Education (Schools attended):
School of hard knocks and various other institutions. Ian and Basilio were both kicked out of art school (Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute and Rhode Island School of Design, resptively). Chuck has worked in graphic design or commercial art his entire life, starting in high school, except for two years when we worked at the Sizzler on Commercial Boulevard.
When did you start making posters?
Although we’ve all been doing posters individually for years before we connected like Voltron, Iron Forge Press opened in late 2005 and our first project was a Detroit Cobras poster and our first T-shirt order was for Blowfly, the originator of dirty rap. Since that time we have printed all sorts of wonderful things. Chuck has been making gigposters, starting with DIY punk rock flyers, on his own since 1989, at which time Basilio and Ian were still wearing Transformers pajamas and taking showers with their sisters.
Why do you choose to design and/or print posters?
Music inspires us more than anything else, so applying our skills to creating poster art was the next logical step. Chuck has been in bands since the 90’s and still plays drums in various bands. Ian owns a couple record labels and is in a band as well, while Basilio is one of the founding members of death metal band RM, and has been programming beats for years. Designing and printing posters allows us to be creative in a way where we can interact directly with other designers, musicians, management, labels, promoters, and collectors all while doing what we love to do. It integrates us into music on a variety of levels and grants us the opportunity to create cool visual projects for some of our favorite artists.
Influences (cultural, geographical, people, movies, books, etc.):
Some of our influences include Jim Phillips, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Andy Warhol, Kool keith, Jack Kirby, HipGnosis (the british design company), Simon Bisley, Burzum, Shep Fairey, Dose Green, Robert Crumb, Banksy, The Rza, Comic Books, Video Games, Pollo Tropical, Pilon, Art Chantry, Bullfinch’s Mythology, Dog The Bounty Hunter, Milton Glaser, Discharge, Chas Adams, David Carson, Pablo Picasso, Big Baby Jesus, Ron English, The Ramones, Pantera, Heavy Metal Magazine, Kung Fu movies, Ed Roth, terra marie, LOL cats, cool old printing, House Industries, Hikaru Iwanaga, Pushead, Stefan Safmeister, Das EFX, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, and Bruce Willis, among others.
Preferred medium / method (how do you make your posters?):
We employ a variety of different methods, depending on the specific project…our favorite method is Screen-printing. But we also create artwork that will be reproduced via digital press, giclee, offset press, pad printer or any variety of ways. Typically, we discuss the general feel and concept that we think might work, and one of takes the lead for that specific project. The other two of us offer opinions and ideas and help further develop the project via illustration or design work where necessary…and then we print it! For screen-printed posters, each one is hand pulled by a human being. Not unlike the legendary Voltron, we think working together like this gives us the best of both worlds; the ability for each of us, as individuals, to focus on a specific element of the project, but also the freedom to get objective opinions that we respect and trust.
Can you describe any noteworthy relationships or encounters with bands / musicians you’ve created posters for?
One time the girl from Nashville Pussy said “nice poster” plus, my mom likes all the stuff we do so that's pretty cool. And in addition to those sunny reviews, we’ve also gotten the “great poster” and “thumbs up” from Mars Volta, The Foo Fighters, and Wu-Tang Clan, among others.
Is there a poster you are particularly proud of? What is it and why?
We all concur that the posters for Mars Volta, The Police, and Dream Theatre are among our strongeset work, and showcase our skills at their best, if just simply for the fact that they LOOK BADASS, and properly communicate the bands personalities… we also all feel that our best work is still to come . If anything, doing a cool poster means the bar is raised and we want to do something even COOLER the next time around.
What are your thoughts on the poster community?
The world of creating Posters is an intimate community that we are totally stoked to be a part of. From our first few projects we had been welcomed with positive comments from the community and have been afforded kindness and respect from both artists and collectors. Likewise, the work we see coming out of other shops and from other designers is always inspirational and pushes us to keep trying and learning.