Saturday, 10 December 2011

Tom Hoad

I play guitar in the Sunderland based heavy rock band Ashes Of Iron. Our sound is organic, expressive, heavy, energised and melodic. (with a hint of blueberries!) Metal Hammer magazine described us as “Pissed Off Retro Rock”, which is fine by us. We have built up a body of work that collectively we are proud of and will hopefully find it's place in the hydra head of the rock/metal universe. Our debut album is available very soon, and we look forward to seeing what opportunities and adventures present themselves in the future.

For me personally the art work for our album was my biggest creative challenge to date. I was to produce the best work I had ever done for the worst possible clients, myself and my band mates. I wanted to avoid tested iconography and cliches, a lot of rock/metal bands can end up visually becoming a parody of their perceived persona. It is also a visual minefield in the sense that the wrong choice of imagery or design style can give the wrong clues to the music represented.
The life I live and the society around me provide fertile inspiration. Over the years I’ve been influenced and appreciated the work of HR Gieger, Vania, Malleus and Hieronymus Bosch to name a few. All the work I am displaying here has been created in Photoshop using photographs, digital painting and toning/colouring techniques I’ve developed over the years as a professional photographer.

A lot of the lyrical content of Ashes Of Irons songs carry a narrative about the human condition. At the root of most things is temptation and the dream of empowerment. I liked the idea of some early artists like Bosch portraying universal temptation by uniting human and animal forms, and find the visual grace of nature at its best in the female form and the majesty of earths creatures. I enjoy the creative possibilities of the beauty and the beast relationship and up to now I think the beauty is winning.

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