Life of Agony's Alan Robert: From Leather Jackets to Graphic Novels
Markus Cuff, Tattoo Magazine
In late April, Noisecreep hooked up with Life of Agony bassist Alan Robert while he was in town promoting his popular 'Wire Hangers' comic book series and attending the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. Noisecreep tagged along with Alan as a photographer from Tattoo Magazine shot him for an upcoming spread outside of the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles.
We asked the Brooklyn, New York native how he initially became interested in music and the visual arts. "I got hooked on metal through the early Iron Maiden album covers. I would get the record, listen to it, and then try and draw the cover onto my notebook," said Alan between posing for photos.
"I eventually graduated to painting the backs of denim jackets for the metalhead kids at my school. Back then the coolest pieces were things like Iron Maiden's 'Killers' and 'Powerslave' album covers. I would charge $50 to $75 a pop. It was great money for a kid [laughter]. Then I started getting requests from the punk and hardcore kids too. I remember doing things like The Exploited's logo on an MC leather jacket. I also recall someone commissioning the cover to Motley Crue's 'Theater of Pain' one time – I did that one with an airbrush." Sadly, Alan never saved any of those jackets.
We asked if Alan's parents approved of his entrepreneurial tendencies. "They were pretty cool and understanding about it. They were even supportive of all the metal stuff too."
"I used to have my hair all the way down to my ass, and they still pretty much let me do whatever I wanted. They trusted me since I was always good at school and they knew art was my creative outlet."
"After high school, I received a scholarship for New York's School of Visual Arts for cartooning. That's what I wanted to do before we started taking Life of Agony more seriously. My dream was to become a pencil artist for Marvel Comics or someone like that. That was the goal."
Little did Alan know that his art career would have to wait while Life of Agony became global metal stars.