First of all I have to apologize to Mike for the way this interview has been made, he answered quite a while ago, but, for any reason, the email get lost in my box so I relaunched him. So sorry Mike, you truly deserve a better attention. For those of you who have no idea of the work of Mike lets say it is somewhere between Pushead and skatecore scene. But I let you discover more right now...
This last week you would have heard the Despise You/ Agoraphobic Nosebleed split release. I mostly listen to Grindcore and Hardcore punk so you will normaly hear that. . There might also be some old school gansta rap. I do live in Los Angeles after all. Haha!!
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I am a working artist out of Los Angeles California. These days my main focus is on merch design for bands and painting. I used to be very involved in the Rock Poster scene. I got worn out trying to keep up with the flood of new poster designers so I stick more to merch design these days.
When did you start drawing?
I guess I have been drawing all my llife. i started taking art classes when I was about 10 years old and have been at it ever since. It's the only thing I have ever wanted to do.
I am mostly self taught though I did have some art classes in High School. I was lucky to work with the amazing James Ryman (http://jamesryman.blogspot.com/ ) He taught me a lot about painting technique and composition.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I make a full time living from my art
I used to do a lot of work for fanzines and magazines though not much in the last 5 years. I have been so focused on t-shirt design for bands that I kind of lost touch with my contacts in that world.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
I have always been really inspired by Pushead and Mad Marc Rude. As well as some of the contemporary poster artists like Kozik, Hess, Jeff Kleinsmith, etc.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
I like to attack projects full speed. I usually get a good idea right away and just start running with that. I try not to over think things. I find that when I do that I get further away from something I will be happy with. It's usually my first gut idea works best.
I use a combination of things. Some things might be all computer while some things might be all hand drawn. Even further I might also use paint, a photo copier, my camera, etc. I will use whatever tools necessary to achieve the idea I have in mind. I'm not one of those artists who is stuck in one place just doing the same thing over and over.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
It depends. It might take me an hour if I am using collage style. It might take me 12 hours if i am drawing it all by ahnd. You never know.
I feel like I have some flexability in my style. I can do a lot of different things. I do try to stick to the types of projects that are true to my core style but, i am open to about anything that allows me to not have to go get a "real job" . You know what i mean?
For which band have you already worked for?
So many I couldnt possibly list them all. Some of the bigger bands would be High On Fire, Slayer, Metallica, Motorhead, Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold. I'd guess at this point I have worked with well over 500 bands over the years.
I like doing all of it.I am not very picky about what bands I work with. in 2010 I got to do work for Rotten Sound from Finland, Weedeater, Ghoul and some other heavy underground bands. I was really happy to be a part of those projects.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
When I was doing posters ;yes. I would find shows I wanted to do posters for and contact the promoter. With the merch designs they usually come to me.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
I would say getting all of the text on the poster in a way that works well with the illustration. That is always the struggle for me. But, really the most difficult part is getting paid!
These days I think my contemporaries are guys like, Brian Mercer, John Santos, Tom Denny, Johnny Crap..guys like that. I am not sure I am part of any "scene" so to speak.
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?
My online portfolio is at http://www.maximumfluoride.net/
Hmmm... I am not sure? I dont pay too much attention to that kind of stuff. I just keep working. Trying to get better all the time. Though a design I did got a band banned from Facebook for offensive content. So, that was kind of cool.
What can we wish you for the future?
Maybe an occasional poster design here and there. Mostly lots more shirt designs and paintings!
I have to admit that I do not. I have been out of the poster scene for a while now and I am not quite sure who is doing what anywhere.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!