Chaotic 8-bit musicians Anamanaguchi have certainly taken album covers for digital releases to the next level with their album cover for their Airbrushed 7″. Now known for crafting the soundtrack for the videogame Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this brightly-colored work of pixel art captures the exuberant and dynamic spirit of the young Brooklynites.

Below, cover artist Paul Robertson and Anamanaguchi guitarist Ary Warnaar give their viewpoints on the artwork.

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Paul Robertson

How did you become involved with the project?
We came into contact through working on the Scott Pilgrim game together. They said they were fans of my work and I like their stuff a lot, so I was happy to work with them.

What was the creation process like, in terms of concepts, and back-and-forth with the band?
They just said to do anything I wanted and to make it completely crazy, so I put together a sketch of a bunch of cats and slimes and poop and sent it to them. They said I should go even crazier with it, so then I added some gore and naked girls, and it was approved and ready to be animated.

How long did it take, and how many animated frames are there?
It took about 2 days all up. The characters are 8 frames and the background is 24 frames, so the characters loop 3 times for every 1 loop of the background.

What do you make of the resurgent popularity of .gif art? Are there similar file formats that might accomplish the same thing?
I think .gif is easy to use for most people, so that’s why it’s popular.

Do you foresee animated covers being popular in the near future?
Yeah I think it’s a cool idea. You can do alot of really neat stuff with looping animation. If people make them as awesome as possible, then they should become popular.

Ary Warnaar

Why the original decision for the .gif art, and how was it received?
Releasing chip music online through netlabels or on forums with digital art is pretty standard. We thought it would be fun to make our own website to release a couple tracks, and have art made by people we like for all the tracks. When it came to using animated .gifs vs a still picture… .gifs are just cooler.

What was the creation process like, in terms of concepts, and back-and-forth with the artist?
We picked each artist depending on what kinda mood each song had. The first single we put out, “Airbrushed,” came out right after we had finished working on the Scott Pilgrim game alongside Paul Robertson. We wanted to work with him outside of that project without the creative limitations of the game. So basically, the “back and forth” just consisted of us asking him to make something with no reservations [in a way that] he thought worked with the track.

Do you foresee animated covers being popular in the near future?
I don’t see why not. I don’t really see them being a standard or anything, but I could see that being an option artists consider when selecting / making / commissioning album art. iTunes store probably needs to start accepting .gifs first…

What inspired this particular visual aesthetic? How much direction did you give?
Paul Robertson’s art always seemed to have a lot in common with our music. The crazy hyper over-activeness, the intricacy, the inappropriateness… We didn’t give much direction because of this. We knew it would come out awesome (and appropriate).

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