Photos by Hobo
Words by Arye Dworken
The 50-something man sitting next to me on the subway was dressed in khaki dress pants with a polo shirt tucked in. He was wiping sweat from his balding scalp with a brown paisley hand towel while talking to his wife about indie rock.
“The first two albums were really championed by Pitchfork,” he said to her, referring to Arcade Fire, the band we’d just seen at Madison Square Garden. “And I think that’s what made them so popular.”
“Japan as a country isn’t interested in the arts, per se,” explains Boris drummer Atsuo Mizuno, who designs most of the band’s albums under the more-metal-than-thou alias Fangs Anal Satan. “When you go down the path of art school, you’re already viewed as getting off the rails of mainstream society, as being unable to work or contribute to society.”
To complicate matters even further, Boris’ sales back home are one-tenth of what they are in the U.S. And the gap hasn’t stopped growing since the sudden crossover success of the band’s 2005 LP Pink, a nearly drone-free collection of shoegazer soundscapes and raucous, balls-to-the-wall ROCK.
Since Boris are known as much for their meticulous packaging as their music (according to Mizuno, “it’s often as much about the artwork as the music”), self-titled sat down with Mizuno during a New York press trip for Smile (out now on Southern Lord) to talk about the thought process behind some of his strongest record sleeve designs starting with …
Yep, another muddy, mildly depressing mix from Salem. Hide the cough syrup….
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