It has been said that the perceived lack of physical music these days, especially vinyl (both of which are areas of the industry that actually growing in the UK), has had an impact on a piece of music as a finished product; the artwork is no longer important, no longer as beautiful or pertaining to the music itself as it once was.

You can tell that to Russian politician Alexander Starovoytov, who claimed U2's Songs of Innocence cover was "gay propaganda"; or perhaps Björk, whose album artwork is consistently thoughtful, vibrant, and as much a part of the experience as the music itself. A discussion around the physical aspects, the artwork and visual aesthetics, of music, is always relevant, mostly interesting, and more often than not quite telling of the people behind the music.

With this in mind, we asked Montreal-based No Joy about the cover of their new album More Faithful.


"Instead of posing we just started to beat each other up."

Talk us through that cover...

We were trying to find a way to feature the band on the cover somehow in a photograph. All our past covers had been designs/artwork, so we wanted to find a way to use a photo. Every angle we were pitched to have us on the cover gave us major weird vibes and took us out of our element but in a bad way. So instead I invited my friend/photographer Allison Staton over to our jamspace one afternoon. Instead of posing we just started to beat each other up. Garland is a big wrestling fan so he knew some good moves. So most of the photos from the album are us trying to punch one another.

Do you think it sums up your sound quite well?

It may/may not represent our sound but it definitely represents us as people and with this record we definitely wanted to make it more personal... so I guess it does!

Also, in this picture, is that second image the record insert, or the back of the album? What's the story behind that image? Given the raucous nature of the cover, it seems quite a nice contrast!

That image is the insert to the album and it's a photo Laura took outside the old farmhouse in Costa Rica that we stayed on while mixing the album. Those were steps in the backyard that led to a huge jungle mountain!



Here's what photographer Allison Staton had to say about the cover:

So I gotta say, I'm pretty excited No Joy chose my image for the cover of their album. it feels good to know I managed to capture their band in some way that rings true for them. The brief for this shoot was basically: we need it to not look like winter, and we want to look like ourselves. They wanted a shot that said something about who they are as individuals, and as a band. They're pretty fun people and there was a lot of goofing around that day.

My intention from the start was to avoid posing them, and they were good at just going about their usual shenanigans while I snapped away. The cover shot is the natural result of them being crazy, and me finding a sweet vantage point from which to capture it. I love how it turned out! I don't like band photos where everyone just lines up and looks at the camera. I always try to get something more going in the shot so that it'll tell more of a story, and hopefully help the band stand out from the crowd. I feel we accomplished that!


More Faithful is out June 8th on Mexican Summer in the UK and Europe, 9th June in the US and on Arts & Crafts in Canada.