IO talked KEN Mode’s illustrator Randy Ortiz; Fuck the Facts touring; KEN Mode playing Hopscotch
By Doug Moore
Randy Ortiz artwork
Last month, we started a new series of interviews over at Invisible Oranges called Graphic Content, in which we talk to metal/hardcore-associated visual artists about their craft. The inaugural edition featured Alex Eckman-Lawn, who's done album covers for the likes of Yakuza, Maruta, Starkweather, and Dim Mak The second edition, which is up today, features Canadian illustrator Randy Ortiz, who's worked with heavy artists like KEN mode, Fuck the Facts, and Intronaut, as well as non-metal artists like Why?.
Here's a snippet of our conversation:
What's the process of working with bands like for you?
I find the work that I get now though is when bands come to me, now that I have more of an established career and my work is out there more. When they come to me it gives me that bit of power to be like, hey, you're coming to me for my work because you like my work, so let me do my own thing. Let me listen to your music and I'll come up with ideas. If you have ideas yourself that's cool too; just let me know. More than likely I will not use them because they usually suck -- from my experience anyway, but I'll make my own suggestions and they usually go for it. And like I said, they come to me for my ideas, right? And that's what they're hiring me for so I feel I have a say in that matter.
Are there any trends you're tired of in metal art?
I don't wanna name any artists, but there's a certain artist or two that have seemed to spawn a whole army of duplicate artists that just do the same fucking shit over and over again. I mean, I'm influenced by a lot of artists as well. If you're going to use the same techniques, go for it, but create something new, you know? Something refreshing. Maybe it's 'cause these bands, that's all they want. They want it to look like this other artist.
I think a lot of artists, especially when they're starting out, they don't realize that you have the option to do your own thing, to be your own creative thing. You don't have to copy other people to be successful. But I feel that's what a lot of people are doing, they're just copying and riding the coattails of these other artists who were first doing it in the beginning, you know? I just wish people would just be more creative. I dunno. Maybe I'm just an asshole but that's just how I feel.
Speaking of Fuck the Facts & KEN mode: the former are currently touring the Midwest and Canada; they're playing Chicago tonight (4/17). You can check out their full set of dates below. Meanwhile, KEN mode were just announced as part of the 2014 Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC; they also recently recorded a BBC Radio 1 live session, which is still available for streaming -- you can check it out below.
Check out those Fuck the Facts dates below as well.
Fuck the Facts spring 2014 tour:
04/17 Chicago, IL at LiveWire Lounge
04/18 Oshkosh, WI at The Underground
04/19 Minneapolis, MN at Triple Rock
04/20 Fargo, ND at The New Direction
04/21 Great Falls, MT at Machinery Row
04/22 Missoula, MT at The Badlander
04/23 Spokane, WA at The Hop
04/24 Seattle, WA at Highline Bar
04/25 Victoria, BC at Logan's Pub
04/26 Vancouver, BC at Electric Owl
04/27 Kelowna, BC at Knights Of Columbus Hall
04/28 Calgary, AB at Tubby Dog
04/29 Edmonton, AB at Filthy Mcnasty's
04/30 Saskatoon, SK at Vangelis Vavern
05/01 Regina, SK at The Exchange (Club Side)
05/02 Winnipeg, MB at The Windsor Hotel
05/03 Thunder Bay, ON at Black Pirates Pub
05/04 Sault Ste. Marie, ON at Oddfellows Hall