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Meet Sam McKenzie, Poster Artist for the Rock Band Rivals Trailer!

We got a chance to interview the one and only Sam McKenzie, an artist behind one of the ornate concert posters found in the Rock Band Rivals launch trailer. Sam's work is seen on the NecroShaft poster, featuring an intense sci-fi / metal rock trio headed to their next gig.

Watch the Rock Band Rivals Launch Trailer!

1. What / who are your artistic inspirations?

That's a pretty tough question, haha. Because of that, my answer is gonna be pretty vague: All kinds of things.

I'm constantly seeking out cool stuff to feed my inspiration. All the usual stuff, movies, music, comics, other artists (through something like, say, Instagram) and even real life.

I'm always mentally hoarding all the elements I like and then trying and melt it all down into something I can use. More literally though, I see artwork and artists everyday that are doing excellent work that give me the itch to draw.

2. What sort of music do you listen to? Does music inspire you in your designs?

Oh yeah, music is a huge source of inspiration for sure. Much like the question before, I'm into all kinds of different music. I've got a soft spot for punk and synthesizers, but wouldn't dare limit myself to those.

Lately I've been listening to stuff like Chrome, Shocking Blue, DEVO, Tangerine Dream and Geza X & The Mommymen.

Necroshaft Poster

3. What was your experience working on the “Necroshaft” poster for the Rock Band Rivals trailer?

I really enjoy drawing posters, as it's a perfect time to play with composition and typography. Working on the Necroshaft poster was a blast. Originally I was given a different name for the band, which inspired the combination of sci-fi and metal.

I was thinking they'd sound something like VENOM covering Hawkwind songs? Visually I was aiming for a combo of early heavy metal (spikes, leather), crust punk (spikes, leather) and outer space. Bit of a nod to Motörhead too, with the power-trio and tall, singing bassist.

4. Have you played Rock Band? What’s your favorite instrument to play? What’s your favorite song to play?

Yep, I sure have. I am woeful at drums, but would love to get good at them. I think they're the most fun. Only managed to play the first one, so I'm gonna run with Suffragette City by David Bowie.

5. Where can folks find more of your work?

People can check out, or follow me on Instagram (@ohnosam), which is updated much more regularly than my website.