Jerrod Landon Porter on his design work for Mayday Parade and the origins of “Pentagram Cat”February 20, 2012
I’m guessing that’s kind of how your other stuff you’re doing for Fearless happened.
Yeah, exactly. Fearless and a couple other labels, too. I was doing stuff for Doghouse and I’m sure every single indie/pop punk band knows who David Conway is, who is the A&R guy for Doghouse and works with Working Group Management. He’ll just email me out of the blue and be like, “Hey, I need you to do this.” I did the first couple things for Never Shout Never. I did one of his first EPs [2009's Happy digital single, right] and a couple t-shirts and a poster and things like that. Stuff like that.
I make it a point of being really nice. I think people like working with somebody who’s not a total asshole, which is where my logo came into play. There was a band on Doghouse called Feable Weiner, and I was doing stuff for them and they would always feed me email ideas and at the end of it, one of the guys would always say, “I heart JLP.” That’s where my logo came from. I didn’t even come up with the logo—some band did.
What other stuff are you doing Fearless in the future?
I can’t say the name of the band, but they contacted me recently and I’m going to be doing something that’s coming out this summer. The band is already on the label and I guess they wanted something a little more mature looking for their new album cover. I do have something with Fearless coming out in the next coming months.
Talk a little about your label and the next 7-inch you’re putting out.
I’ve had this record label for a year or two now—it’s named after my neighborhood in Tallahassee, which is Levy Park. We basically just put out friends’ projects and the first physical release on vinyl that we did was—well, it wasn’t the first physical release, but it was the first thing not involving Tallahassee—was the guitar player for Coheed and Cambria [Travis Stever] had a side project called Davenport Cabinet and it’s a split between him and this band that was on Doghouse called One Small Step For Landmines. We did a split 12-inch for that and then took a break from it because I was so busy with graphic design and now I’m kind of jumping back into it.
The next thing we’re releasing is by an acoustic grindcore band called Help It. The 7-inch is called 999 Lives, but the name of the album is upside down, so it looks like 666 and it’s going to come on glow-in-the-dark vinyl. But yeah, it’s an acoustic grindcore band that’s got a cat for a lead singer and the cat’s name is Beezer. Unfortuntely, two weeks after it was recorded, the cat got rolled by a car, so we wanted to capture an homage to this cat. We’re going to release it via Kickstarter and it’s going to come on glow-in-the-dark vinyl and with these brochures—I’m using some of the money from the Threadless campaign to make these brochures on how to properly adopt pets and awesome things you can do with your pet like have pet parties, go to dog parks, and not be a jerk and throw your pet away when the semester’s over. You’ll get that and a bunch of stickers and buttons. There’s an animal rights part to it, too.
So you’re going on tour with Of Montreal. When is that happening?
It starts in March—the tour runs from Mar. 7 to Apr. 7. We’re doing South By Southwest and then doing a loop around the country in support of their new album and I’ll be doing merch management for them.
How did you get into that?
I have known them for a while. Half of them lived in Tallahassee and half of them lived in Athens, Georgia. The singer’s [Kevin Barnes] brother went to Florida State and I made friends with him and one day he just called me up—I’d done tour management and merch management—and asked me if I wanted to do that. I’m a pretty easy going on tour, so they like that and I like sleeping in a bunk and sitting in a van.
Tell us about your website redesign you have coming up.
Since I have all these high-profile things coming up, I’m launching a new website that’s going to feature a meme generator. I can’t say what the subject of it is yet because I had my credit card phished, so I can’t buy the domain until next week. I’m going to have a bunch of [new] things like links to Stay Rad buttons and my record label. It’ll be pushing t-shirts that I make like my neighborhood t-shirt and the new Lemuria shirt that I designed. It’s just kind of a hub for all of the things I’m doing. I just made it a little more centered so people can get to my other stuff on it. It also has years of artwork on it because after six months I just hate everything that I do, but for some reason, I’m really OCD about it and I like to not forget that I made that stuff. It’s a growing experience.
Speaking of your neighborhood, what inspired you to make that sign for Levy Park (above) and then put it up without city approval?
Okay, well I’m going to talk about some really illegal stuff right now, but some very punk friends I had stole our crappy neighborhood sign that the city made. It was one of those really bad aluminum signs and they stole it years ago. After that I thought, “Why haven’t they replaced it with a nicer sign?” and I felt kind of guilty because my friends took it, so I decided that I was going to do the city and the neighborhood a favor and since I do a lot of wood cutting—like stencil or painted artwork on wood cuts—I just decided to make a neighborhood sign and go up there with a drill and some epoxy and just put it up and not even ask the city or anybody if I could do it.
My friends went up there with a six-pack of beer and drilled this thing into it. At 6PM while they were doing it, somebody driving by called them “fucking hipsters.” [Laughs.] My friends who work for this bussing company—they drive Go Radio and Mayday Parade and Breathe Carolina and all those bands around—own a t-shirt shop here in town and they were selling the t-shirts for me and Levy Park had just started The Neighborhood Association. They emailed me saying, “Hey, we kind of want to leave your sign as the logo for the neighborhood,” which is totally backwards because you’re supposed to have a neighborhood association make the sign, but the neighborhood association wanted to adopt the sign. alt