Central Iowa Band Listings & More

Interview with Junes Victim Kelly Moriarity

1. Ok Kelly... here's you big 15 minutes of fame.
Lets start off with your history as a musician... tell us how ya got started

Well, It all started when i was 4 yrs old and my mother left some cooking pots out after doing dishes, me being a spry young farm lad I eagerly began whaling on them with two spoons and....

Hold on, hold on.... not that far back.

Oh... uhhh ill jus fast forward then. Lemme see... ummmm.
Ok my first band was called "Commerce Drive", we were probably one of the first Iowa bands to attempt playing mostly original tunes which actually went over very well.

We had quite a following for a buncha stoners and drop outs from Valley High School. After that i matured and began my heavy metal faze and did alot of jamming with your usual musicians now seen playing around (Jim Root, Ronnie Richardson, Randy Van Hosen)...but I never did get into anything serious with any of them mainly cause I was too busy screwing off.

Then I met the legendary bass player (who i still feel is Iowa's BEST bass player) Tom Murphy who was then playing with "Thunder Teaz" (Lance Harrison and Gary Benson), who were in search of a drummer who could travel and didnt have to pay child support. So....(me being one of the few musicians around who had'nt knocked up a groupie yet) ..

I got the gig. We were signed with A.R.M. out of St. Paul, Minn. and we were really popular up north, we even had a small fan club of drunk'n groupies who we were sorta scared of...yelling and screaming our names during songs and pretty much embarrassing us where ever we played...it got to the point were we almost had them kicked out a few times. (Funny...now that i think bout it.... it sorta mirrored my luck with women at the time).
Kelly Moriarity

& Drummer

Album Cover Art

2. So OK then, tell us how you got involved in doing promotional art and CD covers for such bands as "LA Guns" ?

Well the "L.A. Guns" gig was kind of a fluke. I'd always been known as "thee" local artist to go to for any band logo designs or other rock'n roll type of art. So as luck should have it, I happened to be late on delivering some art to a local bar owner in 1994. It jus so happened that "L.A. Guns" was setting up stage for a show that night and were waiting to do a sound check.

As i was showing the owner of the bar my finished designs, Tracii Guns and Johnny Crypt began helping themselves to my portfolio. (to tell ya the truth, I had no idea LA Guns was there that night and was kinda flattered by these two tattooed strangers oo-ing and ah-ing at my artwork)... Thats when Tracii asked if Id be interested in roughing up some sketches for there upcoming release called "American Hardcore". Two monthes later they bought ALL the art and roughs and used two different covers on the the ONE CD.

3. The LA Guns Work... So was it something you found difficult to do?

No...not at all actually! Matter of fact I find that most local bands are harder to please. They never seem to have any idea of who they are as a band or what type of image they wanna portray.

Alot of the time my artwork scares them and they think they might offend someone....as where the bands who have already set themselves up in the eyes of the listeners already know where they stand and what they wanna say with their covers... anyone who know's me know's im always out to shock anyone who thinks in a polically correct way whatsoever. Alot of the time i find myself turning down jobs because the subject matter is too tame.

Tom Peterson - Rick Neilson
Cheap Trick ©Kelly Moriarity

4. You have done a lot of artwork around Cheap Trick what was the connection, how did that all come about?

I was commissioned to do the Cheap Trick art in the late 90's, who else but Cheap trick should be done in characature form???
... Those guys are walking cartoons!!

Ben E. Carlo
©Kelly Moriarity

  • 5. So Rate the Following Artist :

    Jackson Pollock -
    Hurts my eyes.
    Monet -
    Eh he's ok.
    Picasso -
    Overrated but nobody has ever called him an asshole.
    Van Gogh -
    Overrated by rich art collectors.
    Dali -
    Pioneer, genius, I base my thinking on his paintings
    Storm Thorgerson -
    Pink Who?
    Randy Tuten -
    Don't know enough about it, let me drop some acid and get back with you.
    Frank Kelly Freas -
    I would consider him more of an illustrator, but I'm an illustrator so I'd consider him an illustration god.
    Frank Miller -
    He inspired me when I was a child into cartooning.
    Bob Kane - Creative.
    Walt Disney -
    The antichrist of all evil in art.
    Maurice Noble -
    A great cartoonist

"The Alice Cooper Salvador Dali Collaberation"

In March 1973 Dali produced the first three dimensional hologram which was of Alice,
wearing 2 million dollars worth of jewellery.
A Dali sculpture of Alice`s brain with a Chocolate Eclair covered in ants (a Dali trademark) was placed behind him and the Hologram was taken from this set up.

6. Who are some of your favorites?

Robert Williams who painted the Guns and Roses album cover "Appetite for Destruction" depicting a robot raping a woman. Not to sound sexist, but the art was phenomenal. But the album cover was banned from being used. It ended up as a record sleeve. I found him to be an extraordinary artist.

7. Who's work on the local or national scene do you see as groundbreaking or inspirational?

My brother, Pat Moriarity who has done album covers for such artists as the Boss Martians and worked for Henry Rollins. In 1996 he was named as hot new cartoonist in Rolling Stone Magazines "Hot or Not" issue.

"Appetite for Distruction"
Henry Rollins Poster One of many pieces of Art by Kelly's brother
Pat Moriarity


Kellys Art Work for "Charlie in a Box"
©Kelly Moriarity

8. Do you see conflict with 3D modeling art in video gaming as in conflict with traditional art ( painting/ freehand drawing ) or just a logical extension of animation?

I would consider it an evolutionary process of art. Whether we like it or not.

9. Give us a crazy band story form the old days … favorite gig.. Least favorite …or just a memorable experience?

In the early 90's most of us were forced to play covers in order to gig anywhere in Iowa, well, so here we were playing the "Twilight Zone" in Creston, Ia. doin "Cat Scratch Fever" when our guitar player decided to mimic Ted Nugent by leaping off his amplifier .... only difference in this case was that Ted didnt bust through the stage floor up to his chest. All you could see was our guitarist's head and his guitar and two hands. Was fuckin halarious!!!
Best thing about it was the poor guy didnt stop the solo, he troopered it all the way to the end of the song.

Don't Confuse Eyecandy for Art

10. Music and graphic art are representative of each other . setting a tone or mood .. much of today's music video is a form of expression …another logical part of the evolutionary process , pick a couple that you think are groundbreaking and tell us why ?

Well I dont know about any video's of recent that qualify as "ground breaking" but I WILL comment on the de-evolution of video's and that would be anything involving an "American Idol" singer or Brittany Spears.

11. What Music videos cover art suck ?
Any particular worst cover art you have seen that comes to mind?

I hate to say it cause i know ill get shit for it, but i hated the whole "Eddie" theme Ironmaiden used. Talk about overkill.

12. Which particular bands and drummers have been an inspiration to you and why.?

Oh, thats easy...Neil Peart of course, I can proudly say before I even had my first drum kit I had all the motions and mimics to the entire "Moving Pictures" album memorized. Was because of that album that i could play like a taught drummer within two weeks.

13.Any local acts that have caught your attention over the years as …damn these guys are good?

Hmmm... that's a tough one. I'm not easily impressed, but I was impressed when i seen "On a Pale Horse" at the CD release party. I have a feeling those guys might go somewhere. ...

14. I notice you have done a Stone Sour poster …what's the story there ?

Yes, I did do a poster for StoneSour back in the "old'n days" ...was THAT poster that made them famous!!!! (wishful thinking).... not much of a story there, I've known Corey (Slipknot) and Josh from StoneSour for years and we were all together during a photoshoot when Corey asked me to do a poster for them. ...
So I did. (for free I might add). Hey guys how bout fork'n over some of those riches and paying this artist 15 yrs later??? ...other bands I've done work for locally include Medallion, Roze, StoneSour, Intruder, Whitehott, Charlie In a Box and Thunder Teaz.

©Kelly Moriarity

15. So what do you have in the works at the moment ?

Well as of right now I'm getting ready to kick back into gear and begin playing again, I've got a few musicians who shall go un-named for the moment who are very interested in making a name for themselves. These musicians are no strangers to the Iowa music scene and are very well known so it'll be interesting to see how the public reacts to us.
And artwise, the only thing i have whispering in my ear is a lil chat i had with Corey Taylor about a DVD project he been batting around in his head and something was mentioned about having me do something for that ...but fuck...those guys are huge now and im sure they could get whoever the hell they wanted to do it, so I'm not gonna go crapping my pants quite yet.

( Kellys "Surfin the Net " - Commisied Vollyball t shirt design to the Left )

©Kelly Moriarity

Anything else You care to add - or plug ?

Nothing to plug...but anyone readiing this or who is interested in knowing more can feel free to email me at my personal address.

How refreshing a artist with nothing to plug ... well we will then ..

Any bussiness's or individauls looking for illustration art work - cartooning or commercial art drop Kelly a line !

A big Heavey Lead Pencil Thanks to Kelly for the interview !!!

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