The team behind genre-defining online music platform Boiler Room just don’t stop. Last week they launched their app, allowing users to download audio sets, listen to shows live from across their four channels, search their expansive archive and play sets through their TVs. Days later, they were back, this time in physical form with a zine. We spoke to Boiler Room’s art director of two years Joe Prytherch about looking back over the last year at Boiler Room through the “delicious” smelling new printed offering.
What’s life like as Boiler Room’s art director?
I’ve been art director here for the past two years, but for the first lonely year I was really only directing myself as I was the only designer in the company. Since then I’ve been joined by designer Caterina Bianchini. Between us we design the artwork to promote the live shows which can be anything from simple image flyers, to video promos, to larger scale partnerships with clients like Ray Ban and Adidas. Another arm of the design department is headed up by Ricky Burgess who leads the design of all our product work such as our main website and mobile app.
And what’s the zine about?
The zine is split into four separate poster-zines designed by Caterina and I and written by our editorial team [headed up by ex-Dazed editorial director Tim Noakes] looking back over the past 12 months of shows we’ve put on. It highlights the breadth of music we’ve covered from dancehall parties in Lagos, to 24-hour garage sets in London, to grime shows in Tokyo and being the first western music broadcaster to stream from inside China. It’s full of anecdotes from the people who organised the shows, unseen photos and four massive 490mm x 700mm posters. It’s also been printed on a big old lithographic printer so it smells delicious. We’re selling a small number through our website right now with a fresh batch going online next week.
What were the challenges of trying to illustrate what the internet reckons is the Worst Year Ever?
We’ve embraced the shitness with some stickers included with the zine which show a bunch of politicians giving a young tracksuited man a kicking. Besides that, we’re hoping that the zine shows that despite the mess 2016 has been, there’s still a lot of very talented people producing some amazing things and there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future.
And on that note, tell us about a project you’ve got queued up for 2017.
For 2017 we’re looking to turn Boiler Room into a vaguely legitimate visual music broadcaster with more programming outside our core content of live shows. This will mean more artwork and show-specific graphics from Caterina and I, and Ricky pumping more stuff into the channel section of our site which we launched a couple of months ago. And hopefully much less shitness than 2016.
About the Author
Bryony joined It's Nice That as Deputy Editor in August 2016, following roles at Mother, Secret Cinema, LAW, Rollacoaster and Wonderland. She later became Acting Editor at It's Nice That, before leaving in late 2018.