Tuvaband is a Norwegian/English folk music duo consisting of Simon Would (guitar, piano, keys) and Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser (vocal, guitar, songwriter). Together, these proficient songwriters carefully craft captivating sounds that will wrap you with their warmly-toned arms, rarely releasing. Their latest recording, Mess, dropped on November 1st and is brimming with mood, magic and mellow. We’re digging the cover artwork too, so, with the band’s assistance, we explored it further.
Your new album cover is crazy-cool. Tell us about the artist and how you found him/her?
Simon Would: Marius Mathisrud is both a graphic designer and an artist. He has been working as a graphic designer for some years, but also just finished his fine art education in Den Haag. He creates installations, sculptures, and movie-art next to his graphic design. He is the creator behind CleanTV, a linear TV-channel online. He is the boyfriend of Tuva, and was the one to push her to release music. He’s been close to the music since then and been the perfect match to make artwork and videos as he knows what we want to say with our music.
Please elaborate on the medium(s) used when creating the art. We’d love to know how the artwork was created.
Would: The cover art is actually a photo taken from the music video Marius (and Oscar Juul-Sørensen, the other half of CleanTV) made for the EP. Even though the video is for one song “Eventually Silence”, the cover still fits well to the whole of the EP. We feel like the picture tells the story of the songs.
Would you consider the artist an additional band member, or someone contracted for just this piece?
Would: Marius Mathisrud has made all the artwork from the start and will be the one making it in the future. Somehow he is a very big part of Tuvaband. It’s cool to be able to release artwork next to the music that isn’t just a cover or a music video. It’s also nice to have an artist that knows us and what we want the songs to express. Sometimes the artwork says more about the song than what you hear if you don’t listen to the lyrics. A good example on this is the song “Everything We Do Is Wrong”.
What were the partnership’s dynamics like? For example, was a specific look given, or did the artist have full free range?
Would: He listens to the songs and reads the lyrics before he creates the artwork. We tell him what the songs are about. With music videos, we’re not involved. With the first covers, Tuva had an idea, but actually from Marius’ physical artwork. With the latest release; the single and the EP, Marius started making the music video and created the rest of the artwork around the video. We don’t necessarily need to have the same interpretation of the artwork as him, but it’s important for us to be able to relate it to the song or songs, which we do.
When people look at the album cover artwork, what do you want them to see/think?
Would: After we released two songs, Tuva was afraid people got the wrong impression of Tuvaband and who we are. On the third release, she told Marius to pretend we were a little bit like a punk band when creating artwork for us. It was especially important for this particular release, as we wanted people to understand what the song was about. Marius doesn’t have to pretend we’re anything we’re not anymore because he knows we don’t want him to create something that can seem cute or pretty. Luckily, he wouldn’t like that anyway.
Have any favourite music-related visual artists?
Would: We don’t know what his favorites are, but Marius often tells us to watch hip-hop music videos because they often tend to push the boundaries for what a music video can look like. We know he just likes music videos and films in general and jokes about that he wishes he was the one who made “Trash Humpers”…
Check out the band’s song “Eventually Silence”.