Asita Recordings

We like Pam Grier, Red Stripe, the sound and the smell of records, mixtapes,the SF Giants, analog synths, McCovey Cove, Lanikai at night, and San Francisco's indian summer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interview with designer Brent Rollins

(pic via

Everyone in the music industry, both in the underground and mainstream is losing their shit trying to find the next IT thing. Whether that be in the way they market acts, the whole free mp3 thing, band camp, twitter, or the limited edition idea, which becomes meaningless at a certain point, it all seems to be pointing to the same conclusion. The music "industry" of old is dead. People are bombarded and don't buy CD's anymore. El-P, Sole, and Subtitle among others in different ways, have hinted at the necessity to break the chains of convention and look for fresh ideas and new models for gaining fans and prosperity.

As I've stated in the past, I think that one of these new methods is next level packaging. The idea is create a tangible object worth having and the consumers will follow. We've already seen it with Stones Throw and Rhymesayers. I predict this will definitely be emulated in the future and will set those who can afford such luxurious packages apart from the rest.

But I digress! This post is really about the great Ego Trip/Quannum/etc. cover design artist Brent Rollins. He's most recently responsible for the Jake One/Freeway cover and seems like a very down to earth artist. He has some interesting thoughts related to my little diatribe above. Can anyone confirm or deny whether or not "Understanding Mass Media" by Jeff Schrank was an influence on the design of the Ego Trip books?

When I work with large labels it’s like pulling teeth just getting them to use something like a metallic ink on an album cover. Sometimes they talk about something like 5 cents out of a dollar extra to do something. I know that adds up when you’re printing a lot of them, but we’re talking about giving something back to people. You know, before, back in the day in the 70s, early 80s, there were no music videos. Music videos took away the money that was allocated towards record packaging, they became the primary way of letting people now about an artist. Now at a certain point, they started spending all this money on music videos and not every music video could be seen. No one was really thinking, they got into this robot, auto-pilot mode, where it’s like, now we’re doing music videos and that’s where all te money goes. No one was really thinking about how we get people’s attention when people don’t even watch music videos anymore. Record labels, any kind of big company, they get slow and they get out of touch with people. That’s what happens.

Read it all here:

TRU: Do you have any advice for people trying break into design, or just something you want to get off your chest?
Nah, man, just don’t bite. Study your lessons, study the masters and work on bringing your own personality into it. Create concepts and ideas, not just eye candy.


Anonymous james said...

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4:39 PM  

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