James Madden - Interview
Hooton Tennis Club's James Madden talks us through the artists inspiring his sleeve designs.
The simplicity and beauty in Leunig's cartoons get me every time. They’re essentially meditations on humanity and the demands humans have existing in a modern, technological world. His images can go to some deep, dark, depressing places, speaking a truth that could awaken the heaviest of hearts. Then, on the other hand his work can be funny and childlike. Recently, I got my brother a Leunig birthday card detailing ‘7 types of ordinary happiness’, one being ’Happiness found whilst staring at a rock', genius. Feed that inner duck!
What I find fascinating about this guy is how timeless his artwork on his album sleeves appear. When I first came across his records, I was surprised to learn were drawn in the 70s. I love the world he creates in his music and drawings - and his apparent alter ego - Mr Snockman. It’s just Snockman doing his thing in every sense.
Damn, I did it. El classico! But hell, what a painter hey. He was the first proper artist to inspire me to make art. Just today I was wading through the megabyte dungeons on my computer and looking at paintings I've made in the past. I really need to flex my painting muscle again, it has been too way long!
Lurie is an incredibly prolific guy. He has acted in some of my favourite films; Paris, Texas, Downtown 81 and Mystery Train and created the cult show ‘Fishing with John’ as well as being a part of the Jazz ensemble ‘Lounge Lizards'. Due to illness (Chronic Lyme disease) he now spends all his time painting which he describes as ‘a logical development from the drawings his mother pinned to the refrigerator 50 years ago'. His paintings are barefaced yet purposeful with a melancholic sense of beauty.
Another obligatory-legend-pick. He opened up a whole world of Lo - Fi and Do-it-Yourself aesthetic for loads of people. ’Don’t Be Scared’ has been on repeat all this morning.
'Big Box of Chocolates' by Hooton Tennis Club is out now on Heavenly Recordings.