Godmachine Interview

Godmachine needs no introduction. His style is inimitable, and immediate. His craft is mercurial, and he always deftly and sensitively manages to balance darkness with beauty in his work.

Az was the very first artist I approached after I made the decision to open Disturbia up to 'real' artists instead of just my own inane scribblings and sloganeering; and since then we've worked closely on countless designs over the past 6+(?) years. As a result many of Disturbia's most iconic t-shirt graphics have been created at the hand of Godmachine.

This week we asked if we could pick his brains and he obliged....

To be frank, Godmachine, everyone is sick of your mind-blowing designs now. Tell us the truth, are you 100% human?

Thank you very much for saying so. "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Samuel Johnson. So according to this statement and the things I feel, yes, I am very much sadly still a human.

How excited are you about your new collection with Disturbia, on a scale of 1 to wetting yourself?!

I can barely contain myself. I think we should have a party and kittens should be in the cake.

That can and will be arranged. Your designs are often filled with a certain subject matter- why is that?

If you are referring to the use of skulls or 'dark' subject matter I would say that it has always been a subject I have been attracted to without question. I often get asked about 'gore' but that will be because of only one thing: I am asked to draw it. I do love drawing skulls etc but in the questions where people ask me about it I find it far more telling of their views than I do mine. Take the 'gore' label I had a while back- counting the posts on my page where 'gore' was present against those posts that had no gore it was something like of 40 posts only 12 contained images of gore. I have always said that when someone asks you a question you should always think about why they are asking it- you often find a lot more is said about someone by the questions they ask than the answers that are received at times. If I was good at drawing cute things though I so would, I'd love to draw kittens all day :D


What are you trying for in your work recently ?

At the moment I am very inspired by the french poster artists in so much that they weren't always concerned with the detail and complexity or skill of the piece but more so the layout and almost graphical element of the design. Its almost where design meets art. That's something I really struggle with; design. I thing graphic design has a lot to do with subtlety and I have no problem admitting that its something I lack. I see some great artists who have the 'design;' and 'graphic' element to their work as second nature, but to me it feels like I am in need of some thought and research on it. Producing things for posters or considering an 'edge' to my work, a 'boarder' has forced me to think more about this, also I want to be unafraid of negative space, something that is used so well in graphics but today where everyone is showboating about the amount of detail they can put in an illustration I would love to do something that every tom dick and harry isnt doing. Give it a year though hahaha.

What music do you listen to while you draw?

Today it was the Take Shelter OST and some Priestess. I listen to a lot of radio and youtube documentaries and debates. But my main diet on my itunes player will be film scores like Sunshine, Blade Runner, Monsters, Event Horizon, There Will Be Blood, some mellow GVSB, Morphine and some Chris Isaak.

Chris Isaak, nice. If you could choose one fictional character to marry, who would it be?

Stephen Fry or Perdita Derango, given my persuasion though it will have to be Perdeita Derango from the film by the same name. Based in some way on the girl from Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill grrrrrrrrrrr awwwooooooooo

What’s your favourite poison?

Booze, Coffee, Tea, Cake.

Our new Spring/Summer collection is nearly upon us, which means, festival season is a-coming! Have any bands caught your eye this year?

I am so far removed from all that right now I haven't got a clue whats going on in new music. I seem to be wrapped in the studio that I miss a lot of stuff thats going on. Last festival I remember, albiet through a drug haze, I saw Faith No More, Ice-T, Butthole Surfers, Rage Against the Machine, that was '92?

What is your favourite Disturbia piece you’ve ever designed?

It would have to be one of the new pieces- I think the one that has the working title 'strange' because of the use of negative space. I was at my framers talking to them about are from the 30's and the guy went into his basement and brought out this old book of French poster artists. The book, he told me, he found while visiting his wife in Holland in an old book store. In the days before hand I had been worrying about this design for Disturbia, now opening this book and seeing these great stark bold Bearsdleyesque pictures it cemented it for me. I also found only one copy of the book on the entire web and bought it.

 Is there anything you couldn’t you live without?

Immediately I would say oxygen, then water then food. I dont think I could live without the feeling you get when you learn something amazing about nature or science or philosophy, or when you read a book by a great mind that loves language. Nerd.

What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

Too many to mention. I do hate those dreams where you wake up and you cant help but drag it around with you all day; you had an argument with someone in your dream and you hate them all day, dreams like that are weird.

What makes you happiest?

Being inspired. Intelligence, compassion, good humour, family and friends.

What makes you angry?

Stupid people, inconsiderate people, cruel people, shallow and vapid people. People.

If you could have any super power, what would you choose and why?

I heard a good reply to this once and adopted it "making large buttons fall off dresses".  But I would like the power to operate outside of time.


We know you're a big fan of coffee, what are your preferred varieties? 

I love Kenyan Peaberry, Elephant, Monsoon Malabar and most Espresso.

Why do you like working with Disturbia?

I love the way they seems to know when to test me, when to try me, when to let me run with my own stuff or freak me out with something Ive never tried before. Working with them for so long now They trust me to know whats going on or what is needed, they let me be the artist I want to be and that is the hardest brief of all, to say "go ahead, do your best".

Want to share a little secret about an exciting upcoming collab with Disturbia? ;)

I think we just did ;D

 Check out all our in stock designs by Godmachine here.