Robert Cavuoto of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen about Rick's collection of visual art, "Electric Hand: Rhythm + Change", which is set for release on April 18 exclusively at RickAllenArt.com. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Guitar International: Tell me a little about how you're combining rhythm into visual art, as well as how you found SceneFour to help you express it?
Rick Allen: Actually, it was through one of our Raven drummers [Raven Drum Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by Allen and his wife Lauren Monroe]. She had mentioned that SceneFour was involved in this incredible process of turning rhythm into a visual. We've all heard rhythm, but we've never actually seen it. She told me about it and I got in touch with them. The day I was leaving to go out on tour, we went into my studio and we went through this process of painting rhythms. It starts in a dark room with long exposure photography and using different types of lighted drum sticks. They are the paint brushes for the artwork. Basically, I would be sitting in this dark room playing different rhythms. When we started looking at the end result, we realized it was revealing hidden worlds. It was like looking into aspects of me that I knew existed, but I'd never actually seen before and the things that I'm passionate about. I've done a lot of work with saving the American wild horses and there's one piece in particular that really alludes to that passion.
Guitar International: It must be interesting to see subconscious thoughts coming through you're rhythm. That must be pretty intriguing and frightening to some degree.
Rick Allen: Yeah, it is. To see some of the realms that I've experienced throughout my journey on this planet, some of them have been nothing short of horrific. I'm all about seeing the truth and seeing what it is about people that make up the human experience. This, to me, was a beautiful way to really highlight that because these are hidden realms. These are worlds that nobody would normally get to see up until recently. It's abstract, but it's a beautiful way to really see what's going on inside any given individual. Even some of the other artists that got involved, I can see the individuality within their pieces, too.
Guitar International: With this artwork being very personal, what do you want the viewers to take away from it?
Rick Allen: I'd like people to find themselves in there somewhere and really to rediscover or discover parts of themselves that they didn't know about or weren't in the forefront of their minds: finding the courage to move into their passion, to move into their dream. We all need that kind of inspiration these days. It hasn't exactly been a walk in the park the last few years in terms of what is going on out there in the world regarding finances and loss of jobs. There are a lot of things that are stacked against us. I'd really like for people to find parts of themselves that they'd like to pursue.
Read the entire interview from Guitar International.