Music is a powerful medium with the capability of inspiring, provoking, challenging and changing the way that the people who engage with it.
Art is a powerful medium with the capability of inspiring, provoking, challenging and changing the way that the people who engage with it.
Combine the two and the result is more than just the sum of the two parts. The package is whole, a full blown assault on the aural and visual senses.
Some bands are lucky enough to have an artist within their circle who become unofficial, or even official members of the band, such is the importance of their particular contribution to the band's work. The Pistols had Jamie Reid, Buzzcocks had Malcolm Garrett and Linder, Dead Kennedy's had Winston Smith and Crass had Dave King and Gee Vaucher.
Whether these artists turned their hands to the design of logos, record sleeves or stage sets, in each case there work became inextricably linked to 'their' band.
Crass were a very visual band from the all black military stage wear to the printed banners that adorned every venue at which they played, all visual statements of the band's philosophy. The Crass serpent logo is arguably the most iconic band logos of all time, although I grant you that the Rolling Stones tongue is up there as well. Designed by Dave King, the intricate monochrome design is jam packed with meaning. The body of a serpent, or to be more specific, Ouroboros, a two headed creature of Egyptian origin that consumes itself. The fertility based symbolism of the ancient image was redefined to represent the symbols of power around which the serpent was coiled as well as a part of. The Christian cross, the swastika and the elements of the Union Jack, all symbols of immense power. Ultimately, the image of the serpent consuming itself is a representation of these powers destroying themselves.... a scenario that was high up on the Christmas list that was sent out annually from Dial House, Essex.