Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jeff Jank

Every picture has a story, and in this case, every album cover. I had a chance to sit down (ok, virtually sit down) with the art director of Stones Throw. The LA, via San Francisco, vanguard Hip Hop label. Home of artists the likes of Madlib (and his 5 personas), J Dilla, Mayer Hawthorne and a host of others.

We get together from time to time and talk album art, art, film, Herzog, GG Allin. This was one such conversation:

How long have you held design/direction duties at Stones Throw?
I joined Stones Throw as the first employee (just weeks before Egon, the second employee) in summer 2000. I had no duties to begin with, so I invented the job.

With ST moving it's music selling business online, how do you see the role of design/lp art changing, or continuing at all?
In the 70s I think that cover designers had to think about how the records looked when they were in record bins, and in the 90s they had to think about how the CD covers looked on the racks. Today I have to think about how it looks as a 100x100-pixel image on the web, plus those other things too since we still sell CDs and vinyl.

Proudest release you've designed to date?
My proudest release is J Dilla's Donuts, which is one of my worst covers. My proudest cover is Madvillain's Madvillainy because it's a classic album and has one of those classic headshots that every record label should have. Except the head has a mask on in this case.

You originally published a magazine called 'Jank'. Will there be any more issues planned for the future? Any on EBAY?
"Jank" was a one-page magazine/newsletter/flyer/newspaper before it was my name. It's only my name because I'm hiding my real name from the cops. The next issue of "Jank" has been only hold for 8 years while I try to secure my first-ever advertisement. I am charging $50,000 for a full page ad if
anyone is interested. "Jank" is only two pages.

Can you clear up the urban legend about your past residency in a laundromat?
This urban legend is fact. I lived in a laundromat in Oakland CA for one very interesting year with 4 hooligans. We had clean clothes all year, but everything else was a mess. On our last night at the laundromat we had a wild party. I fell through a plate glass window and suffered not even a scratch. I avoid laundromats now because I figure my luck has surely run out.

No comments: