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Rock Nymph And The Dead Pirates

Rock Nymph And The Dead Pirates

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Artist, rock star and businessman, McBess has been conquering the world with his unique surrealistic cartoons where rock and nymph tangle together in a sensual world. We talk with the Frenchman, who is now leaving in the UK to tell us about his daily routine.

Baron: Who is McBess?
Matthieu Bessudo : Mcbess, it’s me, Matthieu Bessudo, it’s a contraction of my name ” Matthieu + Bessudo = Matbess = Mcbess “. I’m 25, I live in London and I’m essentially an illustrator who likes to touch other fields like music and videos.  I come from France where I learnt how to animate and went straight to England to work at The Mill. I started my career as a junior animator and I’m now a commercials/music videos director with my partner Simon Landrein.

B.: Take us on a tour of a McBess day of work + fun.
M. B.: Well it starts by waking up late, too late to do most of the things you must do in the morning, wash teeth, get dressed, and jump on my red bike. Then it’s a race between double-deckers with my girlfriend and we both arrive late at work. The usual coffee plus croissant before starting. Then, I work on commercials with Simon and draw a bit when no one looks, then have lunch and go back to the same things. When I get home, it’s more drawing and playing music and then bedtime.

Love the rock nymphs in your works! Sex + Rock is cultivated in your work… 
M. B. : The nymphs are a representation of how horny I am. When I started drawing them they were everywhere and at the time I was single. Now it’s a bit quieter but they’re still around. The bearded guy is me, it’s not a photo realistic auto-portrait but this is how I think I look and act. All the characters are either a representation of a real person, friend or family or they represent a feeling. I’m trying to build something that would have the same ramification as my everyday life, in a more fucked up way.

B.: The Dead Pirates + Malevolent Melody EP?
M. B. : The Dead Pirates was a project I had for several years. I’ve always been playing in bands but it never was exactly like what I had in mind, I waited for my friend to learn how to play and my little brother to leave our native town to start the band. Last year I was asked by Nobrow (a small but extremely cool English publisher) to do a comic and since I was doing a bit of music, they had this idea of making a vinyl as well. I wrote the story and asked my brother if he was up for helping out with the music. We started writing for the EP in the south of France and when we would come back to London I would record everything by myself. Soon after that we started putting the band together. It’s now 3 month old so we still need a lot of practice but we’ve done a gig in London and in Paris that went pretty well. So for now we’re really excited.

B. : … and Le Chateau series?
M. B.:It’s a series of ink drawings I did in France while I was in holiday eating and drinking more than I should have. They’re all exhibited in the Issue gallery in Paris up until mid-March. They’re like a documentary on what living with The Dead Pirates was like.

B. : Is it possible to make a living with your art?
M. B.:It is now, but I don’t. I rarely do commissions. It’s boring and puts a stain on my passion. I direct music videos and commercials for a living. It’s still the same field but you can still find yourself wanting to draw after work.

B.: Has the Internet + new technology changed the way you work and promote?
M. B. : Well ya, in a good way. See the massive changes it did in the music industry; now if you get your illustrations blogged and re-blogged and re re re re re blogged then you get a shit load of exposition and then get asked to do real exhibitions and real books. When I started doing illustrations, internet was already very much a part of my everyday life so I don’t how I would promote my stuff and communicate without it now.

B.: What’s next?
M. B. : Spend the next 3 years working harder with the band, work with Simon on some live-action videos, and do more illustrations, thousands of them.