I first met Kevin Page through the forum related to the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise. It was 2010, the year before the maiden voyage. None of us knew what to expect from the event itself, but we were all bursting with anticipation. Many of us spent countless hours on that forum, and friendships and partnerships started to develop before we even set sail. The fun didn’t stop after that first cruise, and that’s when it all started to happen when it comes to what has turned into an almost-annual design collaboration between myself and Kevin, something that I decided to give its own name and logo — Spoofwafel Productions. (If you don’t ‘get it’ now, keep reading and it’ll all come together.) Over several years and projects Kevin’s been the idea guy, and I develop those ideas and create the graphics using, well, just about anything I can get my hands on. Normally I’m of the mind that true originality is always something to strive for and appreciate, but I’ve really enjoyed these projects as an artist and a metalhead. The opportunity to learn from other artists by mimicking their techniques and manipulating their original works has been both fun and valuable.
I honestly don’t quite remember how it started, but “Hagelslag of Bullets” was born in 2011, and we made it a reality for Kevin to be able to wear it as a T-Shirt to Maryland Deathfest in 2012. If you’re unfamiliar with the components of the joke, Hail of Bullets is a Dutch death metal band, and a good one, too. Hagelslag is a Dutch way of serving toast — with chocolate sprinkles!
*** Design now available for purchase as T-shirts (in men’s or women’s styles and long-sleeves), hoodies (zip or pullover, front or back print), tote bags, art prints, even throw pillows and more! Clicking links will take you to the Society6 page for ordering. Thanks! ***
So how did you create the photo anyways? I’m stumped as I don’t think you had bread and bullets lying around the pantry.
Asking me to divulge my secrets, huh? Nah, just kidding.
The first one I did by simply copy/pasting images off the ‘net, seeing as I was at work and didn’t have actual bread or bullets at my disposal. I imported them both into Photoshop, layered them with the bullet one on top, and to put it easily I “cut” around the bullets in the bread shape so the right part of the bread would show thru using several different tools. I was going to leave it at that, then thought it would be SO much better to have the actual “Hail of Bullets” logo say “Hagelslag” so I took that off their website and then sort of re-built the letters using cut pieces of the original and some other tools.
Since I was stealing photos off the ‘net the resolution was really low and the size was small, so when it came to the shirt I wanted to start from scratch so I’d have a bigger and better image. I actually went and bought a loaf of white bread and took an actual photo to work with. (I also made the mistake of eating a piece — YUCK! Good thing it was on sale and only cost me $1.) I was then stumped on how to get a good bullet image, as I learned that Canada’s stringent gun laws require a full firearms license to buy ammo, nevermind it probably costs an arm and a leg. I wrote my ex-brother-in-law in Alberta who owns guns and asked him to take the photo of the shells for me, which he did. I couldn’t get across to him to email the file instead of posting it on an online sharing site to preserve resolution/size, though, so the image was still a little small, but I made it work.
Of course the namesake band, Hail of Bullets, was playing MDF that year and the inspired graphic was shared with them. Fun stuff! Here’s Kevin in the shirt with drummer Ed Warby.
We gave Hail of Bullets a bit of a break in 2012 when Kevin’s obsession with the salty savory Australian spread, Vegemite, took the spotlight for a while and we made Kevin another T-shirt that was part of his “Viceroy of Vegemite” ensemble that he wore proudly on the second voyage of 70,000 Tons of Metal. The original work was a vintage Vegemite ad. A mutual friend, Marlo, had a hand in this project. Kevin is fond of his “minions” who help him realize his visions. While the T-shirt was a little more straightforward, this alternate take is my favorite.
In time for Maryland Deathfest 2014 Hail of Bullets was once again the subject of a spoof. This one honored both their new album, The Rommel Chronicles, and their Dutch heritage. Another one of Kevin’s favorite foreign snacks was featured — the stroopwafel. For those who may be missing out on this treat, stroopwafels are thin sweet waffles with a caramel filling. Rommel turned to “caramel” for this spoof of the album cover, and just about every element altered within the original design just slightly.
The latest in the series is a piece Kevin conceived when it was announced by Hail of Bullets that the bad was parting ways with band member Martin van Drunen and bringing on board vocalist Ben Ingram. Ingram happens to be a huge Dr. Who fan and is to make his debut with the band at Maryland Deathfest 2016. Another image was born…
Thanks to Kevin and Hail of Bullets, and to everyone who’s cracked a smile at the work we’ve done so far.