We had the pleasure to interview a highly talented artist for our magazine. Marcelo Vasco did the cover art for many well known Metal releases for the biggest names in the Metal industry.
Hi Marcelo! Thank you very much that you found time in your tough schedule to talk with Metal On Loud Magazine!
Hello Tania! My pleasure! Thanks for your great support.
You are a talented musician, guitarist of Black Metal band Patria, you are a brilliant artist. What is your priority? What was first: music or art?
Well, I think both things walk strongly together… I really can’t live without one or other. But music... it is more like a hobby for me, I mean, usually I don’t earn any money from it, while Art is my job and where I dedicate most part of my time. So, professionally, I would say that my priority today is the Art.
Your artwork for Slayer's Repentless was called artwork #1 in 2015. How was the idea of the artwork born?
I could not be more happy and honoured about this. Slayer is my favourite band of all the time and it is definitely my biggest achievement in my personal and professional life. They gave me a 100% openness and freedom to work on the cover based on the album title and the lyrics of “Repentless” song. They also had some particular requests, as keeping the illustration vibe like a very old and damaged oil painting, among other points. And I wanted to make it look like an old school Slayer cover. When we had set the right direction I also had a more intense cooperation of Tom Araya and Kerry King on details and extra suggestions. Then we worked together on many-many tests until finally completed the work.
Not too long time ago you have become an official graphic artist for Indie Recordings. Are you free to choose what band you want to work with?
I have been working for Indie Recordings as their graphic guy since 2007 as my steady job, I could say. They’re fantastic people, a very cool label and I collected many positive things working for them in this period. Basically I was behind of all the graphic stuff, but we also had some freelancer artists from outside cooperating, of course. I met a lot of people being there and made some good friends. I also had the opportunity to work for bands like Borknagar, Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Satyricon, Kampfar, Kvelertak, Einherjer, Keep of Kalessin, In Vain, Ov Hell, Wardruna etc. I still work for Indie Recordings, by the way, although not in full time anymore.
What images, events or fantasies inspire you besides music? When you start working with a band what gives birth to your inspiration?
I am a spectator of many types and styles of art and I think everything related is being unconsciously absorbed by my mind somehow. Of course, Horror and Sci-Fi movies, comics and music come first when the point is my favourite approach. Usually the initial conception is what gives me the first kick. I like when a client gives me freedom to work on the conception based on my own perspective, with no walls. When it happens, I become more creative and come to the surface with the best results.
Do you remember your first clients for your art? How were you choosing what band you would be working with?
I started doing things for my own bands and bands of close friends, I can’t remember specifically the first… But in Brazil I worked early for bands like Unearthly, Malefactor, Mysteriis, Demonolatry among others. My first international project was the artwork for the Swedish Lord Belial, on the album “Angelgrinder”, around 2001.
There are thousands of young talents who complain that they are not noticed. What is your advice to young artists or your top artist's secret: what they should do to become a star of art/design?
Sadly true,there are tons of fantastic young talents around, that don’t have the deserved attention. It is a shame! Well, art is my passion for a long time and I'm really delving and dedicating myself as much I can, studying, practicing, working, seeing, thinking, living, breathing… Also, I was probably lucky to meet good bands and people interested on my art style, trusting in my work. Then a door opens here and there and everything starts growing step by step. There is no formula, you know. My advice is for keep doing the very best, the market is incredible competitive and I know, damn, well how difficult is. We all must believe and follow our dreams but sweating blood. That is the only way that could make things a little bit easier, at least, hehe.
You had your first personal public exhibition in Oslo at Inferno Festival Anniversary Edition in 2015, recently you returned from huge Tattoo Week In Rio exhibition. What do exhibitions give to an artist?
I believe that the greatest achievement of an artist is his art be seen and recognized. Exhibitions give us the chance to show our art to the people in a closest, huge and much more real experience. It is always very interesting to see faces of people staring the pieces, reacting, and even interacting with us somehow. And the range is broader, if you consider that in an art exhibition the pieces can be seen by all sorts of people, not only those that are integrated to a certain world, as in the case of Heavy Metal. In Oslo I had my exhibition at the hall of Clarion Hotel (Inferno Festival Official Hotel), for all the guests and visitors, not only for who was there for the festival, so it’s really amazing. The same in Rio, there were fans of Tattoo, Piercing, Pop, Rap, Skate etc, not only specifically Heavy Metal. So, it is very positive and definitely a good door being opened…
Each person, each artist has a dream. Can you share with us one of your dreams?
Sometimes I can hardly believe that this has in fact taken place, but I am an extremely happy and fulfilled person for having signed Slayer's artwork. Nothing is above that for me and this was a high dream that came true. But of course, wouldn't be bad at all if I could work for artists like Metallica, Rush, Dream Theater or Steve Vai... :) Beyond that, my biggest dream, is keep doing what I do, being treated well by life, among my family and friends, learning more and more, meeting awesome people, conquering clients, and traveling around the world, experiencing different cultures and places. Maybe it sounds like a "cliché", I know, hehe But that's the feeling...