Haze XXL (US)

Haze XXL (US)

For those of you who never heard about Amphetamine Reptile Records, knowing that Thomas has been (as he says) "Chief Capitalist Bastard / Guru" of this label won't help to see the kind of guy I have the pleasure to introduce you today. With bands such as Helmet, Killdozer, Melvins, Unsane or Chokebore, just to name few, you will admit we are dealing with serious things here! So, if you are looking for flowers and teddy bears, this is definitly not the artist you are looking for, but if you like your rock n'roll bloody and nervous, this post is yours !!!!

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Selfish Cunt - English Chamber Music

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I'm from Minneapolis MN. I used to be in bands. I used to run a record label (Amphetamine Reptile) I run a bar.

When did you start drawing?
Birth. Then took a 20 year break to do music and design.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I get too caught up in idea to worry about craft (unfortunately). Art school? No, I chose the USMC instead.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I'm trying to not kill my love for the art I'm doing by making a living off it like I have with other aesthetic pursuits I've loved in the past. I doubt I'm wise enough to stick to the plan.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
Jack Kirby &Otto Dix!! I draw heavily from American comic books, cartoons and advertising illustrators.

What are the principal steps in your work ?
Draw a picture on linoleum. Carve the fucker out. ink. print. repeat.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
All drawing, carving by hand. Color seps for serigraphs done on computer

How long does it take you to do a poster?
3-4 days.

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 ?
I like being forced to change. We all get too comfortable if only doing what appeals to us.

For which band have you already worked for?
The band I work closest with is Melvins. Otherwise I prefer to work with lesser known bands. They are more appreciative of the help, and they let you alone to do what you want.

For which band would you love to work?
Mostly bands that no longer exist. I would need a functioning time machine before I could properly entertain this fantasy.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

Yes and no. I do all the posters for my bar, but often don't choose the bands, and some I don't even know the band until I'm told we're working with them. A lot of my work is reserved for local bands doing residencies at Grumpy's in Minneapolis.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
The idea, and keeping it raw, unpolished. Having spent 20 years doing computer design work, I sometimes slip into old habits. Also one of the reason I chose linocut printing was to keep it raw, immediate, dirty. I was sick of computer sterility brought on by the ease of the medium. You forget a keyboard and mouse can't possibly replace your own hands.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I'm a card carrying member of the Retardist movement. I live and breath retardism.

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?
not a proper website but you can see a lot of the limited edition Melvins releases and posters here...
or on facebook as Thomas Hazelmyer, Amphetamine Reptile Records, Retardism, (the) Melvins

The best praise you received lately?
That would likely be from Shepard Fairey. I recently had a show in his gallery (which was compliment enough) but he really went through in detail why and what he liked about the art. He didn't need to that, and obviously the man has a superior eye, so it was a huge compliment.

What can we wish you for the future?
That I never start taking myself too seriously.

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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