By Aren Fikes
Guttural melodies roar through the mic as bodies collide at the front of the stage. Those too fragile to enter the moshpit seek safety on the sidelines while the blend of perspiration and spilled beer thicken the air. This is a Pervert show.
Vocalist Shane Donaldson, 22, and bassist Trent Franks, 20, are both studio art majors who perform with their four-man band Pervert.
“Our guitar player and I were at a heavy metal music festival down in Oakland, just sitting up against a wall drinking and gambling and throwing names around while we were getting [our band] going,” Donaldson said.
Stylistically, Pervert’s sound can be classified as powerviolence, a subgenre of hardcore punk music.
“It’s loud, fast and grimy,” Franks said.
For Donaldson and Franks, putting their creative abilities to use is second nature. Donaldson paints and sculpts, while Franks places his focus on printmaking. The two collaborate on original designs and screenprint T-shirts for their band’s merchandise.
“Screen printing is just a sophisticated stencil, honestly,” Franks said.
A mesh screen is coated with a layer of photosensitive emulsion. Once dry, the image that is going to be used is printed onto transparent paper and attached to the screen. The screen then gets “burned” or exposed to direct light in order to expose the emulsion. Next, the screen gets rinsed and the emulsion where the design was gets washed away. After drying completely, the desired ink is squeegeed across the screen and transferred to the article of clothing.
“It’s kind of nice to step out of the academic type of work where you’re spending a lot of time working on a certain concept,” Donaldson said. “This is a little more aesthetic.”
Whether getting a crowd to thrash at their shows or sketching up new designs in their downtime, these band members are satisfied seeing the fruits of their labor being supported by peers and Humboldt’s music scene.
“It feels really good to get something done from start to finish, and ideally have people be stoked enough on our music to wear our shirts,” Franks said.
Q: How would you describe your artistic style?
Shane Donaldson: “It’s fantastical imagery where I create a world of my own. Sometimes controversial and rough, dealing with religion and politics.” Trent Franks: “I usually make stuff up and they’re pretty much glorified doodles. They deal with elements of real life and it not being ‘together.’”
Q: Do you plan to make a living off your work?
SD: “Ideally I’ll find a career and find a way to get by, but still do what I love to do.”
TF: “It would be nice to. I think the screenprinting thing could be a good way into that because it’s functional.”
Q: What is your dream project?
TF: “I’d love to be doing record covers for bands that get me stoked.”
Q: Who inspires your art?
SD: “Pushead’s art and music really inspired me when I was little.”
TF: “John Baizley who did art for all the Baroness records.”
Q: Who inspires your music?
TF: “Mainly heavy metal music, grindcore and stuff. Black Sabbath of course, and all the bluesy, stonery, doom music that influenced them.”