British rockers The Wombats are known to keep a stylistic trend going with each album era, and as the trio approach the release of their fifth full-length, Fix Yourself, Not The World, in January 2021, they've taken a colourful, glitchy new tact with their single and album art.
For both 2021 singles, Method To The Madness and If You Ever Leave, I'm Coming With You, the band have teamed up with another trio - artist collective eBoy, a group who create highly detailed, blink-and-you'll-miss-it, bold artwork inspired by the art of computer pixels. You're bound to have seen their art before - they've created entire cityscapes, avatars and animations with bright boxy colours, that all look like they're straight out of Habbo Hotel.
They call them Pixoramas, and we loved the look of the Wombats' upcoming eBoy-created Pixorama album cover so much that we called upon eBoy's Kai Vermehr to talk us through a little bit of the process and how their collaboration with the band came about.
Firstly, I'd love to know about your origins as an artist - when was the moment you fell in love with creating art?
eBoy is actually 3 guys, Steffen, Svend in Berlin and I in Los Angeles. In my case I’m actually not entirely sure how to answer the question. I can’t point to one single moment.
You've got a very distinct style - it calls to mind computer graphics of bygone eras. As you were developing your style, where were you drawing influence from?
When we started out, the idea was to work on the screen to create things for the screen, from start to end. It soon became clear that images looked better when we fully controlled each and all pixels on the screen. From there it all evolved naturally. We focused more and more on pixels, and soon they became central to our workflow. It wasn’t nostalgia for old video games that defined the origins of our work.
Can you tell me how you first got in touch with The Wombats, and what your reaction was like?
If I remember correctly it was Simon from Wombats management that contacted us first. We were excited and honoured. And it all turned out really well and we enjoyed working with the band and team!
As a music fan, what artists/genres do you enjoy, and are there any musicians you'd love to work with?
I have my musical roots in the '70s/'80s, jazz, punk, rock, and Latin American music, where I lived as a kid. That said, I’ve always been pretty curious about any music and today I listen to many different genres. My general approach is to give music time and to listen in again and again.
You've also released music yourself as Kabbhari - how do you think cover artwork enhances people's experience when they're listening to music?
Art in music is always a statement. It sets a context that anchors and ideally extends the project.
When you're turning a song/album into a Pixorama, what elements are you looking for from the music to translate into the art?
For this project we listened to the songs and specifically to the lyrics. I also chatted with Murph here in LA, collected loose ideas from the rest of the band, and just worked off of that. There was not a detailed plan, but more of a discovery process that found its way to the canvas.
Finally, what do you think will surprise people most about the new The Wombats album?
Oh lol, I don’t know! It’s just so cool everyone keeps having fun!