INTERVIEWS: Interview with me for \"Metal Obsession\" \'zine, 3.2006

This is the interview I gave to Holger and Bine of the \\\"Metal Obsession\\\" \\\'zine. It will be translated to German and published probably this June.

Metal Obsession: Many HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR, KEEP IT TRUE or SWORDBROTHERS festival fans certainly have already seen you - after all such a nice, mostly clad in leather metal maiden, who stands with a camera in front of the stage, catches everyone\\\\\\\'s eyes almost immediately. What most of them probably don\\\\\\\'t know is that you ennobled a lot of cool underground metal pearls like EMERALD \\\\\\\"Forces Of Doom\\\\\\\", MANILLA ROAD \\\\\\\"Gates Of Fire\\\\\\\", WITCHBURNER \\\\\\\"Final Detonation\\\\\\\", ATTACKER \\\\\\\"The Unknown\\\\\\\", METAL INQUISITOR \\\\\\\"Doomsday For The Heretic\\\\\\\", FORSAKEN \\\\\\\"Dominaeon\\\\\\\", but also \\\\\\\"Tempo Of The Damned\\\\\\\" of EXODUS with your great fantasy artworks. Please tell us first, where you were born and grew up, live now and how old you are.

Jowita: I was born in Warsaw and lived there \\\\\\\'til recently... now I spend most of my time in Berlin. How old? Hehe, OK, I don\\\\\\\'t try to hide my age... I\\\\\\\'ve just turned 30. But inside I\\\\\\\'m still in my early 20s. :)

MO: When did your interest in the painting and your enthusiasm for heavy metal begin?

J: As for painting, my answer will be the same as probably all other artists around: since my very early childhood, practically I was drawing ever since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand. The fascination with Heavy Metal came much later of course, when I was 12.

MO: How did the local metal scene look at that time, how at present?

J: I must say I was not into Polish metal scene too much during late \\\\\\\'80s and \\\\\\\'90s. I listened to a few bands like Kat, Destroyers, Exorcist, Hellias, Dragon, Wilczy Pajak, Open Fire, Quo Vadis, but not many more. In the \\\\\\\'90s Polish underground scene was dominated by death and death/thrash bands and later black metal became more popular. Fortunately in the last years I observe traditional heavy metal and thrash metal revival and there are certainly a few bands that are worth mentioning, bands like: Hellfire, Black Horsemen, Sonheillon (R.I.P), Gutter Sirens, Motorbreath, Miecz Wikinga, Monstrum, Chainsaw, Horrorscope, Dragon\\\\\\\'s Eye... And of course the older bands like Ceti or Turbo.

MO: Which bands got you into metal?

J: I can mention five bands: Slayer, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Helloween and Anthrax, because those were the first bands I had on a tape. I asked the older brother of my friend to record some good metal for me and that\\\\\\\'s what he chose. Before that some hard rock and heavy metal bands I saw video clips of on TV caught my attention - W.A.S.P., Europe, Bon Jovi... But the first cassette I bought was \\\\\\\"Show No Mercy\\\\\\\", followed soon by \\\\\\\"Kill\\\\\\\'Em All\\\\\\\", \\\\\\\"Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1\\\\\\\", \\\\\\\"Terrible Certainty\\\\\\\", \\\\\\\"So Far, So Good... So What\\\\\\\"... I can say that it had the biggest influence on my musical taste, because even though I listened to some death and black metal in the \\\\\\\'90s, I\\\\\\\'ve stayed faithful to thrash metal throughout all those years.

MO: Did any of the cover artworks you saw on your fave albums make you want to become a cover artist yourself?

J: I don\\\\\\\'t think there was one or a few particular cover arts that made me want to become a cover artist... The more I was getting into metal, the stronger the wish to work for bands was becoming. I just wanted to contribute something of mine to the music I loved and this was the best way I knew, since I\\\\\\\'m totally talentless as far as playing instruments or singing goes. I think in the beginning I didn\\\\\\\'t quite believe it\\\\\\\'s possible, because, like many young \\\\\\\'teen fans, I used to look at musicians as at some kind of unreachable gods, so how could I ever talk to them? And now it\\\\\\\'s just my \\\\\\\"daily bread\\\\\\\".

MO: Did you study art?

J: Yes, I studied on the Graphic Arts Department of Academy Of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the years 1995 - 2000.

MO: What was the first cover art that you painted, for which band?

J: It was that gory painting for Molested Senses, a death metal band from the States... I didn\\\\\\\'t even know them, I was just given the lyrics by the guy who was to release their album (Julius from Still Dead Productions) and that\\\\\\\'s what I came up with. I still like this cover, it reflects the lyrics in a bit metaphorical way... the sick visions of a twisted mind close the guy in his own mental prison - blood trails forming the jail bars.

MO: Most of the pictures are oil on linen in 29 x 29 cm. format. Which techniques do you use, paintbrush or airbrush?

J: I can\\\\\\\'t use airbrush painting with oils. Somehow I have never \\\\\\\"tamed\\\\\\\" acrylics, but maybe one day I will. While a lot of artists say that oils dry for too long, I say that acrylics dry too fast. Of course, if I add some slowing medium when painting with a brush and also use airbrush for acrylics, this should minimize the problem, but as for now I don\\\\\\\'t plan to explore this technique. Apart from oils I use mostly pencils.

MO: Are there any special inspiration sources for the motifs like fantasy movies, books, myths, legends etc.?

J: Yes, I can get some inspiration from the books I read or the movies I watch... But still the main inspiration source are the lyrics of the band I am to paint a cover for. Sometimes inspiration and ideas can come to me in the dreams too. They can be strange...

MO: As a layman I can\\\\\\\'t notice the identifiable Jowita Kaminska style (like I do in the case of Dan Seagrave, Kristian Wahlin, Andreas Marschall, Kris Verwimp or Jan Meininghaus), but it\\\\\\\'s easy to notice that for example the EMERALD, METAL INQUISITOR and HALLOWED covers are painted by one and the same artist. On the other hand STEELPREACHER and FROST covers are in a completely different style. Are the artworks always painted after the bands\\\\\\\' ideas or are there some that originated without any instructions when you had a total freedom of creation?

J: As I said above, very often the artworks are my interpretation of the band\\\\\\\'s lyrics. But of course not every time the band has them written when I get down to work - then I just listen to their ideas and try to create an artwork that will represent their music best. Sometimes the band has a very clear vision and then I just follow their instructions, but even then I come up with additional suggestions. Regarding the two caricature-style covers that I painted... At first I wasn\\\\\\\'t very enthusiastic about painting the Steelpreacher guys in this style, because I thought they are not characteristic enough, but once I started it turned out better than I thought and it just fits their whole image perfectly, so it was good they talked me into painting a caricature cover. It was quite opposite with Jack Frost... I mean his face is just perfect for a caricature, but the music and the lyrics... I\\\\\\\'m not so sure about it. However it was his wish and I realized it with all the details he asked for, the guitars sticking out of the snow and his dog holding the neck of one of them. But in general I really enjoy \\\\\\\"twisting\\\\\\\" people\\\\\\\'s faces.

MO: As further inspiration certainly also the music from the album, which your artwork shall then adorn, serves...

J: Yes, that\\\\\\\'s true. However it\\\\\\\'s not always the music from the particular forthcoming album of course, because most of the times the band is still working on their music while I paint for them, but then I listen to their previous albums, if they have any.

MO: Do you paint only on commission or do you just paint something every now and then and offer it later to bands?

J: I paint only on commission. I wish I had more time to paint just for myself, but I can never find enough of it. Anyway, I believe the cover art should be painted with the thought of a particular band and a particular album - only then all the elements can click together like in a puzzle. So all my cover paintings are custom made. It works best for me, because I\\\\\\\'m more an illustrator than a fine-art painter, I just like to work with text, no matter if it\\\\\\\'s a book or band\\\\\\\'s lyrics.

MO: On what do the prices depend, the expenditure or is it a negotiation matter?

J: My prices depend most of all on the complexity of the painting, the quantity of details, the theme and the technique I use. All those elements come down to the time I spend on painting. It\\\\\\\'s obvious that I can\\\\\\\'t charge the same for a very detailed, elaborate, multi-figured painting like the one I did for Exodus, Deceased or Manilla Road as for a simple, one figure or landscape thing like for Forsaken, Cast Away or Emerald. However for unsigned bands and small underground labels I have more friendly prices, because I understand they simply would not afford to pay let\\\\\\\'s say 1000 Euro for a cover. And yes, my prices are negotiable within a reasonable range. I can sometimes agree for several CDs as a part of the payment if I deal with an underground label which has albums that can appeal to me in their catalogue. But as everybody, I also have bills to pay, so you know...

MO: Do you have any big idols? Which are those?

J: Idols... hmm. I could tell you a long list of fin-de-siecle artists\\\\\\\' names, you know, those symbolists who lived and created at the end of the XIX century and beginning of the XX. There were so many amazing talents in those years! Of course it\\\\\\\'s a matter of taste, but the symbolists\\\\\\\' and Pre-raphaelites\\\\\\\' paintings are what I admire most. From the contemporary artists I should mention the name of Gerald Brom and several other reknowned fantasy artists like Frazetta, Whelan, Bilal, Bisley... but I wouldn\\\\\\\'t say I\\\\\\\'m directly influenced by their art.

MO: The musical range of bands you worked for is pretty broad, it ranges from black, death, gore metal over thrash, doom, traditional metal until plush metal, uhm classic metal. Is it important, that you like the music, or doesn\\\\\\\'t it matter, the most important thing being that it\\\\\\\'s from the metal area?

J: Plush metal? Hehe, which band are you talking about? Funny name anyway. Well, it does matter to me that I like the music of a band I am painting for, but it doesn\\\\\\\'t mean that I would reject a cover request only because I don\\\\\\\'t like this or that band\\\\\\\'s music. I\\\\\\\'m a professional - probably if I were doing this as a hobby, I would hand pick only those I like most. However I can say I am lucky in this department, because so far there have been only two bands out of some 25 I worked for, whose music is not my cup of tea (Molested Senses and Inspell). It\\\\\\\'s definitely a huge driving force and a big motivation for me when I paint for greats and legends like Manilla Road, Attacker, Avenger or Exodus, but also for fantastic younger bands like Metal Inquisitor, Forsaken, Dantesco, Steelpreacher or Catch 22. I still have moments when I can hardly believe I am painting for one of my \\\\\\\"gods\\\\\\\". It only makes me more dedicated to what I do.

MO: How is the contact with the bands established, on the already mentioned festivals or also over the homepage?

J: Both ways plus the word of mouth, you know, one musician heard about me from another one etc. It\\\\\\\'s true that I establish contact with many bands at the festivals, because I take photos of them - and then sometimes I end up co-operating with them further. I also send out info-emails about the updates on my website every 3-4 months... I know it can be considered spamming, so I apologize those who receive it and are not interested, but I always ask to reply with simple \\\\\\\"remove\\\\\\\" in the subject if somebody doesn\\\\\\\'t want to hear about the updates anymore.

MO: Do you have any big idols? Which are those?

J: Idols... hmm. I could tell you a long list of fin-de-siecle artists\\\\\\\' names, you know, those symbolists who lived and created at the end of the XIX century and beginning of the XX. There were so many amazing talents in those years! Of course it\\\\\\\'s a matter of taste, but the symbolists\\\\\\\' and Pre-raphaelites\\\\\\\' paintings are what I admire most. From the contemporary artists I should mention the name of Gerald Brom and several other reknowned fantasy artists like Frazetta, Whelan, Bilal, Bisley... but I wouldn\\\\\\\'t say I\\\\\\\'m directly influenced by their art.

MO: The musical range of bands you worked for is pretty broad, it ranges from black, death, gore metal over thrash, doom, traditional metal until plush metal, uhm classic metal. Is it important, that you like the music, or doesn\\\\\\\'t it matter, the most important thing being that it\\\\\\\'s from the metal area?

J: Plush metal? Hehe, which band are you talking about? Funny name anyway. Well, it does matter to me that I like the music of a band I am painting for, but it doesn\\\\\\\'t mean that I would reject a cover request only because I don\\\\\\\'t like this or that band\\\\\\\'s music. I\\\\\\\'m a professional - probably if I were doing this as a hobby, I would hand pick only those I like most. However I can say I am lucky in this department, because so far there have been only two bands out of some 25 I worked for, whose music is not my cup of tea (Molested Senses and Inspell). It\\\\\\\'s definitely a huge driving force and a big motivation for me when I paint for greats and legends like Manilla Road, Attacker, Avenger or Exodus, but also for fantastic younger bands like Metal Inquisitor, Forsaken, Dantesco, Steelpreacher or Catch 22. I still have moments when I can hardly believe I am painting for one of my \\\\\\\"gods\\\\\\\". It only makes me more dedicated to what I do.

MO: How is the contact with the bands established, on the already mentioned festivals or also over the homepage?

J: Both ways plus the word of mouth, you know, one musician heard about me from another one etc. It\\\\\\\'s true that I establish contact with many bands at the festivals, because I take photos of them - and then sometimes I end up co-operating with them further. I also send out info-emails about the updates on my website every 3-4 months... I know it can be considered spamming, so I apologize those who receive it and are not interested, but I always ask to reply with simple \\\\\\\"remove\\\\\\\" in the subject if somebody doesn\\\\\\\'t want to hear about the updates anymore.

MO: What is the most lavish cover artwork until now? I think that for MANILLA ROAD. It is very detailed.

J: I think the one for Deceased \\\\\\\"As The Weird Travel On\\\\\\\" has been the most time-consuming so far (and the next one for them will be also a very detailed one from the idea that King described to me). However if I counted the front and back of the cover for \\\\\\\"Gates Of Fire\\\\\\\", this would be indeed the most lavish work... And the one for Exodus... I had to do a lot of research on pipe-organs before painting that one.

MO: Most of your paintings are available only on the CD format, no worthy size. Only a few of your works made it to the LP covers until now. DECEASED \\\\\\\"As The Weird Travel On\\\\\\\", EMERALD, EXODUS, METAL INQUISITOR, WITCHBURNER and soon FORSAKEN\\\\\\\'s \\\\\\\"Dominaeon\\\\\\\" will join them. What kind of feeling is it if one of your works appears on the large size of a LP?

J: Definitely great, haha! A lot of details are lost when printed on the small CD format, so I\\\\\\\'m really glad when the albums I painted covers for are also released on vinyl.

MO: In the train to the KIT festival you showed me some of the originals - they impressed me very much, mostly because they were even the originals and not xero copies. What will be done with them, do they go to the bands or will they be sold? Some bands probably buy only the rights to use those artworks, correct?

J: Yes, I sell only the rights to reproduce my artworks on CD- and vinyl covers, T-shirts and posters. That\\\\\\\'s the point of painting cover arts or any other illustrations. The originals always remain my property, however if somebody is interested in buying the painting just to frame and hang it on his wall, I could consider this too. Sometimes I take with me the originals to the festivals if I know I will meet the musicians I painted those covers for, like it was at Keep It True in November.

MO: But you design also logos like the ones for BURNING DARKNESS, AVENGER (UK), PIRANHA, WINTERSKY or for KEEP IT TRUE and SWORDBROTHERS festivals. The latter is very new.

J: That\\\\\\\'s right, I do it from time to time, but I prefer painting much more, because while coming up with ideas for a logo can be quite interesting, the process of creating it in Photoshop is a very tedious work - many hours in front of the monitor. Well, actually I should learn some other program to vectorize the logos, so they could be enlarged without the loss of quality... Anyway, I design logos mostly for the bands I paint cover arts for if they don\\\\\\\'t have one or their old logos need to be improved (like Avenger\\\\\\\'s) or for festivals.

MO: As already mentioned at the beginning, at you take photographs of bands on- and off-stage. Many of those photos can be found later in the CD booklets or record covers. Do you work also for any metal magazines or similar professional?

J: I\\\\\\\'m a freelance photographer, but I co-operate with Polish \\\\\\\"Heavy Metal Pages\\\\\\\" magazine. Besides, my photos have been printed in several other magazines like Polish \\\\\\\"Metal Hammer\\\\\\\", \\\\\\\"Pure Metal\\\\\\\", \\\\\\\"Bard Megazine\\\\\\\" or German \\\\\\\"Legacy\\\\\\\" and \\\\\\\"Metal Age\\\\\\\". Until now I\\\\\\\'ve worked mostly for bands, giving them the photos for their websites and CD booklets, but I would gladly start a more serious co-operation with one of the German magazines.

MO: Some of your cover artworks like \\\\\\\"Legions Of Arrggghhhh\\\\\\\" for DECEASED or \\\\\\\"N.W.O.B.A.T.\\\\\\\" for PIRANHA are atmospheric photographs, are made in Photoshop or are simply only pencil drawings. It seems that you experiment every now and then in this direction.

J: It\\\\\\\'s not really experimenting, at least not when we\\\\\\\'re talking about photos that I give for CD covers. I didn\\\\\\\'t change almost anything on the photo that appeared on the Deceased \\\\\\\"Legions...\\\\\\\" cover or the - still to be released - Pale Divine \\\\\\\"Cemetery Earth\\\\\\\" CD. This is what I can offer when a band has a really tight budget and need to keep the expenses down - this is the cheapest solution and some of the photos I have taken, especially the cemetery photos, are simply perfect for metal covers. The cover for the Piranha demo is another story, but it\\\\\\\'s also a much less expensive solution than an oil painting. In this case I basically took a rusty metal texture and made a simple composition with the logo I previously designed for them.

MO: Nevertheless, seemingly you prefer to work with color.

J: Well, as I said before, I prefer painting to designing logos. But I like drawing with pencils just as much, so I can\\\\\\\'t say I definitely prefer to work with color.

MO: What are your favourite pieces from all the works you have done so far?

J: I think I\\\\\\\'m satisfied with the covers I painted for Crucified Mortals, Steelpreacher, Witchburner, Attacker and Avenger most. Though looking at them after some time I think some things could have been drawn or painted better. The one on which I\\\\\\\'m working now should join my favourites too... Expect some tentacles, hahaha.

MO: Are you able to live from painting cover arts, or do you have an additional job to earn your livelihood? I can imagine, living in Poland is not as expensive as here in Germany, where one will be grasped enormously in the wallet from all directions, above all the expensive rents, energy, water and dues to all shit drive the prices up here, the German companies are a drag on the world\\\\\\\'s market.

J: It\\\\\\\'s true, living in Germany IS more expensive than in Poland... I know something about it, because I live here now! I don\\\\\\\'t have any additional job though and I\\\\\\\'m not looking for one - as long as I can make the ends meet somehow. Sometimes it\\\\\\\'s very hard, but on the other hand, if I started working in a graphic studio (and for example doing things on the computer) it would mean sacrificing a lot of my freedom and also much less time for painting for bands. Maybe one day I will have to do it again, but I just love my freelancer\\\\\\\'s freedom, so I\\\\\\\'m sticking to it and enjoying it, though of course I have to save on a lot of things and can\\\\\\\'t buy as many CDs as I would like to. I don\\\\\\\'t want to limit myself to painting only CD cover arts and designing metal logos though... I\\\\\\\'m an illustrator most of all, so if there\\\\\\\'s any interesting book or magazine article to be illustrated, I\\\\\\\'ll take the job.

MO: On what cover artwork do you work currently, if it\\\\\\\'s not a secret?

J: No, it\\\\\\\'s not a secret. It\\\\\\\'s something I\\\\\\\'m excited about very much actually... The band is very special for me... Not only because it\\\\\\\'s a death metal band which I truly like - and I\\\\\\\'m not fond of death metal in general, but because their lyrics are wholly inspired by H. P. Lovecraft\\\\\\\'s works... my favourite writer as well. I\\\\\\\'m doing the cover not only for PHILOSOPHER\\\\\\\'s upcoming album, but also for the EP which will be out earlier. Besides that I\\\\\\\'m involved in more ways... They do a special \\\\\\\"video-show\\\\\\\" at their gigs, some slides and short clips projected on a backdrop over the stage. Theyve had some Lovecraftian images, now they asked me to let them use some of my artworks to which I eagerly agreed of course. These paintings are not strictly Lovecraftian, meaning that they are not illustrations to the master\\\\\\\'s stories, but have this kind of atmosphere. And that\\\\\\\'s not all yet - I will probably paint on Alex\\\\\\\'s new guitar... a Lovecraftian motif of course. It would be a new and great experience. I also have another long-lasting and interesting co-operation going on with a Norwegian band NOTHINGVILLE for which I don\\\\\\\'t paint a cover art, but several illustrations and designs (as well as giving them some cemetery photos) which they will use in Flash animations, as wallpapers etc. They have a very elaborate and unique concept, well, you can check it on their website: www.nothingville.com. It\\\\\\\'s always a pleasure to co-operate with such creative and intelligent people as Alex or Peer, who care very much not only about the music, but also about the concepts, so I\\\\\\\'m really happy that I can work with them.

MO: Do you have any dreams (or big wishes) about painting cover arts for some particular fave bands of yours?

J: Some of them have been already realized, like painting for MANILLA ROAD... But of course there are still a few bands that I would love to paint for. If SAVATAGE records any other album... Well, I have to mention KING DIAMOND too... The cover for \\\\\\\"The Puppet Master\\\\\\\" looks just awful! While the idea is quite cool, the execution is so amateurish! I can\\\\\\\'t understand why they said OK to this cover, it looks like \\\\\\\"Hey, look, I\\\\\\\'ve just learnt how to build 3D objects and texture them!\\\\\\\" It\\\\\\\'s so plastic and cheap-looking! If Travis Smith had done that, I\\\\\\\'m sure it would have been great, just like his work on the band portraits in the booklet... excellent! Actually a few years ago an idea to draw / paint a comic book based on the \\\\\\\"Abigail\\\\\\\" story came to my mind, but I put that idea on a shelf for the time being... If I\\\\\\\'m ever to realize this, I would have to do it professionally from the start with all necessary agreements and contracts signed. This would keep me engaged for long months, so it\\\\\\\'s not anything I could do just \\\\\\\"for fun\\\\\\\". Well, for now I wouldn\\\\\\\'t say \\\\\\\"no\\\\\\\" to the new King Diamond cover art commission, haha.

MO: I always ask musicians on the conclusion for their 10 all-time fave albums, from you I would like to know the 10 best cover artworks. You can also add an album Top 10 from the musical point of view of course.

J: You\\\\\\\'ve asked a very difficult question here... There are tons of great album covers out there! There are a lot of really good artworks these days too, in spite of the digital images flood... Well, one big exception in this field for me is Travis Smith... While I generally don\\\\\\\'t like those impersonal \\\\\\\"Photoshopped\\\\\\\" images, I\\\\\\\'m full of admiration towards Travis\\\\\\\'s art. Just about everything that comes from him is a beautiful piece of art with a very personal feeling - it\\\\\\\'s like poetry. Anyway, as I\\\\\\\'m mostly stuck in the \\\\\\\'80s, my picks will be from the yester-years, maybe mostly out of sheer sentiment (and with no special order):
DARK ANGEL \\\\\\\"We Have Arrived\\\\\\\" (CULT!!! Just like the album itself! I don\\\\\\\'t know the author though)
CIRITH UNGOL \\\\\\\"Frost And Fire\\\\\\\" (Whelan)
OBITUARY \\\\\\\"Cause Of Death\\\\\\\" (Whelan?)
KREATOR \\\\\\\"Terrible Certainty\\\\\\\" (Lawvere)
KREATOR \\\\\\\"Live Kreation\\\\\\\" (Marschall)
DESTRUCTION \\\\\\\"Cracked Brain\\\\\\\" (Marschall)
BLIND GUARDIAN \\\\\\\"Tales From The Twilight World\\\\\\\" (Marschall)
RUNNING WILD \\\\\\\"Black Hand Inn\\\\\\\" (Marschall)
MERCYFUL FATE \\\\\\\"Don\\\\\\\'t Break The Oath\\\\\\\" (Holm and Jörgenson)
KING DIAMOND \\\\\\\"Them\\\\\\\" (Holm and Jörgenson)
IRON MAIDEN \\\\\\\"Live After Death\\\\\\\" (Riggs)
DIO \\\\\\\"Master Of The Moon\\\\\\\" (Sasso)
ICED EARTH \\\\\\\"The Glorious Burden\\\\\\\" (Hao)
TANKARD \\\\\\\"The Meaning Of Life\\\\\\\" (Krüger)
CELTIC FROST \\\\\\\"To Mega Therion\\\\\\\" (Giger)
REVEREND \\\\\\\"Play God\\\\\\\" (Beever - though I don\\\\\\\'t think it was an authorized use)
MANILLA ROAD \\\\\\\"Open The Gates\\\\\\\" (Larnoy)
EVILDEAD \\\\\\\"The Underworld\\\\\\\" (Repka)
MEGADETH \\\\\\\"Peace Sells...\\\\\\\" (Repka)
OVERKILL \\\\\\\"The Years Of Decay\\\\\\\" (Fastner and Larson)
MORTICIAN \\\\\\\"Darkest Day Of Horror\\\\\\\" (Benscoter)
3 INCHES OF BLOOD \\\\\\\"Advance And Vanquish\\\\\\\" (?)
TIAMAT \\\\\\\"Clouds\\\\\\\" (Wåhlin)
GRAVE DIGGER \\\\\\\"The Last Supper\\\\\\\" (Meininghaus)
FALCONER \\\\\\\"The Sceptre Of Deception\\\\\\\" (Meininghaus)
SEVEN WITCHES \\\\\\\"Passage To The Other Side\\\\\\\" (Meininghaus)
BRAINSTORM \\\\\\\"Metus Mortis\\\\\\\" (Meininghaus)
Uh, I guess that was more than 10, sorry, I was never good at maths, haha. These are just examples, if I wrote it another day, I might choose different ones. Basically I would say most of the covers painted by Wes Benscoter (for Deceased and Mortician), Andreas Marschall, Jan Meininghaus, Mark Sasso, Sebastian Krüger, Dan Seagrave... Also some works by Edward Repka, Michael Wåhlin, Rodney Matthews, Jean-Pascal Fournier and Paul Gregory. Apart from that I love the covers which are graced by old paintings, like some of Bathory and Count Raven ones.

And if I were to list my 10 all-time fave albums, it would be impossible for me as well... I can give you my Top 20 of 2005... It wasn\\\\\\\'t easy to choose only 20, believe me. I\\\\\\\'ve got another 20 good releases from last year (like Toxic Holocaust, Isole, Hammerwhore, Astral Doors, Stormrider...) plus 18 still on my want-list! OK, here we go (the order might be slightly changing from day to day):
1. MANILLA ROAD \\\\\\\"Gates Of Fire\\\\\\\"
2. ADRAMELCH \\\\\\\"Broken History\\\\\\\"
3. CANDLEMASS \\\\\\\"Candlemass\\\\\\\"
4. BRUCE DICKINSON \\\\\\\"Tyranny Of Souls\\\\\\\"
5. BLITZKRIEG \\\\\\\"Sins And Greed\\\\\\\"
6. METAL INQUISITOR \\\\\\\"Doomsday For The Heretic\\\\\\\"
7. FORSAKEN \\\\\\\"Dominaeon\\\\\\\"
8. SLOUGH FEG \\\\\\\"Atavism\\\\\\\"
9. OCTOBER 31 \\\\\\\"No Survivors\\\\\\\"
10. DECEASED \\\\\\\"As The Weird Travel On\\\\\\\"
11. COMMUNIC \\\\\\\"Conspiracy In Mind\\\\\\\"
12. NEVERMORE \\\\\\\"This Godless Endeavour\\\\\\\"
13. KREATOR \\\\\\\"Enemies Of God\\\\\\\"
14. BATTLEROAR \\\\\\\"Age Of Chaos\\\\\\\"
15. SOLEMNITY \\\\\\\"Shockwave Of Steel\\\\\\\"
16. WIZARD \\\\\\\"Magic Circle\\\\\\\"
17. DAMIEN THORNE \\\\\\\"Haunted Mind\\\\\\\"
18. PHILOSOPHER \\\\\\\"Thoughts\\\\\\\"
19. DANTESCO \\\\\\\"De La Mano De La Muerte\\\\\\\"
20. WITCHBURNER \\\\\\\"Final Detonation\\\\\\\"

I\\\\\\\'m sorry, I just can\\\\\\\'t keep it short, haha.

MO: All interested persons can look at your homepage www.jowita-kaminska.com and check all the cover artworks & co. from you. Maybe among the visitors there will be band members who still don\\\\\\\'t have a great and affordable cover art for their upcoming album.

J: I hope so! If you need ANY kind of artwork, just drop me an e-mail and ask. I don\\\\\\\'t bite... usually. :)

MO: Then we\\\\\\\'ll see each other again at the HOA festival in the middle of July, before it will not work out! Until then we wish you all the best, above all: lots of new orders. And thank you for the time that you devoted for answering this interview.

J: Thank YOU, Holger and yes, we\\\\\\\'ll see each other at Headbangers Open Air again. I can\\\\\\\'t miss this great event, especially with Candlemass, Metal Inquisitor, October 31 and Blitzkrieg on the billing!


February/March 2006