Illustrator and Inner Sanctum’s Gaurav Basu on Art in Metal
In part two of our series of illustrators and graphic artists working with Indian metal bands, Bengaluru-based Basu talks to us about his work
Gaurav Basu/Acid Toad, Bengaluru
Basu also started off his career as an artist by designing artwork for his own band, thrash/ death metallers Inner Sanctum, but has moved on from using digital photography to hand-drawn illustrations. In the last three years, Basu aka Acid Toad has created artwork for alt metal band Goddess Gagged, thrash metallers Theorized and Mumbai extreme metallers Demonic Resurrection, French electro-metal artist The Algorithm and thrash/ death metal band Devoid. Says Basu about metal having a parallel visual culture alongside the music, “People tend to take it more seriously. I think metal, especially stoner and sludge, has spurned a parallel visual art culture and now everyone wants cool merch and big prints.”
Comic books and graphic novels artists such as Mike Mignola were Basu’s first influences, and he began getting into Swedish death metal bands like Edge of Sanity in the mid-2000s, and later into sludge and stoner metal bands like Baronness, Mastodon and Kvelertak for both music and art.
From the drawing board:
Says Basu, “I love to have that organic feel in my artwork, which is why I like hand-drawn stuff. There’s no undo button, so you have to be that much more careful.”
Acid Toad is currently racking his brains “going crazy” working on the artwork for Inner Sanctum’s debut full-length album, due later this year. “I’m only 20 or 30 percent done. It’s going to be pretty big.”