Blood In The Ink Vol. 1: Godmachine
A Swellco & Swellco original interview
Welcome to the first installment of Blood in the Ink, a journey into the minds of some of the most prolific, original and fairly fucked up (in the best ways) artists currently producing creative products. When I first asked management for permission to do this column I recieved a collective “Shhhhuhhhuh gravy flllluddd bluurrrrrr” I haven’t a fucking clue as to what that means, but I also haven’t been as hopped on Shivets and PCP* as they were in a very long time, so I took it as they were giving me free reign to do whatever the fuck I wanted as long as the ensuing jail time would be under 5 years. So this column will focus squarely on visual arts ranging from Illustration to Photography, from Tattooing to Graffiti, and probably even wander off in to other random shit at times, because honestly, here at Swellco, we only make rules in order to fucking break them.
The first interview is with an Illustrator that I’ve been following (home) for quite a while, his name is Godmachine and primarily he works with bands and select clothing companies to bring you, the consumer hordes, some of the most visceral and intrigue filled art that’s ever been pushed through a screen and on to cotton. When I initially asked him to do this interview he jumped at the idea, not only that, but he also decided to up the ante and offered to do an original piece of art just for the article. I told him it wasn’t necessary and he put a fucking gun to my head and said “Look mate, I don’t think you understand what’s going on here. I’m doing an original piece for this column, and since you’ve given me guff for it, now I’m going to do one for every volume you put out, and you’ll fucking deal with it or I’ll blow a fucking hole in your goddamn knee caps.”* So I said yeah, okay, sounds like a plan and he put the gun away and came up with this bit of craziness:*The only part of this quote that’s actually true is that he’s called me ‘Mate’ on several occasions. But that’s fine, because he’s from the UK and it makes me feel a little fluffy inside.
Now on to the interview:
SOG: Please state your name for the record
SOG: Tell us about yourself
GM: I love drawing, reading, painting, walking, animals, coffee, cake and hate douchelords.
SOG: You have an obsession… some- not me; I’m not here to judge you -may say it’s even an addiction, to coffee. How did that come about?
GM: After I gave up drinking and drugs I guess I filled the gap with other vices; working, coffee and cake. I like coffee a lot- I drink about 3 cups a day when I am at home working and a little more when I am out. I love tea too: green tea and Assam with no milk or sugar.
SOG: Being from the UK, how do you feel about Doctor Who? More importantly, are there really as many aliens in Cardiff as they imply on Torchwood?
GM: I haven’t got a clue about Dr. Who or Torchwood, (‘Torchwood’ is an anagram of ‘Doctor Who’) It has never interested me. I guess I was put off it long ago when I was younger and Dr Who was this dull typically British grey nerd thing- the most exciting thing would be where the Dr would have Earl Grey instead of his Assam. I have seen camera crews around town once in a while and people have mentioned that its TouchWood, but like I say, I have no interest in it what so ever. I hear its very exciting now and more explosions and science and all that, but I’m too late to the game.
SOG: The content of your art sometimes varies quite drastically, however you tend to normally deal with women, gore and religious/mythological subjects, usually all in the same piece. This leads me to believe that you’re either a sex obsessed serial killer, or that you have a fondness for horror movies and comic books. Is there any truth to any of this?
GM: I just draw what the client asks for 80% of the time. I love symbolism and the darker sides of art- always have done, always will do. I haven’t watched a horror film in a long time, doesn’t interest me; I love drawing gore sometimes, I love the texture and how to make it goopy etc, its a drawing challenge and I make an effort to draw it my own way. I hope it shows.
SOG: You mentioned drugs, how do you feel about them?
GM: I think drugs are important. I think people shouldn’t be as afraid of drugs as they seem to be. Drugs can show you that reality is subjective. But once you’ve taken the call, hang up the phone. I have a friend who says drugs are bad and ruin lives. Drugs do ruin lives this is true, but then so does rape, but you won’t call sex bad. I know someone who has had their life ruined by a drunk driver, and I would never call cars or booze bad. You’d have to be fucking moronic to start thinking that these things can be evil or good; its just a brick… it was the man that bashed your brains in with it. I have seen people do well on drugs and people do badly on them, because the effect is immediate and noticeable we think its worse. Food can fuck you up, greed can screw you over, cars can ruin lives, banks can decimate families, elected leaders kill innocent children, and house bricks can be used to kill people… Jesus, people can be stupid. Lets just put it this way, drugs are good, drug abuse is bad, sex is good, sexual abuse is bad… and a load more; food is good, don’t eat bad food and don’t eat too much… and it goes on… don’t abuse things, That’s the trick. I don’t do drugs anymore, but I don’t think anyone should be told they can or can’t take drugs. I think drugs are important and history will tell you the same. Drugs can also do bad things… so maybe its not the drugs… maybe its the humans using them that are the problem… like with the internet, it can be an amazing tool, and can also be used for some of the most hideous crimes… you cant blame the zeros and ones.
SOG: Also, being that there are very strong undercurrents of religion in your works, what, if any, is your stance on religion?
GM: I think its trendy to draw on religious theme now- it has been for awhile, it’s the tattoo world seeping into everything. I like symbolism in all of its forms, a simple icon that denotes so much more, I like that. As for my stance on religion, I would have to say I am against it, I don’t just not believe in any god, I am against religion. I am what they call, and is becoming increasingly more popular; an anti-theist. Anyone who puts their love of god before humanity performs a terrible crime against morality.
SOG: Tell me about how Dead Sea Mob came to be.
GM: I did a live drawing night in my hometown consisting of Drew Millward, Mr. Gauky and myself sponsored by Disturbia and it went down a charm, such a great night. It was bouncing around on twitter for a while about how much we’d like to do more and various ideas on how to do it between a few people when the Captain asked if we were serious and arranged it. The name was born under a mutiny and gears set in motion. Today we have some of the best artists in the country; Mumford, Ollie Munden, Hovey, Noodles, Harry Draws, Drew Millward, and a few more. The task at hand though is to roam the country staging various gigs and picking artists up in the collective as we go along; there are better and more prolific artists all over the place and we hope to get them all drawing with us, involved and part of the Mob in some capacity or other. The idea is to hang out and draw live and make illustration much more than a studio/bedroom/office lifestyle…and get drunk and cause trouble and meet some our fav artists in the UK and soon outside the UK. Last month we were on the HMS Belfast drawing in front of Adam Ant and Bill Odie with Pete Fowler…That’s what it’s for. We have plans to come to the states next year and hopefully Europe- there are some great artists I want to meet.
SOG: The music industry is currently in a very intense state of confusion, being that you tend to primarily work with bands, do you think the future for the relationship between music and art looks bright or bleak?
GM: Bright. Merch’ is massive, some say it replaced the awesomeness of the gatefold. Maybe this is true, but music and art are hand in hand lovers forever. Music is tribal; the t-shirt has always been a way to show your solidarity with different tribes. When I was younger anyone in a Black Flag tee (they were rare) was instantly worthy of buying a pint. As for the future, bands and brands will be one and the same.
SOG: You seem to be constantly churning out ever evolving work, anything you’re either working on currently or have planned for the future that you’re really psyched about?
GM: I have to try and keep ahead of myself. There are a lot of people who want to sit in your seat and you have to keep moving, through this you get better and those in your seat get lazy. I have a few things planned out for the future that I can’t even think about yet. I just want to get better at drawing now.
SOG: And finally, your beard is epic. No question here, just a statement.
I plan on this becoming an ongoing column on Swellco, and as long as Management doesn’t sober up I’ll probably keep getting away with it. Hopefully the next one should be up in November . Until then go check out everything Godmachine has to offer and buy some stuff from him, the cute woodland creatures living in his beard and telling him to kill need to get fed too, you selfish pricks
Photos courtesy of http://godmachinedesigns.blogspot.com