the eve of the release of MANOWAR's Warriors
Of The World, legendary Sword & Sorcery/Heroic artist Ken
Kelly, who has painted many of the band's album covers, was interview
by France's prestigious Hard-Rock Magazine. Not only does he discuss
his long, rewarding working relationship with MANOWAR, he also talks
about painting the cover for the latest crown in the MANOWAR crown:
Warriors Of The World.
Hard Rock: Recall how
you first met the members of MANOWAR.
Ken Kelly: While on an English tour, MANOWAR bassist Joey
DeMaio came across the noticed the "Guardsman of Gor" cover I painted
for a paperback book. He was so blown away by what he saw that he
immediately decided that he had to "work with that artist." He tracked
me down through an English publisher. The rest is history.
Hard Rock: Your artwork perfectly suits
Ken Kelly: Sword & Sorcery/Heroic
Fantasy has been my fort for more than thirty years. It blends well
with the MANOWAR philosophy.
Hard Rock: Describe your working relationship
with the members of MANOWAR? Have you had disagreements? Do they
offer advice or do they let you work alone?
Ken Kelly: Sometimes it is easy to
create album covers for MANOWAR; other times it is not. I call Joey
around midnight [the magic hour] and we hash out his concept for
the painting. I work on a large canvas of at least 30" x 40", so
it is frustrating when he has a creative brainstorm and asks me
to start over from scratch when I have nearly finished the painting.
This is the normal process we go through, however, to achieve the
final results. I trust that he knows exactly where we should be
going and, so far, he has been right on target.
Hard Rock: The artwork for the single
" Warriors of the World United " is
different from the recent MANOWAR album covers, which features the
big muscular warrior. Can you describe the artwork for the full-length
album, Warriors Of The World?
Ken Kelly: The cover art for the single
was intentionally made to look different from the album cover art.
The flags depicted on the cover of the single will appear on the
back of the full-length Warriors Of The World. The members of MANOWAR
did not want to give away the album cover art until its release
date and, from the numbers of e-mails I've received asking what
it will look like, it was a smart move. I will not describe how
it looks; you will have to ask Joey.
Hard Rock: What other metal bands
would you like to work with?
Ken Kelly: I already work with the greatest heavy metal band
in the world. Why would I want to look further?!?!
Hard Rock: Thank you.
Ken Kelly: Once again, thank you and
remember to visit my website [www.kenkellyart.com]
to view more of my Sword & Sorcery/Heroic Fantasy artwork.