December 2002 - MALLEUS

First off, MALLEUS isn't a band or something like this. It's an excellent Italian artistic collective, that's been responsible for a lot of cover-artworks, concert-poster and flyer, website-designs and so on in the last years. MALLEUS are doing a lot to support heavy-psych-doom-rock bands, and their own psychedelic style (influenced by the 60's) has become their trademark. Urlo and Poia, the two man behind MALLEUS are also part of the UFOMMAMUT line-up, and I've interviewed them a few years ago, where we talked about the band. Now it was time to talk about MALLEUS and I promise you an entertaining and sometimes funny interview. Check it out!!!


Please, introduce yourself for the readers who aren't familiar with the name MALLEUS. Who's working behind it and how would you describe your own work?

Malleus is an artistic collective living in the underground of the World. Formed at the end of year 1999 by Urlo and Poia (both guys are in the band UFOMAMMUT too - it has increased it's number with the entering of Lu in the video art section in 2002

We've got the end of November 2002, the year is nearly over, so how was this year for MALLEUS? What are doing now?

This year has been really cool for us. We've worked a lot and we've opened our art to new horizons such as video art, paintings, comics, hand silkscreening... to tell you some. We've been really hyperactive this year gone and lots of doors has opened for us and we've started some good collaboration. We hope, it will take us a little higher than the underground we love:-)

When did you decided to publish drawings and artwork under the name MALLEUS? What was the first work under this banner and has everyone of you published any drawings before you've started it?

The first work published under the Malleusdelic wheel has been the cover art of a compilation out for RED SUN Recs at the beginning of year 2000, but the first drawing we've done as Malleus was the cover art for the Bluee Cheer's tribute for Black Widow's recs. Everyone of us has never published anything before the beginning of Malleus, we've always painted and drawn tough.

Do you work at home, or is there something as a Headquarter or office?

Everywhere... we work everywhere... it depends on the work we've to do, but the main things are prepared in the architecture studio we work in. Yes, we're in architecture too, but we think it's really a bore...

You've published a lot of album cover, poster, flyers, computer-images and animations and that's not all you've done.Which kind of work do you prefer?

We love all the kinds of works we can do free from any chains. Lots of people ask us a "Malleusdelic drawing" and then we're happy. We're sad when people tell you exactly what to do and you don't agree a word of what they say... we love doing posters, it's a real emotion, it's like painting, and we're always free of doing what we love. And we think hand printing them is really incredible...

Who is responsible for which step during the drawing of a cover-artwork, f.e.? Do you decide everything together, as the choice of the colors etc.? How much time do you need for the whole process?

We're a ten years old friendship and so we work quite like we're one. Usually Poia is the one who works on the drawing after we've discussed about the ideas, then Urlo is the one who make it living. But it's not always like that. It depends on the art and occasions. Sometimes we challenge each other at a duel with our machine-guns. Then the blood starts to run red and every time someone had to clean our Headquarter with Fulgor!!, our fantastic cleaning super product. Soon we'll flood the market!!!. Lu is the one working at the videos and now she's entered the cd-rom world. We're preparing an interactive cd to present our works. So, we're always moving and, being a collective, we use to have all the "same weight" in the Malleusdelic creation process.We are really fat people.

During the last years you've done a lot of different album cover for bands as Smoke , That's All Folks! , Bongzilla , Paul Chain and many more! Is there a favorite cover?

We love the Bongzilla's one. It's evil. Then we like the Ufomammut's one, really simple and attractive, then the Baby Woodrose one.Well, to tell you the truth we love quite all our works, first we have to be satisfied, then the ones we're working for..

How do you work with the bands together, when you create an album-cover? Who's got the main-idea for it?

It depends. Lots of bands have a seminal idea we develope, other bands tell us to do what we like.

Do you own all rights on the cover-artworks?

Sure. We sell the permission of use an image, not the image. Selling the image we'd to grow our costs... :-)

You've also done some images for the homepages of Meteor City Records or How did you come together?

As always we've written them an email telling "Hi guys, we're here to help You!"... Internet has been fundamental for us. Without it we cannot be where we're now...

If you've got the possibility to chose five famous bands or musician, where you could make of an album-cover or a concert-poster, what's your choice?

The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Sleep, High on Fire, Ufomammut... Don't know, everyone is cool for working with. Maybe a super truck for Fu Manchu...?

Let's talk a bit about the technics you use. Do you prefer more the traditional way of drawing, and how much of the MALLEUS pictures have been worked-out on a PC? Please, give us an insight in your work in general.

It's all mixed together.All of our drawings are handmade, then we digitalize them and transform them with a PC. Apart from paintings, they're acrylic on canvas...What we want is to explore every landscape with every vehicle.

You've won an award for your amazing website. Do you have received any other kind of positive feedback with MALLEUS? Have you've been featured in any Italian magazines with articles or interviews?

We've been contacted by some important distributors but they always disappear... we've been broadcasted by a National tv with our short film called "Aeternit" and some Ufomammut's video has been on tv too. Sometimes someone writes two lines about us in music magazines and fanzines...Sometimes we appear on the central page of important porno magazines, sometimes important porno magazines appear on our desks...

Have you ever done an exibition for the posters, flyers and covers in Italy?

In Italy only one in our town, with music and light and projections. We're gonna work with Ufomammut for doing exibitions during their shows. Our posters have been in Philadelphia for "Artifacts of the Improbable", a poster show with lots of important names in the poster art world. We'd to go to paris but it's been canceled. Well, we'll try to organize something this year.

Are you still doing regular jobs or can you live from the money you earn with your work?

All the money we got from Malleus are an investiment for Malleus next works. So we try to survive doing architecture...

I've noticed that you've done the cover for the upcoming Sc-Fi tribute sampler on Black Widow Records. What are your next plans?

Too many plans to be exposed! We don't wanna be boring! Well, the first one is a new supercool site:-) Then we're planning to assault Fort Knox. But not for obtain the gold, only for the pleasure of assaulting.

Have you ever thought about making a film or a comic-book?

We've worked on a short movie, it's a sort of animation. We're working on a new one now, it'll be ready next year, it's a film based on a tale by Urlo. We're working at Demon box, it's a comic, hope it'll be ready next year too:-) I think, you've developed a unique MALLEUS style during the last days, mostly influenced from the 60's and 70's.

What are your favorite comic-drawers out of this period and does anyone of you collect comics and/or old psychedelic concert poster?

Well, we adore Rick Griffin and Victor Moscoso, together with Gregory Irons and quite all the artists of the Fillmore. We think today there are lots of good artists around, we like Steve Harradine for UK and we adore Arik Roper from NY. Then we've been really influenced by the art of Andrea Pazienza, Jack Kirby and the mighty Mike Mignola. We like comics, we got lots of things but we cannot say we collect them... Not so rich:-9

When I remember our first interview back in 2000, that was more focused on the band, MALLEUS was deepest underground but nowadays I see a lot of your artworks You're looking for world domination, aren't you ?...hahaha.... I think, you must feel good about the actual circumstances or what's your point of view? What has changed within the last two years?

We're really happy and proud about Malleus. Nothing has changed apart that we're a little less underground and a little more good in drawing:-)

Is there a musical direction, that you wouldn't support with MALLEUS?

Don't know. It depends on the music. We don't like music...We love insurance companies.

Would you accept any kind of commision, if you can earn a lot of money for it or what kind of commision you would never accept?

Don't know. What we've learnt is to think a little more before choosing works...

As I've noticed, that you have done the concert-poster for the Stone Wizards Festival in Paris, I wondered that UFOMAMMUT isn't part of the billing.What's the reason for it?

They haven't asked us to go. And so the Festival has been canceled ... :-)

May some of the readers are aware of the fact that you're playing in the UFOMAMMUT line-up,too. What happened since the release of "Godlike Snake" around the band? The last news I've noticed, was that you've signed with The Music Cartel for the next album. Is it true, and what can you tell us about it?

Yes, it's true and it's great. Eric at TMC is a fantastic guy and he believes a lot in our music. These years we've worked hard on the new tunes and we believe everybody will say: " Woow! This is Ufomammut"...or, maybe " Ohh noooo!!!!! This is Ufomammut"

How would you compare the newer songs with the songs on "Godlike Snake"? Have you still the oldtrademarks, as this lysergic heavy spaced-out atmosphere?

We think the new stuff is different from the GLS one. It's more intense, it's heaviness in a psychedelic trip.We love the new songs, we believe it'll be a great step in our evolution.

Have you planned an European tour for 2003 with UFOMAMMUT?

Not yet. We want to.

Aside of the band and MALLEUS, what are you doing when you're not playing or drawing? Is there enough time for girlfriends and other interests?

We're surrounded by girls, of course. They are flattened in the driver cab of our truck... we do all the things human beings do, cacca too:-)

What are your personal future plans for 2003?

No plans, carpe diem...

We've reached the end of our interview. Thanks a lot for your time and I wish you good luck for the next year. If there's anything you like to say at least, than do it..

Thank a lot Klaus! Good luck with Cosmic Lava and keep on Rockin'!!!