When we normally do these types of things, we ask a band for their five interesting facts. This time, we’re doing it a little differently. Kagoule are not only one of most exciting new bands coming from Nottingham, they also have a talent for art. We met with Kagoule’s drummer, Lawrence English, who designed the hauntingly beautiful artwork for their debut album, Urth, which is out on 21 August.

The artwork for Kagoule’s debut, designed by drummer, Lawrence English.

Lawrence, you designed the artwork for the debut Kagoule album, what’s the meaning behind the artwork?

It was really just the first piece I’d done that we all felt represented the album most appropriately; there wasn’t an obvious aim to where I was trying to take the drawing and I didn’t know it was going to be the album cover when I was drawing it.. it wasn’t until a while later when we needed a cover we realised it just very conveniently seemed to fit perfectly. I think mainly because it coincidentally represented the ‘Urth’ concept with the big planet shaped cluster of people. Maybe part of it was also that it was the first drawing I’d done to that level of intricacy, because we wanted something you could sit and study for while, and would have to look at twice before it really made any sense.

As for the meaning of the image itself though, It’s pretty hard to say exactly what the meanings behind most of my drawings actually are, cause I usually just have a really vague starting point and then just see where it ends up, but now I’ve been compiling drawings since the bands birth, I can see that everything, including the album art, seems to be following a pattern and kind of share a meaning; where human figures are either warped, distorted or deformed, or the situation they are in is. I’ve always liked drawing things that almost look normal, but there’s something, maybe not instantly noticeable, that makes the whole thing totally strange and hopefully unsettling.

One of your paintings is on the wall in the new Rough Trade store in Nottingham, how did that come about?

Lawrence, putting his final touches to the wall art at Rough Trade, Nottingham

Yeah, that opportunity came really out of the blue for me actually. Someone from our label went in to drop off some vinyls we put out a while ago with a couple of drawings of mine on the front and back, and apparently they thought it looked pretty cool so asked if I’d come do something on a wall! I don’t think they anticipated how massive I was going to draw the image though, I think they expected me to come in and be done after an hour, but I got a bit ambitious and it ended up about half the size of me and took about 3 days. It still feels strange when I’m in there, pretty honoured to have been about to do that.

What came first for you, drums or art? 

The art came first by quite a way, but I only really started to pursue it since Kagoule, so they both grew together really. I always used to draw when I was little, and then at school I used to draw pretty weird stuff, but never seriously, then I didn’t really bother at all for a while until we thought it’d be easier (and cheaper) if I started doing all the band stuff, which luckily ended up growing alongside the band.

I understand that Cai (Kagoule’s guitarist/vocalist) is also a bit of an artist, would you work together on stuff, perhaps for future Kagoule work?

I do remember some awesome paintings Cai did a few years back, but I’m not sure if us working together in that way would make sense for us, mainly because a lot of the time, when I start something, there’s no particular plan. Not that I wouldn’t be open to that though. For us though, it seems to work best with us collaborating in a way where we do our own thing, but in a way that compliments the other. Also, some of the drawings I end up doing are more directly visual representations of what Cai seems to be depicting in the lyrics or tone of the songs, so sometimes we work together in a sort of author/illustrator kind of way.

Can you see your art becoming more of an influence on the band as you continue to move forward?

Yeah, definitely, I hope so anyway. It seems the way we’re going, we’re trying to create a broader identity of the band, with multiple crucial elements to the band making it what it is. It’s still pretty early days though, it’s still just random doodles on my behalf in a way, but when we learn better ways to incorporate it all together I can definitely see everything becoming more reliant on each other.

Any plans for an exhibition of your work at any time?

I think it’d be a fairly empty exhibition at this point in time.. but who knows for the future.

Kagoule’s debut album ‘Urth’ is released on August 21st through Earache Records. Here’s the video for their latest single ‘Gush’ 


Rob McCleary