Meet Paul Gregory, the man behind the successful Bloodstock Festival.  Paul is also an accomplished artist and kindly agreed to answer some questions.  It is no secret that Bloodstock is my No.1 festival so read on to learn more about this multi-talented man.

 

Q
Hi Paul, letís start with what was the first big turning point in your album cover art career?
A
My first cover artwork was for Saxon in 1984, the album was called Crusader Iíve done several covers for the band since including their latest Into the Labyrinth.

Album covers have never been a major source of work for me mainly because they would arrive more like buses, three at a time or not at all. Which is how I like it.

Q
What's your favorite medium to work in?
A
Oils
Q
Did you do any formal training?
A
I had a brilliant art teacher when I was at school; he encouraged his students with his enthusiasm for his subject, Iíve painted for as long as I can remember owned my own art Gallery and painted with several artists over the years other than that, self-taught.
Q
What have been the milestone events in your career as an artist?
A

My exhibitions. The first was at the Barbican, London in the early 1980s, followed by the Abbaye de Daoulas in Brittany 2002-3 and then as the most visited exhibition in Stockholm in the Summer of 2007. http://www.waldemarsudde.se/gregory_e.html The exhibition now consists of more than thirty major works growing at the rate of approximately three a year. All the originals are all commissioned and owned by The Leicester Galleries London.

Q
What are your opinions on downloading music? Do you feel the lack of a complete package with artwork affects the overall experience?
A
I think the downloading of music has certainly thrown the cat amongst the pigeons with record labels and can only be a good thing for live music as bands have to find other ways to support their income. The internet has also given young bands a lot more ways of getting their music out there. As for the packaging this has always been in support of the album and secondary to the music, as it should be.
Q
What is your opinion on the downloadable, print friendly artwork that many digital albums come with? Do you feel this is an adequate replacement for an album package?
A
I think since the demise of the vinyl format to cd, covers have lost some of their impact, this is why I now reproduce my cover designs as limited editions. The ideal way to view cover artwork is in a larger format.
Q
Do you have a personal favorite of your own album cover artwork?
A
I donít think in those terms but I suppose from a nostalgic standpoint, Crusader.
Q
Your Lord Of the Rings art is amazing.  To see these in real life rather than just on the computer would be mesmerizing!  I read you did these over a number of years.
A
Yes itís pretty close to thirty years now,I certainly remember having hair when I started!
Q
What are you going to paint next? What can we look forward to from you in the future?
A
I never really plan too far ahead with my Lord of the Rings work as each canvas can take several weeks and some years, as to album covers theyíre always a welcome surprise so I never know for whom or when.
Q
How do you split time with your artwork and Bloodstock and other projects?
A
Work long hours.
Q
And on to Bloodstock! How did Bloodstock come about in the first place and had you any previous experience in organizing festivals prior?
A
Bloodstock was started with several individuals with the same goal, eventually that came down to just me. I had no previous experience of running a festival but lack of knowledge should never be a reason not to do something, excluding of course surgery or piloting a plane or several other things that have just come to mind. I have to say itís been one hell of a learning curve and fun with the occasional nightmare. But after nearly nine years yes Iím still learning.
Q
It must be quite challenging organizing an event that has grown year on year.  What have been the biggest challenges?
A
The weather!!!!
Q
How are the acts selected and the other entertainment on offer?
A
We do take note of the fans of the festival and their wish list, itís not always possible to fulfill all requests but we try and keep a balance. The bands are booked by Vicky my Daughter who is also a director so all blame should go to her. We also have an unsigned stage with over 30 bands over three days, which we are very passionate about. Our third stage the Lava stage hosts our guitar hero competition and also our infamous Metal Karaoke, a sight to behold into the wee small hours.
Q
How many people does Bloodstock festival plan to draw next year?
A
10,000
Q
What makes Bloodstock different from other festivals?
A
A clichť I know but the Fans.
Q
Which acts proved to be the standouts of this yearís festival?
A
There were several bands that went down a storm and not all on the main stage, everyone will have there own view on this so Iíll not go there.
Q
And lastly, just for fun, if you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
A
For fun the price of beer, seriously, poverty

 To check out more about Paul Gregory and Bloodstock, visit

http://www.studio54.co.uk
and
http://www.bloodstock.uk.com
and
http://myspace.com/bloodstock

 
 

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