Continuing to deliver compelling projects that straddle the line in both art and fashion, British designer Aitor Throup‘s latest endeavor sees the creative direction of Kasabian‘s fifth studio effort 48:13. Last year, lead guitarist Sergio Pizzorno provided audio backdrop to Throup’s “New Object Research” fashion show, now the two team up again on the visual interpretation to the 13-track record. Our music compadres HYPETRAK caught up with the duo, who spoke on the frequent misconceptions of the band, the reason behind using the color pink with Helvetica on the record sleeve, while also providing cues as to what attendees should expect from Kasabian at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Check out the exclusive artwork from Aitor Throup above, an excerpt of the interview below, and head to HYPETRAK for the full piece.
The most striking part of the album artwork is the use of pink. Why did you use this color?
AT: Pink is very subversive. The punks used bright pink in a definitive context to make an aggressive point. In this case, we used the color for two reasons. First was a reaction to how Kasabian has been misinterpreted. The pink is to redefine the public’s perception of the band, as a retort to those who have categorized Kasabian’s sound – whether its Brit pop or indie-rock. Pink is the antithesis in color standards.
Second was a reaction to how we see the music industry. There seems to be no true definition of rock and roll these days. Everything is so calculated, and people change who they are because of it. We want to represent the ultimate punk rock and roll spirit. The true essence of “cool” is not give a shit. From the album art, song titles and the lyrics, this record is as direct as possible.
SP: When we starting writing music for 48:13, we wanted to redefine the conception given to the band and be instantly recognizable. We’re often interpreted as masculine and grungy. We wanted to flip that with the last color people would associate with us. It’s a really naughty color.
In this project, how do Atior Throup’s aesthetics coexist with Kasabian’s?
AT: Pink perfectly brings together Kasabian’s sensibility as a band with my own aesthetics. My work is generally monochromatic, with little pops of color. If you dissect the aesthetics of Kasabian’s music, you can hear riffs of psychedelia alongside electronic textures. These could be translated as laser colors. If you were to interpret those swirls and textures with my minimalist approach, it results in pink. Bright pink resonates with the late ‘60s psychedelia and rave, but it’s also a futuristic color. It perfectly distills the whole musical direction of the record into one color.
Why was “Eez Eh” chosen as the single? What’s so powerful about the song?
AT: With a lot of British bands, you can see that their lyrics and the ways they dress, sing and talk have all been analyzed and marketed. But really, they’re saying nothing and pretending they’re revolutionizing the world. Then you take “Eez Eh”: the forthrightness of that song makes it so genuine. Serge is making social commentary on how messed up the world is, but he’s saying it in the most obvious, sing-a-long rhyming way. I find that really inspiring.
Why is “Eez Eh” placed on track 11 of the album?
SP: We wanted to listeners to address the album from start to finish. It’s a natural sequence for the track to be placed there. Most artists would put their single at number one, but within this context it will only work at track 11.
There’s a strong element of fun in the music video of “Eez Eh.” What’s the concept behind that?
AT: Instead of being preoccupied with decisions on what might be perceived as cool, we purposely went against these conceptions. The fact that everyone’s not trying to be too moody or grungy makes them more rebellious than ever, and more real than what others are trying to imitate. That’s what punk is about, isn’t it? To not give a fuck and have fun.
SP: It’s quite interesting to release something that you have no idea how people are going to receive. Whether they’re going to get it or not. We’ve taken a risk. Everything about the album is so direct. The lyrics and rhyming in “Eez Eh” is the same. We could have chosen a million words and people would have considered us clever, but the point of the whole record is to not overthink things and be clever for no reason. We wanted to choose words that were simple and powerful.
Check out the Atior Throup-directed music video of “Eez Eh” below: