When a musician makes their own artwork, an extra edge is added to the album release. However, Canadian musician Chad VanGaalen is possibly too talented, enviously so, creating detailed and style changing animated videos for his singles too.
Ahead of his upcoming album, Light Information out on Sub Pop in September, we have a chat with Chad about his introduction to illustration and the albums (and birds!) he’s been listening to while recording.
Why have you chosen these songs?
I picked these songs from a list of artists that I listened to as I drew a lot over the last winter. They are easy to listen to when you want to chill out.
When should this mixtape be listened to?
I was drawing when I was listening to these artists. But I would prefer it if the listener was standing or even walking around when they listened to it.
How did you get into illustration?
I got into illustration through comic books and then graphic novels like Incal and Watchmen when I was a kid. There was a surprising amount of French comics (untranslated) at my local library branch growing up, so I had my fair share of Moebius [by Jean Giraud] too. It didn’t really bother me much that it wasn’t translated as I was entirely captivated by his line work anyway. Also Robert Crumb is mac daddy of course when it comes to natural lines and hatch, but Moebius had fantastic subject matter. Then late on _Heavy Metal and Mad Magazine really occupied a lot of my time. I would carry around an Air Jordan duffle bag filled to the brim with those.
Can you tell us about your new record?
My new record Light Information took a long time to cook up. I’m not quite sure what a ‘song’ is anymore, so it took a few people helping me to get this organised. I’m also turning into a grumpy studio guy, and I’m not into engineering the work as I much as I used to be. I prefer more immediate capturing rather than going over over and over a piece again, this makes the songs a bit more sketchy? Maybe?
What posters did you have on your bedroom wall when you were younger?
Star Wars and X-Men posters. I wasn’t into music when I young, only cartoons, comics and BMX.
What records have you been listening to while recording?
Nommos by Craig Leon, anything by Alice Coltrane, Eric Dolphin, and the sparrows living in my soffits (they had a few babies this spring that are really chirpy).
If a film about you was to be made, what song would be on the trailer?
Just Kubrick Silence.
- Photographer Ronan Mckenzie on the details that go into curating your own exhibition
- Illustrator José Ja Ja Ja is “fascinated with the possibilities of the medium”
- Berlin-based design studio Arc on contrasting typefaces and demanding fair pay
- Regular Practice's Bookshelf helps inform its microscopic attention to type and print
- Viviana Troya presents egg-based optical illusions in new work Hatchery
- Maximilian Virgili on photographing the romance and randomness of Mexico
- Mastercard reveals new nameless logo courtesy of Michael Bierut
- An egg beats Kylie Jenner to become the most liked Instagram photo... ever
- Sam Youkilis uses scale, form and colour to challenge the tropes of travel photography
- WeWork gets a new name, and a slightly new look too
- Hiroki Nishiyama draws on traditional graphic design techniques in his illustration practice
- Working Not Working reveals the top companies creatives want to work at