“Face-melting marshmallow roast orgy”
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing artist Kevin Spencer for a few years now, so it didn’t surprise me one bit when he announced that he was going to be contributing art to an upcoming project featuring Wolfmen of Mars and The Mangled Dead. An album this hard and insane needed artwork that was eccentric as the bands represented. In that regard, Kevin Spencer and these two bands from Boston, Massachusetts were a match made in heaven.
With Devon Whiteside contributing the front cover album work, Kevin was given the opportunity to create some unique back cover art as well as the vinyl art. And he absolutely knocked it out of the park, as you can see throughout this interview.
I was fortunate enough to have worked with Kevin back in 2013 and 2014, as he did the cover art and illustrations for my short story collection. I consider Kevin a great friend and an even better person, so it was especially interesting to dig into his brain a little and see what he had to say about this latest project of his…
Check out part one of this interview, featuring Wolfmen of Mars, here
Check out part two of this interview, featuring The Mangled Dead, here
MANGLED MATTERS: How did you get involved with this project?
KEVIN SPENCER: I had been a big fan of Wolfmen of Mars for quite some time thanks to them lending a tune for the opening of a podcast that I listen to and had done some logo work for called The Screamcast. Likewise, it seems, Luke of Wolfmen had dug the work I had done for Screamcast, so he asked if I would be interested in doing some art for the album, and of course I said yes.
It’s actually kind of funny how that worked out as I keep a running list of people, bands and authors I’d love to collaborate with and they were pretty much at the top of that list. Funny coincidence.
MM: The artwork you provided veers away from the Basil Gogos/”splatter drop” look of pieces many people know from you. Were you given any direction on what the band was looking for or were you able to guy go at it and see what you came up with?
KS: Well, truth be told I got a super early peek at Devon (Whitehead)’s amazing cover so I had that as a reference. I based the characters off of his designs obviously and then just felt the project needed to look cleaner than the normal stuff I do, so I went for it. Not trying to copy Devon’s style, but as we shared art duties and his cover was so stunning, I obviously wanted the art to all be cohesive. I feel like we accomplished that (or would like to think so, anyway).
MM: How old were you when you decided art was the way you wanted to go in life?
KS: I have no idea. I have drawn and loved drawing for as far back as I can remember. I was always “the kid who drew”, and to me, as far back again as I can remember for me personally, the art was more about me using it as an outlet than as something I wanted to do with my life. I mean, I did end up going to school for it and giving it a go as a profession but in the end I just saw more value in doing my art for me and if people dig it that’s awesome and if not, no worries.
MM: How about a quick review of the album, in ten words or less?
KS: Face-melting marshmallow roast orgy.
MM: What are your favorite tracks from the LP, one from each band?
KS: “The Nefarious Dr. Karswell”, by Wolfmen of Mars and “Ladies of the Night”, by The Mangled Dead
MM: You’ve done album artwork, book cover art work and are all over social media showing off new pieces constantly. What projects are you currently working on?
KS: Well, honestly I had to drop a few things recently due to my day job and life responsibilities being a bit more involved than normal. I felt my sanity starting to give out, so at the moment I just have a few smaller things that I am working on as well as maybe something else in the works with Wolfmen… and by maybe, I mean 100%. I am just being sly… or trying anyway. More on that another time.
MM: Do you have any conventions/art shows coming up where people can check out your art or meet you?
KS: Nothing at the moment although I hope to be back at Monster Mania in New Jersey next spring. I’ve missed the past few and miss all my convention fam.
If you know where I live you can always just come knock on my door. I guess you could meet me that way. Or at WaWa. I am almost always at a WaWa… That’s a Northeastern joke.