Axeslasher Got Thoroughly Ripped Off by Garageland on Slayer Gig Poster
Update: Lou Medrano has apologized publicly in the comments section and on our Facebook post of this piece. He has spoken to artist Tim Cochran, and has apprently paid him money he made from Garageland’s poster. Good on him for doing the right thing.
Denver pizza horror metallers Axeslasher are a Mansion favorite; the dudes rocked last year’s Denver Black Sky Fest, cementing their place in our blackened hearts, and they were part of the very first Converse Rubber Tracks x MetalSucks. Which is why we’re devilishly pleased to call out this blatant rip-off.
The band posted the following to their Facebook, displaying a noted similarity between their pizzagram logo and a recent poster for a Slayer show designed by Lou Medrano, a street artist known as ‘Xray’, of poster/art company Garageland:
Wow, the dripping cheese, the pepperoni — what a complete rip-off! It’s not even as though Garageland happened to design their own pizza pentagram… they literally just cut and pasted Axeslasher’s logo. Fucking gross.
It appears that Medrano and company have since realized that they couldn’t get away with this, as the only Slayer poster available on their website right now is this one (notice that the skeleton hand in it is the same as that in the Axeslasher poster–wonder who they ripped that off of?). But this tweet is still up, and the comment below makes it clear that it’s for the Slayer pizza poster.
When MetalSucks contacted the members of Axeslasher via Twitter, they were quick to note that though they didn’t draw the pizzagram themselves, they still own it:
“I didn’t draw our pizzagram. I commissioned it from Albuequerque artist Tim Cochran after a spliff after a game of poker. We own the rights to it but I still like people knowing he painted it and that he’s the best person to get it tattooed from…”
Meanwhile, a friend of Axeslasher’s named Mark Sullivan, who Axeslasher referred us to, pointed out that anyone who called Medrano out on Twitter was immediately blocked by Garageland’s account. He also mentioned that though the poster says it’s for the Fillmore, it was sold as being for a show at the Warfield:
So what’s the story? Is Medrano just making bootleg posters for shows that never existed? It doesn’t change the fact that he ripped off a small band like a total dick, but it does raise more questions.
Sadly, art plagiarism is pretty common in metal. In 2010, Gene Simmons’ son totally ripped off a well-known manga for his “original” comic series, and in 2013 Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design cut and pasted a ton of imagery from old horror and fantasy art. With those cases and this one, it’s obvious the artists involved thought no one would notice their lack of originality since the artist they were biting off was an obscure one. Problem is, the metal community is insular, communicative, and obsessed with art, so it didn’t take much for this kind of thing to catch our attention.
Anyway, to bands and venues, if you hire Lou “Xray” Medrano or Garageland to design a poster, there’s a chance you’re actually getting someone else’s chewed food. And if you still like the poster design, just throw some money Axeslasher’s way at their Bandcamp.