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01/2006     Jens Pohl   Andreas Marshall     (German Version)

Hi, Andreas! The new year has just begun, so: Happy new year! How did you celebrate?

Together with my wife in private, for a change. Has to be sometimes ...

Do you have any special wishes or hopes for 2006 for yourself? Or have you accomplished everything you wanted?

A big wish is to get my new film - a horror film - financed and that I can make it the way I want.

How did you start painting, anyway? Do you remember your first cover? Which band and which album was it?

My very first cover was a compilation for Noise Records, Rock From Hell, quite embarrassing, or Orbit Drive by the DIZZY SATELLITES, or an album by the GALLOPING ELEPHANTS. One of them, but which one was the first, I can't remember anymore.

What are you working on at the moment? Or is this maybe still a secret?

I have just finished an artwork for the Italian band THE DOGMA, and now I have to hand in the next draft version of my film Tears Of Kali 2: Tartaros. We're going to shoot it this year, so time is running short. A film production is such a huge, interrelated process depending on thousands of deadlines and decisions, so it gets going very slowly.

Are you always completely satisfied with your artworks, or do you think in retrospect that here and there some things might have been changed?

No, when I have to work under deadline pressure, I am hardly ever satisfied. In a certain period I had to draw one artwork per week! And this is barely possible if you consider my detailed style. And I don't do this anymore.

When I look at some of your covers for DIMMU BORGIR (Godless Savage Garden), HAMMERFALL (Legacy Of Kings) and BLIND GUARDIAN (Nightfall In Middle-Earth), they look quite similar in a way. Was this done on purpose, or did it just turn out like this?

In all these cases, the motive was a guideline provided by the band. The altar and the figure sitting on it majestically are the constants. In this way, all the bands had very similar ideas. But the atmosphere of these pictures is quite different.

The cover-artwork for the new BLIND GUARDIAN single, which was created by Anthony Clarkson, looks like a copy of your artworks and resembles the covers mentioned before very much. Doesn't it annoy you when others copy your style or ideas?

I don't know the artwork, but it doesn't annoy me. I also took a leaf from other artists when I started, especially Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor Smith and people like that. But I believe my style is always distinguishable.

The cover-artwork by Kris Verwimp for the album The Revivalry: A Tribute To Running Wild, which was released in August 2005, was created in the style of your artworks for RUNNING WILD and is therefore also a tribute to your work. Did you know that?

No, I didn't, but I do now. I like it very much, this artwork by Kris Verwimp, in particular the magical atmosphere with the ship and the city, the blue colour and the warm lanterns. I like to work this way, too, making backgrounds which the beholder would love to enter. That's what I call the "sense of wonder" in fantasy-art.

Do you know any other Kris Verwimp artworks? If so, which ones do you like best?

Unfortunately, I don't know any, but I'll have a look around ...

How did you originally get in touch with RUNNING WILD or rather Rock 'n' Rolf?

The contact was established by the record company. The cooperation got closer over the years, until I came to Hamburg for Black Hand Inn to take photos of Rolf, because he "plays a role" in the cover motive himself. He even brought some pictures from his youth. His imaginations are always very precise, and Black Hand Inn is for me the pinnacle in quality of our cooperation.

Were your artworks for the band based on your ideas, or were all concepts provided in detail?

That differs from work to work. Sometimes the only elements provided were certain lyrics, the atmosphere of the music, the album title, or certain mythological themes of the bands. Then I suggest different ideas, make sketches, and one of them is chosen. In other cases, RUNNING WILD or BLIND GUARDIAN, for example, the concepts were prepared by the band in detail and were closely linked to the lyrics.

Which of your artworks for RUNNING WILD is your personal favourite and why?

Like I said, the atmosphere of Black Hand Inn is unique. The picture tells a complete story in itself. Rolf as a boy and as an old man, and then the scruffy pirate figures in the background - this is very much "cult". The effect is almost photographic ... the overall concept has turned out very well. But I also like The Rivalry, because the motive is quite simple and clear, but incredibly realistic in the details. Here Rolf had done some careful research in advance and provided pictures of uniform parts and other elements, so the details were absolutely consistent historically.

After the cover of The Rivalry, weren't you employed anymore on purpose, didn't you have any time, or was there maybe another reason?

I can't remember exactly, partly because I was shooting several video clips back then. But at the same time computer collages came into fashion more and more, and most bands used these new techniques. It's like a cycle in a way. Now it seems that artworks are gaining ground again.

What is your personal opinion on covers which are solely created on the computer?

Brilliant, like when Dave McKean is sitting at the keyboard. Unfortunately, very many covers are simply tedious and uninspired. Some look like covers of school magazines ...

Apart from painting, you have also done a lot of commercials and video clips. Your debut as a film director was the film Tears Of Kali in 2004. Please tell us briefly what this film is about.

Tears Of Kali is an episode horror film about a mysterious psycho sect called "Taylor-Eriksson-Group" from the 80s. It tells about the weird and sometimes cruel fates of three survivors from the group and the demonic powers which they unleashed unintentionally ...

How did it come to this film? Were you interested in the topic?

Together with an acting class of the "Reduta Acting School Berlin", I worked out the first episode "Shakti", a mysterious puzzle story which plays in a madhouse ... Some producers saw the material and were immediately willing to invest into the film. And the further the work on the film proceeded, the more people joined the project, from experienced crew members to well-known stars. In Germany there are only very few people who understand the craft of horror films, be it directors or producers. That's why many people from the sector wanted to participate when someone dared to enter this genre. As far as the theme is concerned, I was interested in the way some representatives of the so-called "New Age" - eager to improve the human being, by "positive thinking", longing for harmony - suppress their shadow and their dark sides, until these shadows come back from behind as demons. This is not only known in esotericism, but also in politics, if you look at radical "do-gooders", who only want the best but become dangerous fanatics.

Are you generally a big fan of horror films?

Yes, the horror-genre is the only field in which you can live out spiritual themes - regardless of the limitations of realism. Horror films are fascinating, shocking, and connect us to mythology again.

Are you planning to make more films?

Of course. Tears Of Kali was shown on festivals all over the world and has won many awards. This means there simply has to be a sequel. Additionally, I have three more scripts on the desk of several production companies, waiting to be financed. My fantasy is literally bustling with dark stories that are eager to become reality!

Well, then good luck for the future and thank you very much, Andreas!

Best regards, and a happy new year! / Copyright © 1996-2013 by Running Wild / Design:
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