I'm stoked I got this one back in time for Fest 8 weekend. Richard Minino is the prolific artist behind Horsebites, whose unique artwork you will see everywhere this weekend if you go to Gainesville (for good reason, it's great stuff.) He's also a pretty decent drummer (understatement) and eats more nachos than anyone I know (follow him on Twitter or read his blog, you'll see what I mean.)
When and how did you first get involved in music?
I first started playing drums in highschool when I was 17. . . I had no clue what I was doing until my neighbor (who actually got me in to punk) showed me a few basic beats and I sort of went on from there. Later I joined a band with Sam whom I'm in a band with til this day. It's kind of just second nature now and always been something fun to do. I never went in to it with aspirations of becoming some kind of rockstar or some BS like that.
You've been playing with Sam for a long ass time. Actually I guess you've been involved in music with several of the same people for a very long time. I'm sure you've had some ups and downs throughout that period. What have you learned in regards to keeping those sorts of relationships working, and keeping everybody on the same page in a band for a long time?
It definitely gets hard when you're trapped in a metal rolling closet for long periods but if you're good friends then you'll stay good friends if you don't try and stab each other in the back. Whatever we fought or bickered about was mainly about dumb things siblings would fight over. At the end of the tour we all hugged and went back to normal life. It really taught me to have patience and to not be self-absorbed.
How many bands are you even in right now?
You do a lot of work as an artist, too. When and how did you first take drawing and turn it into something more than just a hobby?
It wasn't my call really. I was kind of thrown in to the whole illustration world by force. I was just doing designs for my own band (New Mexican Disaster Squad) and other bands and people started noticing and wanting me to do stuff for them. Then my friend Kyle from Tampa told me I was gonna do a shirt for a band called Fall Out Boy (at the time I never heard of them) and I said ok. Then it showed up in Hot Topic. That was when I started seeing designing as an actual career possibility.
Aside from Horsebites and the bands you are in, what other things do you do creatively or involving music in general that I may not know about.
The Black Axe which is the design firm that 4 other designer/web dudes started early this year is keeping me busy with all my art. We just started a new company Crispy Tees and it sells novelty type shirts but with a better twist on them instead of the standard funny one liner and crappy illustrated shirt. I'm also starting a new company with Heather Gabel called The Caustic Collection and it's been a little slow mainly because she's having her first child soon and I've been wicked busy. That's about it for now. HA!
This is a question I asked Josh from Sharkguts, but I'm curious to see your response to it. Is your approach to art any different from music? When you sit down to draw something, is it a total different mindset from playing drums for you, or do you draw that creativity from the same place you think?
It's completely different. Sam and Alex are usually the song writers in the bands that I'm in so they are actually pretty good at drums too. They have a rough idea of what I would probably play and write songs to usually fit that. It works out pretty well because I don't have to think that much. When it comes to art I have to get in a completely different creative zone where visual objects are what I'm looking for to inspire me.
If someone came to you tomorrow and told you that you had to pick between music and art, or have both your arms cut off, which would you choose?
Definitely art, that was my first passion and will always be my main passion. Music is great but drawing is where I feel completely in charge and open. Even if someone cut off my arms I would still draw with my feet or stick a brush up my butt and draw with that. Ain't no stopping me!
Who do you look up to as a drummer? What about artistically? Is there anyone in general that you respect as a big influence on your work and how you live and work?
I really look up to Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Descendents, ALL) and Josh Freese (The Vandals, Devo, NIN). They are amazing drummers with completely different styles. Bill has a sort of Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) style mixed with some type of Jazz influence. Hearing that in punk music blew my mind growing up. Josh is just an all around prodigy. He can play anything but what I really admire about him is his care free attitude and how really doesn't give a fuck. He wore an orange suit with a green bow tie when playing with a Perfect Circle and then he was talking on his cell phone when Carson Daly tried to interview while he was playing for No Doubt. During the show! How rad is that. What a jackass.
Artistically I really like the attitude of some of the greats like Ed Roth and Robert Williams who were extreme low brow artists doing whatever they felt like and not worrying if they would ever be accepted in the fine arts community. They also brought a real edge to that style of art. You know it makes you feel good to see your parents frown at that type of art and not get it at all. That's what made me realize what art really was growing up.
Have you discovered any new bands that you're way into? I know you listen to a lot of punk rock. What other things are you into?
I actually listen to less and less punk as I'm getting in to a lot more of 50's and 60's Rockabilly and even old Ragtime and Big Band stuff. Although I have to say a new band that knocked my socks off was the new Bronx band "Mariachi el Bronx". Love it.
I know you are pretty into nachos. So, I have to ask you- where do you get the best nachos in Orlando?
It's true. I think nachos are a vital element to my life source. The best nachos is a repeating topic that comes up between my friends and I. I guess I would say it's neck and neck between City Fish seafood nachos and the nachos from Stardust. Wooooo they are good!!
What is the absolute worst place on this planet that you have ever had to play a show in your entire life? Why?
Hmmmm, I've played so many shit holes before that it's a hard choice. I do have to say I would probably play most of them again though so this makes it hard. I guess one that I could remember is playing inside of an Electronics Boutique in a strip mall. It really wasn't a bad show it was just super surreal and made me feel awkward as hell. I mean come on a video game store!?!?!
When you are working for a client doing design work, do they usually come to you with a preconceived notion of what they want? It seems like it would be like being a tattoo artist. Some person comes in with a really douchey idea, and you have to find a way to make it into something that looks good.
I actually prefer when they give me an idea because I think any designers worst nightmare is "just do something cool". That kills me. I would way rather have them explain to me exactly what they are looking for and for them to expect that I'm gonna do it in my own style. That's what I like.
Of all the albums, shirts, etc that you have designed, which one is your favorite? Why? Also, what do you have the most fun designing?
I actually had a blast doing some snowboards for K2 recently. That was a real blast because it was in a format I rarely get to do, and to see your art printed that big is a real treat. Also, dealing with people in the X-treme sports field is nice because they really know what their demographic is and they have a hold on it. They give the best direction because of that.
I know you are a guy that prefers to hand draw things, and then convert them into a digital format after. Do you have any tips for people out there who like to draw, and just really don't know a lot about photoshop and illustrator, but would like to start doing design?
Yeah, don't do it. Honestly, if you you're not that good at drawing then stop. You're taking my nacho eating money from me.
Actually, as a veteran of playing music and being an artist in the punk scene for a good amount of time, what advice do you have for youngins that are just getting started, or want to get started?
You really have to be willing to be stepped on and really not make money for a long time. It goes the same for a band. If you have intentions of being rich or famous then you're not doing it right. Those are usually the people that fail at these type of things. If you keep your head up and just draw to please yourself and to always get better, that is the only way you're gonna be noticed. People who try too hard can succeed quickly but usually die quicker also because they don't build a strong fan base.
Tell me (us) about your cafe racer. I don't know shit about motorcycles.
HA! I actually don't own a cafe racer, my roommate Ben does. I own a Honda CB350 which can be converted into a cafe racer and is usually the japanese motorcycle that most people convert to a cafe racer. I just got in to bikes less then a year ago and have been obsessive about them since. I don't think it will wear off cause I'm looking to buy another soon. There is just something about riding with your friends and getting lost on some weird ass back roads in Florida. It's so much fun.
OK, I think this is the last question. If you were going to start a band/biker gang, and tour on motorcycles for 3 months straight, what famous people would you want in it?
Well, I would definitely want all the bikers from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Have you seen the part where they party in the bar? Yeah, they know how to roll. I would also like to have Anna Faris because let's face it, she's hot. Um, a lot of the Scout Troopers on their speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi and I guess the last person I would like to have is Kurt Russel. Hands down. Ultimate Bad-Ass.
Thanks a lot Richard, have a great time at Fest.