There were no specific directions, the band gave me total freedom to provide my interpretation of the title. I interpreted ‘End of a chapter’ as plain death. And I wanted to tell a poetic story based on this very simple, universal fact that death is. And I think the Styx/Charon myth is poetic. I was impressed by how heavy and professional they were, and how I was enjoying how it sounded. It didn’t change my life though because, after 25 years of eating my daily dose of extreme metal, I became extremely demanding, but hey, it was still way beyond an average band. The visual language as far as I’m concerned MUST tell a story, to be relevant. The music itself rarely, in my creative process, influences directly the artwork. The lyrics do. What story does the lyric tell? I will try to answer this question with my visuals. The richest the messages, the strongest the visual.
Here, I wanted to tell the story of the life to death passage through the Styx. I always found this myth quite beautiful and fitted quite well with the ‘End of Chapter’ title. Depending on the client and commission, my spiritual experience can vary from zero to very deep spiritual introspection. And it can indeed be incarnated by very personal rituals.
As for the references, well, since I always try to explore as many different visual paths as possible, my references are extremely diversified. It can go from a banknote design to exploiting (actual) extraterrestrial materials to explain the size of the observable universe. 5It sounds cryptic but will soon make total sense).
This can be very difficult to handle when the band is void of any authentic spiritual substance, bearing poor messages (if message even there is). The clearer the story/substance is the easiest the narrative will be, and the more options I will have to offer to the artists. It’s difficult to tell a visual story we, the actual story doesn’t even exist. Metal bands should, in general, develop much more their concepts, because nowadays it’s just over-neglected. To a point that the rest of the world see us as idiots, because… well… idiotic lyrics, idiotic titles, the idiotic universe for the wide majority of the scene.
The mediums I use are always related to the image I have in mind, and usually, I know from the very beginning if I will use illustration or photography. In this specific case, I had no doubt that photography was the best way to go. I wanted something highly delicate and fragile, I wanted to see veins underneath a diaphane skin. So I just called my sister to ask if my niece would be ok to pose and that was it. The band was basically happy from the very beginning of the creative process. The label didn’t have its word to tell because they were not even responding the band’s email (I’m talking of the first label who was supposed to release it, not Les Acteurs de l’Ombre). We just had a few chit-chats about the band’s photos (use it or not ? ) lyrics (use it or not?), only very usual and logical questions.
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