Cleveland, Ohio artist Derek Hess has accomplished many things since he first lifted a pencil to the blank page that set before him. It was during the late-eighties that Hess first put his talent to work, designing fliers for the very same shows he was booking. It didn't take long for others to notice the brilliance in his artwork. As Hess' work became more popular, new means arose for him to express himself. He has since expanded the scope of his work to a variety of mediums. He's designed full-sized posters for countless tours and exhibits. His love of music has allowed him to craft album designs and layouts for bands of all genres; notables include Converge, Unearth, Deftones, The Hurt Process, and the MTV2 Headbangers Ball Compilation. Most recently, Hess has started his own line of clothing, Strhess Clothing.
1) You've been involved in the underground punk and hardcore music scenes for a number of years. Recently these genres have seen a surge in media attention, in particular on radio and on television (MTV2/Headbangers Ball). How do you see this affecting the music scene, both positively and negatively?
Hopefully it will be positive, it is right now. Most of the bands that are finally getting attention really deserve it. They've paid more than their share of dues without compromising their music. But the music industry will start formulating bands to sound just like them and make sure they have "hits." This will eventually over saturate the market. It happens all the time. By then there will be something new coming up, there always is.
2) You've done a vast amount of work with bands - designing flyers, album covers, and t-shirt designs. Have you ever been approached to work on a music video? If not, would you consider doing one? No. I've never been asked. I would need a ton of creative control, but I'd be into it.
3) You've worked with a wide variety of musicians from all genres and backgrounds. What musical artist has inspired you, artistically or spiritually, the most? The bands I work for are the bands that I respect. I'm all about Black Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy, The Jesus Lizard, Every Time I Die, as well as many more.
4) In addition to the work you do with bands, you also find time to do some fine-art projects. Do you find that the fine-art compositions are more rewarding than the band-related pieces when its finished? They're both rewarding in different ways. I really enjoy doing the fine art pieces because they're for me and are about common threads people have emotionally and spiritually.
Personal Site: http://www.derekhess.com Clothing Site: http://www.strhessclothing.com
Conducted by Michael Phillips