Sometimes I just see something I really like, it attracts me and I want to know more about it. This is exactly what happened when I found out that loads of really cool looking punk rock posters for especially the record label “Fat Wreck Chords” were being created by one guy. This guy is Stefan Beham and he kindly sat down to answer a few of my questions about himself and his work.
– Hi Stefan, let us know a little bit about yourself: how old are you, where are you from & where to you live/work, how long have been professionally making artwork?
Hi. First of all thanks for the interview. I’m 37 years and I live and work in Linz, Austria. Since I grew up in my Dad’s printing company I started kinda earlier doing graphic stuff. But I started doing this professionally around 3 years ago.
– When did you start getting involved in art and making art yourself?
When I was around 10. I loved to hang out in my Dad’s office painting and doing mashups. There was this creative vibe I really enjoyed and that was the moment I realized that I wanna do something with art.
– You’ve got a bunch of tattoos yourself. Do you also do tattoos and do you have your special tattoo artist you always go to?
Yeah, I really dig tattoos – can’t stop. 😉 No, I’m not tattooing and I never really thought about this until now. Maybe one day … In the meantime I got my special tattoo artist.
– Obviously one of our main questions is how did you get involved with Fat Wreck Chords and how has this relationship developed over the past years?
Fat Wreck Chords for me is the best record label. I always looked up to them and their great bands. Without this label I don’t think that I’m so much into punk rock like I’m now. Since I did more and more art stuff for FAT bands I think I got an their radar. But it really just started 2018. They asked me if I wanna do the artworks for the Punk Rock Holiday and Brakrock FAT samplers, after that there was the collaboration with the new Useless ID 7″ (which we co-release with FAT) and then the opportunity to do an art show at the headquarters in San Francisco.
– How does the process of making for example a band poster look like from the start to the finish? And how closely do you work together with the band?
I’m pretty fast on getting ideas for band posters. Maybe one reason for this is that I know and listened to almost every band I work with long before. So I think I now what there into it and what they like or not. Mostly I have a lot of liberties in creating something for the band. That means that I come up with an idea, visualize it and send it to the band. Nine times out of ten they like it. Process is pretty simple. Idea, first draft on paper, draft on the computer, final product.
– What was your hardest piece of work up until today and why?
There were a lot of really hard projects and a lot of stressful clients. But I will not mention names here. Sry. [Europeskate Red: no problem, no need to call out names!]
– You are also very busy making your own music festival, the SBÄM Fest. How did that get started and what can we all expect in 2019?
Yeah, this is one of my favorite projects. It all got started in 2017. I just thought of … oh, yeah I know a lot of bands now and it would be cool to do my own festival … A word and a blow. Now almost two years later it got bigger, better and more well known. A lot of helpers joined the team and there are big plans for 2019. There will be the SBÄM Fest spring/summer edition (May 1st-3rd) with almost 50 bands in 3 days. And there will also be a Fall edition again (Nov 1st). So I think we can put a happy smile on the faces of every punk rock music fan next year.
– I seems like you really like to be busy as you also have started up your own band label – SBÄM Records. How’s that developing, any bands already ready to go?
It seems so. I’m really getting bored very quickly so I try to get a lot done to not getting bored. We just found the label in spring 2018 and we are very happy about the feedback. We already release a bunch of great bands like No Fun At All, Consumed, Get Dead, Useless ID, Swallow’s Rose and a lot more. At the moment we’re pretty busy working on some new releases for 2019. So you better watch out there are a lot of surprise on the way.
– You just had your own art exhibition over in the States, how did that work out?
The art exhibition was at the FAT headquarters in San Francisco. This was one of the highlights since I started working for bands. I just asked FAT if they wanna do this and they said yes. That’s all.
– Keeping it short and straight to point: what are your plans and wishes for yourself and the SBÄM projects in 2019 and beyond?
I really hope that SBÄM is getting more and more well known and that the success will last. And I also hope that I can work for a lot of bands I never worked before like Blink182, Green Day….
Thanks Stefan for the interview!
If you want to find more about SBÄM, check out the links below: