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  ASIA, MAGNUM, URIAH HEEP ARTIST RODNEY MATTHEWS AS BUSY AS EVER

joe geesin
Joe Geesin



rodney matthews

Renowned fantasy artist and sleeve designer Rodney Matthews is currently putting on the Matthews In Graphite exhibition of pencil sketches at the Royal George Hotel in Birdlip, Gloucestershire, running form 28th to 31st January 2017, and we were able to catch up with him there.

Famed for his work with Magnum, as well as Nazareth, Praying Mantis, Eloy, Atkins May Project and the 90s Christian Thrash scene, his fantasy style is based on his interest in nature, developed through close-up photography of insects. Check out the covers of Praying Mantis and Tiger Moth for starters.

Here at the exhibition the pencil sketches would often form preliminary sketches, so whether a partly drawn character or a complete idea, much of the work is recognisable as his distinctive style.

Talking to Rodney, he spoke of his forthcoming album (Rodney is a drummer with a rock and jazz background), featuring guitarist Jeff Scheetz and Yes keyboard player Oliver Wakeman, with the latter's father Rick Wakeman also making an appearance.

Rodney trained as a graphic artist and worked in advertising, before going freelance. Early work included Amon Duul II and Thin Lizzy's 'A New Day' EP, but the fantasy style really developed with his work with author, poet and Hawkwind collaborator Michael Moorcock.

Following a mid 70s calendar being noted by Nazareth, he illustrated their 'No Mean City' cover, now one of the most iconic album covers. A long friendship with Magnum and Praying Mantis also developed and in the early 80s a lot of work came through the Heavy Metal Worldwide label, including Bitches Sin, Eloy and Scorpions.

After reconnecting with Nazareth and Praying Mantis for recent releases, and continued work with Magnum, Rodney is as busy as ever. Here's the conversation in full.

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

rodney matthews

Rodney Matthews Discography:
Pentworth's People: Demo on vinyl (2 tracks)
Squidd: Twice Upon a Time (3 track CD)
Frog Riders: Utterly Spontaneous - Jam Session (7 track CD)
Rudi Dobson & Rodney Matthews, featuring Tony Clarkin: The House on the Rock (3 track CD)
Jeff Scheetz, Rodney Matthews & Friends (John Payne, Oliver Wakeman, Bob Catley and Pete Coleman): I Saw Three Ships – Christmas CD with card (1 track)

Selected sleeve designs:
1969: Thin Lizzy, New Day (EP)
1971: Fred Wedlock, The Folker
1971: Ian A. Anderson, A Vulture Is Not A Bird You Can Trust
1971: Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra, Piggery Jokery
1971: Various Artists, The Great White Dap (EP)
1972: Amon Düül II, Live In London
1972: Dave Evans, Elephantasia
1972: Hillbilly Jazz, Vol. 1
1972: Hillbilly Jazz, Vol. 2
1972: Hunt & Turner, Magic Landscape
1972: Ian A. Anderson, Singer Sleeps On As Blaze Rages
1972: Various Artists (Feat. Little Richard, Sam Cooke and more), This Is How It all Began
1973: Al Jones, Jonesville
1973: Art Rosenbaum, Five String Banjo
1973: Bola Sete, Ocean
1973: Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters, Ejection (EP)
1973: Dave Carlsen (Feat. Noel Redding, Keith Moon & Spencer Davis), Pale Horse
1973: David Stone & Allan Schiller, Delius
1973: Fred Wedlock, Frollicks
1973: Hamish Imlach, All Round Entertainer
1973: Stefan Grossman, Aunt Molly's Murray Farm
1973: Stefan Grossman, Contemporary Ragtime Guitar
1973: The Dartington String Quartet, Shostakovich
1974: Brinsley Schwarz, Golden Greats
1974: Geoffrey Woodruff, Live (6" LP)
1974: Old Pete, Old Pete (6" LP)
1974: Old Pete, Old Pete's Christmas Story (6" LP)
1974: Various Artists, Some People Play Guitar Like A Lotta People Don't!
1975: Halfbreed, Halfbreed
1976: 20th Century Steel Band, Yellow Bird Is Dead
1977: Bo Hansson, Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings
1979: Nazareth, May The Sun Shine (Single)
1979: Nazareth, No Mean City
1980: Magnum, Chase the Dragon
1980: Praying Mantis, Praying Mantis (Single)
1980: Praying Mantis, Time Tells No Lies
1981: Praying Mantis, Cheated (EP)
1981: Tygers of Pan Tang, Crazy Nights
1982: Bitches Sin, Predator
1982: Diamond Head, Borrowed Time
1982: Eloy, Planets
1982: Eloy, Time to Turn
1982: Scorpions, Lonesome Crow
1983: Magnum, The Eleventh Hour
1984: Eloy, Metromania
1984: Tigermoth, Tigermoth
1985: Magnum, On a Storyteller's Night
1986: Motherlode, The Sanctuary
1987: Diamond Head, Am I Evil
1987: Magnum, Mirador
1988: Magnum, Kingdom of Madness
1988: Magnum, Magnum II
1988: Tigermoth, Howling Moth
1989: Full Moon, Full Moon
1989: Magnum, Foundation
1990: Detritus, Perpetual Defiance
1990: Seventh Angel, The Torment
1991: Praying Mantis, Predator In Disguise
1991: Rick Wakeman, 2000 A.D. Into The Future
1991: Seventh Angel, Lament for the Weary
1991: White Metal Warriors, Last Ship Home
1992: Asia, Aqua
1992: Asia, Who Will Stop The Rain? (Single)
1992: Magnum, Only In America (Single)
1992: Magnum, Sleepwalking
1992: Rudi Dobson & Rodney Matthews, The House On The Rock
1992: Veni Domine, Fall Babylon Fall
1993: Barclay James Harvest, Caught In The Light
1993: Gethsemane Rose, Tattered 'N' Torn
1993: Magnum, Archive
1993: Magnum, Keeping the Nite Light Burning
1993: Stairway, No Rest: No Mercy
1994: Rodd & Marco, Jurassic Church
1994: Veni Domine, Material Sanctuary
1995: Asia, Arena
1995: Rick Wakeman, The New Gospels
1995: Tradia, Welcome to Paradise
1996: Asia, Archiva Vol. 1
1996: Asia, Archiva Vol. 2
1996: Crucifer, Hellbound Angel
1997: Magnum, Stronghold
1999: Oliver Wakeman & Clive Nolan, Jabberwocky
2000: Doug King, The Snugldorfs
2003: Asia, Different Worlds Live
2003: Asia, Live In Moscow (DVD)
2003: Barclay James Harvest, 25th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2003: Hawkwind, Welcome To The Future (2CD/DVD Box)
2003: Magnum, A Winter's Tale (DVD)
2003: Squidd, Twice Upon A Time (3 Track CD)
2003: Steve Hackett, Horizons (DVD)
2003: Uriah Heep, Live In The USA (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne, The Strawbs and more), Folk Rock Anthology (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Saxon and more), Hard Rock Anthology (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Keith Emerson, Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman and more), Keyboard Wizards (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Mick Box, Steve Howe, Jan Akkerman, Toni Iommi and more), The Guitar Wizards: Presented By Mick Box (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Uriah Heep, Asia, Nektar and more), The International Classic Rock Festival (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Focus, Rick Wakeman and more), The Progressive Rock Anthology (DVD)
2003: Various Artists (Feat. Caravan, Curved Air, Family and more), The Underground Anthology (DVD)
2004: John Lawton Band, Shakin' The Tale (CD/DVD)
2004: Uriah Heep, Magic Night (CD/DVD)
2005: Russell Allen & Jørn Lande, The Battle
2006: Nazareth, The Very Best of Nazareth
2007: Magnum, Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow
2007: Russell Allen & Jørn Lande, The Revenge
2007: Stormzone, Caught In The Act
2008: Bob Catley, Immortal
2008: Hawkwind, Out Of The Shadows (CD/DVD)
2008: Jeff Scheetz, Behind The Mask
2008: Magnum, Wings of Heaven Live
2008: V-Rats, Intelligent Design
2009: Magnum, Into the Valley of the Moon King
2009: Roxxcalibur, NWOBHM For Muthas
2010: Magnum, The Gathering
2010: Russell Allen & Jørn Lande, The Showdown
2010: Stairway, Interregnum
2011: Atkins May Project, Serpent's Kiss
2011: Magnum, The Visitation
2011: Roxxcalibur, Lords Of The NWOBHM
2012: Atkins May Project, Valley of Shadows
2012: Frog Riders, Utterly Spontaneous
2012: Geoff Whitely Project, Confidential Whispers
2012: Magnum, On the 13th Day
2012: Tygers of Pan Tang, Ambush
2013: Avantasia, The Mystery of Time
2013: Geoff Whitely Project, Yetoto
2014: Atkins May Project, Empire of Destruction
2014: Jeff Scheetz, Rodney Matthews & Friends (John Payne, Oliver Wakeman, Bob Catley & Pete Coleman), I Saw Three Ships (Single)
2014: Magnum, Escape from the Shadow Garden
2014: Rick Wakeman, Fields of Green
2015: Nazareth, No Means Of Escape
2015: Praying Mantis, Legacy
2015: Starquake, Times That Matter












 

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