Baroness will release their latest album, Purple, in a few days on December 18th. We've been fans for a while, not only of the music, but the group's artistic sensibilities. Up until this point, singer John Baizley, whose artwork we've featured on this site before, has done the majority of the album art for the band. 

But for Purple, the band also brought in artist Marald van Haasteren to paint the album interiors and video graphics. In addition to presenting you with a new track, "Fugue" from the yet-to-be-released album, we asked Baizley to introduce Haasteren to our audience and give us some insight into the cover art.

Baroness will release their latest album, Purple, in a few days on December 18th. We've been fans for a while, not only of the music, but the group's artistic sensibilities. Up until this point, singer John Baizley, whose artwork we've featured on this site before, has done the majority of the album art for the band. 

But for Purple, the band also brought in artist Marald van Haasteren to paint the album interiors and video graphics. In addition to presenting you with a new track, "Fugue" from the yet-to-be-released album, we asked Baizley to introduce Haasteren to our audience and give us some insight into the cover art.

"Today we’d like you to meet Marald van Haasteren, an incredibly talented visual artist, who we have the great fortune of calling a true friend. He created all the internal drawings for “Purple,” and all of the images accompanying our YouTube tracks. There are even some which won’t be revealed until next year, when we have some special occasions to release them..."  

"When it came time to begin working on the painting that would become the “Purple” album cover, I knew immediately that I had a lengthy task ahead of me. I hadn’t painted in close to a year, and I had decided to make an attempt to create an image that would work both as a whole and in quarters, split centrally along the vertical and horizontal axes. We wanted to release a series of single song 12”s, using the quadrants. Conceiving the idea was simple, executing the composition nearly drove me mad (more than I am already at any rate.) Additionally, the painting had to act as both as a personal narrative, touching on some very intimate subjects in the aftermath of an accident I had been involved in, and represent a recording that references a more universal and archetypal story about struggle, anguish, and the practical acceptance of a painful reality.

Unfortunately, there are occasionally huge lapses of time in between paintings, and at the beginning of each project, I have to relearn and refocus my attention on image making. I worked night and day researching and sketching, worked with a fantastic model who had to act as four interactive ladies all at once, and I spent a few hundred hours living two inches above a piece of paper. I’ve never put so much of myself into a painting, nor have I been as pleased with the result as I am with this (though I still seem only to see the flaws). Working in permanent, unforgiving media (watercolor and ink), you have to “live with” your mistakes; and I try to strike a balance between expressiveness, concept and composition. Music plays a huge role in my process, and with Baroness I found a home for my compulsion to create in both audio and domains." —John Baizley