Screen Printing - June/July 2016 - (Page 40)
S H O P TA L K
SCREEN, FLASH, AND ROCK 'N' ROLL
Andy MacDougall, ASDPT
have a question for you, screen printers: Why is it every
time you flip a squeegee over, you find a musician under it?
This may be my imagination, so possibly SGIA needs
to include it in the next industry survey to identify the trend
and get some solid numbers. I would bet if you put our
people up against any other identifiable industrial sector
workforce - I'm talking doctors, electricians, plumbers, or
politicians - you will find more guitar, drum, bass, keyboard,
horn players, and even singers, plus an equivalent number
of music hounds.
It's a little unfair to take the sample from the gig
poster artists and printers that I hang with at Flatstock
events. These guys and gals are huge music fans as well
as an essential part of the marketing and merchandising for
most touring bands today. But walk down the aisle at a
Flatstock show and you can start ticking off the musicians.
From Chicago, Dan MacAdam of Crosshair plays guitar in
Arriver, but he also played in Magnolia Electric Company.
He says, "My being a rocker led me to my life as a printer
and visual artist, and the two remain inextricably linked."
In the Northeast, Jeff LaChance is a drummer in a
bunch of bands, or has a bunch of drums (both, I think).
Daniel Niejadlik, better known as Daniel Danger and one
of the hottest artists designing and making prints, plays
guitar in hardcore band The Saddest Landscape, which
takes up most of his time these days.
Up in Detroit and all over America on a recent tour
with his band Child Bite is Shawn Knight. The UK contingent of musician-printers features the likes of Luke Drozd
of the duo Reet Maff'l, and Tommy Davidson, a popular
drummer in Pulled Apart by Horses. His company is named
Prints of Thieves.
I could go on for pages, but one thing you can be sure
of is that the bands with a graphic designer or screen printer
are going to have great posters and T-shirts whenever they
play a gig. A good poster for a music event is often the
difference between playing to a full house or entertaining
the bar staff and four drunks calling for "Freebird." Ryan
Moor of the online supply giant Ryonet in Washington freely
shares the fact that it was the need to make good shirts for
his band that got him into screen printing.
I got a consulting gig to help a large-format fabric and
banner printer in Vancouver a few years ago, which involved
a couple of days of interviews with staff. The production
manager had some band posters in his office, but I didn't
think much of it. Later, I find out he's Ron Reyes, singer
with seminal punk/hardcore band Black Flag, who provided the soundtrack to California skater culture in the
late '70s and '80s and influenced the whole grunge sound
out of Seattle and hundreds of American punk bands.
There's an infamous video of Wayne Coyne, front
man for the Flaming Lips, screen printing a poster with his
own blood. If you see it, you might laugh at his technique,
but one has to admire his demonstration of screen printing's versatility when it comes to different inks. Try that
with a digital printer, and forgive me readers, but I can't
resist: I think the edge of his print is bleeding a bit.
As a certified hoser from Canada, I was both shocked
and honored to be inducted into the Academy of Screen
and Digital Printing Technology. At my first luncheon with
the group, I was like some 10-year-old kid in a room full
of adults, meeting legends, heads of name-brand companies, inventors, and writers who I had read religiously for
years while learning how to print out in the hinterlands.
The guy seated next to me was Professor Sam Ingram,
department chair of the fabled Graphic Communication
program at Clemson University. Imagine my surprise when
instead of talking Rz, EOM, or durometer/nanometers,
he started telling me about his young grandson grabbing
his prized Martin acoustic down in the basement,
dragging it upstairs to show Grandpa, and scaring the
hell out of him.
Turns out a few of the other Academy guys are
players as well. James Ortolani gigs regularly in a band.
Judging by his Facebook feed, his kids are quite the
musicians, too - and I'll bet they know which end of the
squeegee is up. Same with Dan Gilsdorf from Sefar - he's
got a basement studio, some sweet guitars, and a couple
of kids that play.
When I was younger, I thought maybe it was the
exotic solvents and the high from the inks that attracted
musicians to the trade. Many came via necessity: Their
band needed posters or shirts. Whatever the reason, music
and screen printing are entwined. Plug in that squeegee
and crank it to 11.
Andy MacDougall is a screen-printing trainer and consultant based on
Vancouver Island in Canada and a member of the Academy of Screen &
Digital Printing Technology. If you have production problems you'd like
to see him address in "Shop Talk," e-mail your comments and questions
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - June/July 2016
Screen Printing - June/July 2016
Industrial Printer Expands with Inkjet
Production: Tortoise or Hare?
What’s Next for Single-Pass Inkjets?
DTG: Life in the Fast Lane
Print, Flash, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Screen Printing - June/July 2016