, songwriter, and singer Craig Wedren of the band Shudder to Think and director, writer, actor David Wain of The State, Stella, and Wet Hot American Summer fame. In this conversion, we dive into David and Craig’s lifelong friendship, the creative kindling of their days as roommates at NYU, working together on The State and films Role Models, Wanderlust, and They Came Together, and we talk all about the world of Wet Hot American Summer. We discuss Craig’s songwriting process, David’s screenwriting approach, Craig’s work scoring Yellowjackets with Anna Waronker of That Dog, and what it takes to make a successful creative collaboration. Shoutout of thanks to Ben Lee for introducing us.Hear more from Craig Wedren at http://www.craigwedren.com. See more from David Wain at https://davidwain.com. Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.
Building a Dream World with Easy Life34:08GQ calls them “The UK’s hottest band” and after spinning their records, you’ll call them a new favorite too. Lead singer, songwriter, and frontman Murray Matravers joins the show to talk about the art of the music of Easy Life. Alongside designer and award-winning creative director for the band Charlie Drinkwater and the brilliant claymation animator and director Will Child who created the artwork for the band’s album “Maybe In Another Life…” and the captivating animated music video for the song “Dear Miss Holloway.” In this episode, you’ll learn about Murray’s focus on the process in his songwriting and in the visual art for the band. You’ll hear about what makes for amazing creative collaborations from the perspective of a musician, animator, and creative director. Dive into the world of claymation with Will. And discover the thoughtful and unified approach that goes into the presentation of the band’s music and art –– from videos to stage shows to album and single artwork. Most of all you’ll hear from three people that are deeply committed to making beautiful things and putting them out into the world with intention and care. So hit play and enjoy.Hear more from Easy Life at https://www.easylifemusic.com.See more from Will Child at https://www.instagram.com/williamjchild.Get in touch with Charlie Drinkwater at https://charliedrinkwater.com.Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.
Replay: Khruangbin with Laura Lee and designer Nate Utesch01:00:33We're hitting rewind on one of our favorite episodes! Laura Lee of Khruangbin and designer Nate Utesch discuss the stories behind the art of the band’s latest album "Mordechai." In this expansive conversation for the new Making Ways podcast, we dive into the origin story of the record and how the artwork came together as a collaboration between Laura and Nate. Laura shares her creative songwriting process and how mindfulness plays such an important part in her craft, and Nate walks us through the way he works with bands (including Smashing Pumpkins, Phoebe Bridgers, Weezer, and his own electronic music project called Metavari) to create incredible packages. Follow Making Ways for stories behind the art of music. Learn more at www.makingwayspodcast.com. Discover more from Khruangbin at www.khruangbin.com and explore the work of Nate Utesch at www.utesch.xyz. All music used by permission of the band, label, and publisher.Special thanks to Josh Roth for his ongoing support and for introducing us to Nate which made this episode possible.
The Art of Neil Frances: Jordan Feller, Marc Gilfry, and Their Creative Family35:25Neil Frances, the LA-based electropop band comprised of Sydney-born Jordan Feller and Southern California native Marc Gilfry, join Making Ways: The Art of Music alongside their creative family to talk about how their visuals for albums, videos, and the group’s overall aesthetic come together. In this interview featuring the duo’s collaborators photographer Pia Riverola, painter John Reagan, and videographer Kyle Jetter, we talk all about the creative collaboration process, the importance of trust, and stories behind the band’s singles and debut album “There Is No Neil Frances.” We dive into the songwriting and recording process too, filming and editing music videos, and the creative glue that holds it all together.Special thanks to Elliott Watson at Honora Productions for introducing us to Jordan.Hear more from Neil Frances at https://neilfrances.bandcamp.com.See Pia Riverola’s photography at https://www.piariverola.com.Check out John Reagan’s artwork at https://www.instagram.com/_johnreagan.Watch Kyle Jetter’s work at http://kylejetter.com. Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.
Kevin Morby and Mike Krol: Creating a Visual Universe for Music35:22Today we’re joined by Kevin Morby, the Kansas City-based musician and songwriter, to discuss the art of the music for his latest album “This Is a photograph” and 2020’s “Sundowner” alongside the designer for those records, the multitalented Mike Krol. “This Is a photograph” is a brilliant career-standout record for Morby who has been releasing solo records since 2013 and started off in the bands The Babies and Woods. Krol, you might know better for his fantastic garage pop albums like “Turkey” and “Power Chords,” but he’s also a highly accomplished graphic designer who has worked with Waxahatchee, Blink-182, That Dog, Snail Mail, Violent Femmes, OK Go, St. Vincent, and Spoon. In this expansive conversation we talk about Morby’s creative process for songwriting and developing a visual universe for his records, Mike’s unique perspective as a designer and musician doing visual work for other bands, and the family ties these two share. We go deeper into the themes of “This Is a Photograph,” talk Jeff Buckley and Memphis inspiration, and discuss how both Morby and Krol are frequently inspired by visual art and film to create music.Special thanks to Ben Lee for introducing us to Mike, and to Mike and Kevin for joining the series.Hear more from Kevin Morby at https://www.kevinmorby.com.See more from Mike Krol at https://www.mikekrol.com.Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.
The Art of Scout Gillett: Photography, Design, and Posters33:14In this special twofold episode, we talk to musician and songwriter Scout Gillett, photographer and filmmaker Julie Orlick, and graphic designer and artist Ian Langehough about the visual world of Scout’s music. You’ll get a glimpse into the very old-school photography process that was used to create the cover image for “no roof no floor” –– Scout’s debut album on the Captured Tracks record label. The commitment it takes for creative collaboration to thrive. And how Ian and Scout’s friendship and common visual language unite their work together. From tintype photographer to typesetting posters and finding inspiration in open spaces and even other people’s trash –– this is a wonderful episode featuring one of our favorite new and emerging artists, Scout Gillett. Special thanks to Tom Gallo at https://www.lookatmyrecords.com for the introduction.Hear more from Scout Gillett at https://scoutgillettmusic.bandcamp.com. Original episode artwork by host Rob Goodman.Visit http://www.makingwayspodcast.com for art, episodes, show notes, blog posts, and exclusive merchandise. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/making.ways.