Home - Interviews - Jim Balent - Broadsword Comics
MetalLife.com Interview With Jim Balent
By: Terry Bunch
Date: July 23rd, 2009
1. Music plays an important role in all of our lives and for most people, music provides more than just entertainment. What type of music is your favorite to listen to and who are your favorite bands?
Jim. Wow, that's a big question. It really depends on my mood or what I'm drawing. The music I listen to can range from soundtracks like the original
Conan the Barbarian movie sound track to Kiss, Motley Crue , Danzig , Rock Bitch and Spinal tap.
2. Do you listen to music while you are drawing? And if so, does the music help inspire the art or is the music chosen based on the art project at hand?
Jim. Both. If there is a project that needs to get done and I have the perfect music that goes with that project, than yes, I will listen to that CD to help in my creation.
Sometimes the reverse will happen . I will play a cd and be flooded with images that need to be drawn out. So it works both ways.
3. Frequently, the cover design on a CD helps tie together the concept of the music contained within. Have you ever been inspired artistically by the artwork on a CD cover?
Jim. I love cover art! I'm a very visual person and I will be drawn to CDs because of the artwork. I have even bought a small library of CDs of a certain group because I enjoyed the
visual look of their covers and of their interior booklets. In my day, when my music came in the form of Albums, there was this explosion of excitement when you held a 12 x 12 image
of the new album cover in your hands! Now everything is so small. Cd cover art still make an impact but I still prefer my art to be as large as possible. I've asked a few rock stars
who have both albums and CDs, if they feel that the small cd has a lesser impact visually then the 12 inch album covers and they all said "yes".
4. Have you ever been approached by a metal band to do CD cover art for them?
Jim. Yes, a metal band from Europe and my work has been used on the cover for ICED EARTH .
5. Are there any characters in Tarot that have been inspired or influenced directly by your taste in music?
Jim. Crypt Chick. She's a metal head. Or was. She's a ghost now that wanders the earth. But she's still a metal head
6. When you're not drawing for Tarot (as if you have time to do that), what do like to draw?
Jim. From pin-ups to fantasy art to cartoons, I like to draw it all. Even on my days off, if I'm not sketching ,
I feel like I forgot to do something that day. Sound crazy I know, but that's just me.
7. Danzig has been seen at your booth at San Diego's Comic Con, are there other metal artists that have contacted you about being fans of Tarot or your art in general?
Jim. Danzig is a great guy. Not only is he a fantastic musician and stage performer but he is an incredible businessman. Another amazing quality about Danzig is that he is probably the most honest
Rock star I've ever met. He's not a "Car Salesman" . He's not feeding you crap just to sell his product. Too many times Rock Stars turn into that fake pitchman just to make a buck. Glenn is not like that
and every conversation I have with him the more I respect him. Also! Glenn has a huge justice streak in him that you don't often see. He's a straight shooter, will tell you like it is, very fair person. But if you
cross him, cheat him or you don't fulfill your promises to him! Look out! He will bring Hell fire down upon you. I have never crossed him but I have seen others who have and The Hammer came down!
And! He has always treated Holly with respect, as an artist and as a girl in this industry, he has never hit on her or played the Rock star in that manner. Not all Rock stars are that professional. And we have cut our ties
with those who have crossed that line.
As for other rock stars who have liked my work. I've have met Gene Simmons a few times and I even drew him an illustration of Catwoman wearing his Dragon boots. When I last saw him he told me he still has the illustration and that it is hanging in his house. I've also met Ricki Rocket from Poison and Lita Ford. Both great people to meet and work with.
8. It is our view that heavy metal is a lifestyle not just a musical genre. Do you live a metal life? What concerts have you attended recently? What is your favorite recent movie?
Jim. The traditional Heavy Metal lifestyle means Sex, Drugs and rock n roll! Always on the move and orgies all night long. You may be surprised on how many TRUE ROCK STARS don't live that
lifestyle. As for me... I'm not into the drug thing. Recent concerts I've been to are... Motely Crue and Spinal Tap. Favorite recent movie... Ironman and the Dark Knight.
9. Tarot is very "occult" in nature. Are you drawn to metal bands that are also "occult" in their lyrical content and imagery?
Jim. I never thought of that! But now looking back I will have to say, yes, I guess I am.
10. And lastly, what appeal do think Tarot has for fans of heavy metal?
Jim. Tarot has a lot of strong imagery that involves Witchcraft, Strong sexy women and dark fantasy.
I think all these elements will appeal to the Heavy Metal Crowd.