Vibe Machine Media have just launched their next podcast series dissecting the covers of great albums including the Beatles, Nirvana, Bowie, Beastie Boys, RATM, INXS, Green Day & more.
Undercovers includes interviews with the graphic artists responsible for the creation of some of the most memorable album art in history. The kind of cover that made you pick up a record, even knowing little about the band or music.
We caught up with podcast creator Josh Kiff and asked him his motivation behind bringing the Undercovers series to life;
“I’ve been an avid vinyl, CD and memorabilia collector for many years. I love the look and feel of physically holding music packaging, I’m also a liner notes nerd.
I looked at artwork like INXS’s Kick, Nirvana’s Nevermind and Green Day’s American Idiot and thought there must have been a lot of ideas, iterations, discussions and decisions to make to create these iconic designs than what’s been told.
I realised there wasn’t someone documenting these with audio direct from the artists & designers where they talked about all their artwork and where they themselves came from. I reached out to these artists and their enthusiasm to be part of a documented series made it grow from 1 to 5 and so on.
I would have loved to interview Storm Thorgerson from Hipgnosis (Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, etc) and realised he had passed away, which made me want to document these for a historical purpose as well.
Once I interviewed a few of these artists I realised the stories were often unheard - such as the inspiration for Korn’s “Follow The Leader” with the girl in the red dress and everything else in sepia is directly inspired by Schindler’s List, which was all in black and white with the girl’s red dress the only colour throughout. Even if you aren’t a Korn fan, that is interesting where the inspiration came from.
And who knew the designer of Abbey Road would love the Red Hot Chili Peppers version with the socks and wished he’d thought of that with The Beatles?
To be able to interview people like Cey Adams who literally invented hip hop and rap art, Robert Fisher who hired a photographer to photoshoot the babies in a pool because his resume said “specialising in submerged humans” and John Craig who used paintings hundreds of years old to create the amazing ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness’ masterpiece is I cherish.”
We rarely hear the names Robert Fisher, Aimee Macauley, Roger Gorman or Nick Egan - but we reckon it's about time you find out more about them.
What we love about this series is that it deepens the connection to the album. Listening to an album evokes a different experience for every listener, and to be able to hear the perspective of the creatives responsible for the visual aesthetic is an absolute pleasure.
When you're done listening to the Undercovers podcast, be sure to chuck on the album to give yourself the full immersive experience!