Monday, 24 November 2008

Everybody Wants A Way Out -the cover

B0b Tibbitts "The change in album title from 'Dragonfly Heaven' to 'Everybody Wants A Way Out' necessitated a complete change of style for the cd artwork. Mark and I asked Mark Roland if he could represent the cd in his unique way. My task was to generate all the designs for the lyrics pages from the original painting, selecting what might go with each song. In some cases I used Photoshop to evolve what I already had and building on it. I also asked MR to paint some extra pieces for certain positions and for certain songs. The jewelcase cd well posed a particular challenge... I wanted to reflect on the whole album and offer the voyager an escape from 'sado city' via the 'pillbugs balloon of hope' into the 'happy beyond'...the answer was the beckoning psych figure at the door to escape that Mark Roland very skillfully created.... because, we all are looking for a 'way out' after all."

Mark Roland. "Much of the booklet interior, and the cd back cover is Bob's work, using the raw material I provided, and Steve gave us some suggestions that helped get the ball rolling. Bob and I had a few working titles that were abandoned, like Dragonfly Heaven. MM finally nailed it with Everybody Wants A Way Out and we were off to the races. Unlike Buzz, we had not heard the music, so the title itself was the inspiration. Bob, Steve and I, kicked around some ideas. At some point the grey city/maze became the place you wanted a way out of, and I started the cover. The guy on the back was a continuation of the maze concept, that is the residents of the maze city also had mazes on their heads. I also did a small piece for the cd well and the portrait of Tragedy Ann. The rest was Bob, working with photoshop and the stuff I had done. One of the more involved ideas we couldn't get to develop, was what happens after you escape the city, and the idea that you kept trying to escape further and further. Art packages for cds seem pretty minimal these days, it was a pleasure to try and give the fans some visual narrative to get lost in as part of the whole enchilada.It was a tight deadline and Bob really had to pull some long shifts to finish the booklet. Steve gave me some suggestions and I used a couple in the painting, perhaps so subtle that he couldn't tell. Steve pointed to the Metropolis concept (the great German film by Fritz Lang) and the tower in the painting sort of came from that along with the sense of futility. Bob did a very early one with a line of figures jumping off a cliff, I thought that was a bit too grim, but we stayed with the dark theme.Another more elaborate treatment, would have shown more of the inhabitants of the city, all trying to find their own ways out."

Bob "One of the aims was to be able to make the lyrics legible without obscuring too much of the art. Most of Mark's and indeed Dan and Davey's songs contain at lot of lines...and taking into account the size of a cd booklet page, presents a bit of a challenge at times. There is nothing more infuriating than trying to read information on a page that is either in a 'silly' font or too small to read...and often many of today's cd packages suffer from this due to financial restraints in production or that the cd art is an after-thought. One of my ideas that was also deemed a little too grizzly, was an image of a bottle of pills, open and on it's side with the pills spilled out, the label stating 'Not The Way Out' or 'Another Way Out'. I wanted to portray the city inhabitants trying to escape one layer of their existence by bustling and squeezing their way through one of the doors on the city structure, almost a stampede, but failing. Mark Roland visualised this in a great way in the cd tray.

The character there beckoning to the listener to pass through the doorway into the psychedelic 'other'. There were many, many slants on the cd title that evoked ideas to work with, but as Mark Roland said, the schedule was slim so most of these ideas never became formalised into sketches or rough art. The task was made more challenging for us both in that unlike Buzz, we had not heard the songs to give us inspiration. There was no real feedback from Rainbow Quartz either as we had no time to present roughs or proofs to them, so we were pretty much left to our own devices. Mark Mikel gave us the freedom to create and this was, in a way, helpful...but I was a little anxious that the package would please him and the other Pillbugs and that Mark and I did credit to the music. I think we did. The fact is, you can't please everybody. It was an enjoyable project to work on nonetheless."

Early Ideas
Bob. "There were very few 'demos' of the art this time around. Time decreed that we got to work immediately and hope the result would please.... The underground image was submitted by Steve Mumford. The 'lemmings' idea was mine. I used a 'stock' photo for this one so if we had gone with it we would have had to track down the original photographer. Anyway, it was deemed too 'gloomy'. End of that one."

Steve Mumford "Here's what little I may have had to do with the cover. You might remember the fantasy cover I did back before there was a finished title for the release. I don't think this had any influence on the final cover. But there might be something in the buildings.... I don't know.The second image below was the one I came up with when I heard the new title for the release "Everybody Wants A Way Out". I think this is the image that may have sparked the direction for the final cover."

Bob. "This is an early scan of the final artwork. This was modified by Mark Roland. If you compare this with the ultimate final art, you will spot some differences, like the eye in the sky and the mummies in the city wall, the 'P' on the escape balloon, etc."