Pete McPhee (Version française)
Toulouse Lautrec and Motley Crue together in the same interview ? How can some people think that americans do not know anything about culture ? Just have a look at those frames around central drawings and tell me if it is not the perfect mix of medieval illumination art and kustom culture ? Guys, it is my great pleasure to welcome on the site, the one and only Pete McPhee !!!!
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Morning Howard Stern, after that depends on the mood.
I am from Rhode Island the smallest state in the USA.
When did you start drawing?
First time I picked up a pencil.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
My dad use to show me how to draw super heroes and cars, from comic books. There was a lot of note book art thrown in there to. I went to Rochester Institute of Technology and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts Illustration.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
My main income is from my art.
I do what I can, I need to start promoting myself better. I was never much of a self promoter always wanted the work to do that.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
Variety of places from fine art,stamps, poster, comic books and advertisements. Anything that ketches my eye. I like bold graphics and sharp detail. Many artist influence me, Sailor Jerry, Andy Warhol, Rick Griffin, Ed Big Daddy Roth, Jim Phillips, Toulouse Lautrec and the list goes on.
First is to come up with the idea. Create it and produce it.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Do both i draw it out by hand and scan it into the computer and depending on the image sometimes redraw it to make it sharper or colorize it. I am not against computers I think they are just another tool for creating your art work.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Important thing is to create your idea and that determines the time. Sometimes things come quick and others take awhile.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
Most of the time when some one hires you to do something it is because they like your art and ideas, but there are always guide lines on what they want. I have no problem drawing what the client wants, I think it is easier when they give you a detail outline of what there looking for. The hardest part is the idea after that it is just work..
Dropkick Murphys, Social Distortion, Mike Ness,Sage Francis,B. Dolan, The Mars Volta, THe Mighty Mighty Bosstones,Kitty,The Bogmen, Iggy Pop, Circle Jerks, Hank III, Reverend Horton Heat, Tomahawk, The Offspring, Drag The River, Los Straight Jackets, Southern Culture on The skids. T-shirt designs for the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Motley Crue, The Red Jumpsuit Apperatise. Also a lot of local Bands and a few others I may not have listed, been doing this for awhile.
For which band would you love to work?
The Hives, Sex Pistols, Ramones (if they were still around), The Who, Rolling Stones, Wayne The Train Hancock
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Well I went after the artist, you do your best to have them choose you.
I enjoy working for Social Distortion a lot, I love the band and the imagery and they have been real kind and a big supporter of my posters. Also there management is real easy to work with.
Dropkick Murphys also have been very supportive of me and they are also one of my favorite bands. THey have given me a variety of projects from poster, t-shirt, stage backdrops and album covers. Were I live they are a big part of our culture. THey have writen a few songs that you hear at Boston Red Sox games and the Boston Bruins. Around here those 2 teams are a big thing. So it is nice to be a part of that, like being a part of New England history.
THe idea. Specialy when you work for bands over a long period of time, like I have. Bands have identities that govern the imagery, and the goal is to keep it fresh with in those boundaries.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
Not really sure what you mean by this question, but I quess we are all part of a scene. I rarely go out anymore, I use to a lot, but nowadays I have two little girls, thats my scene.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
I am working on new site hope to have it up by January it will be swampyankee.org . Hoping to make it a over all view of my work from posters to shirt design, graphic work you name it. Right now you can see it on skidderdesign.net or myspace.com/unclesposters
The best praise you received lately?
Pay check, got to pay the bills. Also this interview. It always amazes me when I get an e-mail from someone in Europe or another country about my work. Just cool to know it is getting out there and people appreciate it.
I am working on Dropkick Murphys St Patty day imagery. Big tour and event in Boston and we have to start real early. Also setting up a photo shoot to summit for their next album cover. Should be interesting never did a photo shoot like this before. Not sure if they are going to use it but I will try my best.
What can we wish you for the future?
Well that album cover and more work. Also I like to get my work out there more, maybe get back into doing some gallery shows, I have not done one in a long time. Maybe a show in France why not.
Last question (or joke :) ) Do you know anything about french rock posters scene ?
No, but I do not know a lot about any scenes. Like I said earlier one of my favorite artist is Toulouse Lautrec, now he is considered a Master but in his day he was a poster artist. So much great art has come from France I look forward to see what you got.
It is difficult to understand how rock posters have not spread over all cultures that listen to Rock music. The art is part of the music.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!