It goes without saying that I was more than elated to be asked to shoot the new album cover art and press photos for Steel Panther’s third full-length album, “All You Can Eat”! When my good friend Jason Lekberg contacted me to take on the project, it was a dream come true. I had been a fan of the band for a year after seeing them live in Los Angeles at the House of Blues in early 2013. Their music and live shows are as legit as it gets, albeit comedic and hilariously raw. So being hired to be an integral part of creating the bands new imagery was very humbling!
One of the things I love about working with Jason and the Steel Panther team is that I was given a wide range of creative input into the project. The album art needed to be iconic, yet fitting to the album title, “All You Can Eat”. After a week of throwing ideas around to my team here at the studio and with Jason, the idea of shooting a Panther-esque version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting popped into my head. Jason took the concept to the band and they immediately loved it!
Going into the project, I knew that it would require creating a composited image as we were shooting the guys at Forge studio in Los Angeles and we would have a limited amount of time to get the shot. We out-sourced the models/extras from across the country and were able to create the base image for the art in an hour’s time of shooting. In the end, I was really proud of the final shot and happy to put my name to it. When the artwork was released in LA and widely across the internet, it came with a myriad of reactions… mostly positive. In fact, one review called the album cover “Blasphemous” and another put it in the running for “Best Album Cover of 2014″! Here is the final cover art, front and back, designed by Trevor Niemann at Visual Entropy:
Here is a behind the scenes video from the photo shoot!
Below is a look at the final album cover image and a peak at the composited elements/photos, that required nearly 30 hours of editing to complete the final artwork. We shot nearly 260+ photos in studio of everyone seated at the table as seen here. Due to the size of the group and the interaction we wanted to showcase in the image, I ended up cutting apart 8 separate shots of them together to create this final setting. Although we had everyone in the right spots and could have shot this as a whole image, by picking apart each individual grouping of people we could obtain the exact aesthetic and mood we were after. Then my team and I created a 3D rendered background of the room in which I later layered the surfaces with old photos from my archive and enhanced the shadow detail to make it appear to be an actual space.
Steel Panther released the cover art to the world via the Grill ‘Em All food truck in Los Angeles on January 30th.
(Above photos courtesy of Charlie Fonville at Type 55 Films.)
Below are some of the press shots that have appeared all over the internet and in a bunch of magazines across the world!
And in case you are wondering what the rejected cover art ideas were… HERE YOU GO:
See more of Dave’s work at www.davidejackson.com!