Some of you guys know that I’m obsessed with the band New Model Army. Well, if I wasn’t giddy enough by recording the intro on their last live album (which was named after that intro and it also had my wife’s photos in the booklet), now I got to do the layout and design for their box set celebrating their 30th Anniversary.
We had talked to them about the idea of a book when they toured here last year and my wife and I just ran with the idea. We came up with a list of the things that we’d like to see in a book of this nature and gave the list to Justin (the main guy). He was blown away. I showed him some examples of the stuff I did with Unrestrained! (a metal magazine I did the layout for) and he liked what he saw (even though it was completely different from anything I’d do for them). Then we came home and put together about 10 pages of ideas on the layout and sent it off it off to him. It was exactly what he was looking for. And the really cool thing is….. they had about 4 or 5 other people that proposed a similar idea but nobody went that extra step like we did. I had it in my mind that this is THEE job I want to do and I’m going to make sure it happens. But I think the main reason this even happened in the first place was because my wife had made a photo book documenting part of their 2007 tour of the US and gave a copy to each member of the band and crew. The book was dedicated to Tommy T, the manager of the band who had passed away in 2008. Her photos captured not only the band, but their personalities came though in the photos. It was an amazing book and gave them the confidence in us to put together something really special for them.
So what’s inside?
Three DVD 9s with a total of nearly nine hours of footage. This will include full concerts from The Marquee (1985) and WDR concerts from Philipshalle (1990), Bizarre Festival (1996), and Koln Palladium (2006). It will also include all our promotional videos and a number of art videos, some of which have never been seen before. Finally it includes as much bootleg material as we have been able to squeeze on to the DVDs from all different eras of the band’s history.
A double CD Anthology with 30 tracks. Of course there is no agreement as to what ‘should’ be on this and we love the fact that each person reading this would pick an entirely different thirty songs. So instead we’ve asked band members past and present to choose and introduce their own personal favourites and, together, this has made an interesting collection. There are no previously unreleased songs but there are a handful of new mixes and additions.
An eighty page hardback book of photographs tracing our thirty years. Over 700 rare and never-seen-before photos from the bands personal archives, tickets, setlists, reviews, posters, interviews and more…
• Rare album pressings and memorabilia
• Handwritten lyrics
• Full discography with commentary
• Behind the scenes
• A tribute to absent friends
• 12 page question and answer session with past and present band members
• Exclusive live photos
• A complete list of gigs we have played
Art Prints of some of Joolz’s best work for the band. To introduce a small element of chaos, each box will include ten picked at random from a series of twenty-five.
An A3 New Model Army collage jigsaw puzzle (for you or your children).
Stencils so you can spray the New Model Army logo wherever you choose.
It’s taken longer than expected to be completed but they’re finally showing up in peoples hands across the globe and everyone who has seen it has been blown away. Originally, we were only going to work on the book. But everything had gone so well, they decided to have us do the artwork for the entire set. I did all the layout and coordination of gathering the photos and content from all over the world (by dozens of people)…. which was quite a task in itself. Christy did all the editing to the text and made sure all the layouts were good. I’d do a few pages during the day and show it to her that night and she’d find things that could be improved. And after looking at it, she was usually right. Having the second pair of eyes looking at it made all the difference in the world. I just hope people realize how much of a role she played in all of this.
I can’t even begin to count the hours we put into this. Hundreds, thousands maybe? Who knows? All I know is that it took about a year to put everything together but it was all worth it. Now, I’ve never been one to have “heroes” or any of that stuff but I have such a level of respect for these guys, not only as musicians, but as people too, that this is a HUGE honor for me. I gotta admit, It’s really cool to meet people you’ve respected for years and then become friends with them. And then to have a chance to give something back in return for all the music and memories that they’ve given me, well, that’s pretty damn cool in my book.