KILLER-GRAPHICS #3: Electric Zombie Founder And Designer Kyle Crawford!

It’s Tuesday, huh? Well I guess it’s time for us to post another Killer-Graphics column then. So a few weeks back we kicked off our Dead By Summer Sweepstakes with the ever awesome crew over at Electric Zombie.com. And while you can still enter for your chance to win some absolutely awesome swag from the gang, we have just a little bit more love from Electric Zombie to our readers as we sit down one-on-one with owner and t-shirt designer, Kyle Crawford. Read on for the full interview.

THEoDEAD:”First of all thank you very much for your time doing this, Kyle. So for those unfamiliar with what it is you do, can you fill readers in on your “origin story” of sorts?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”The name Electric Zombie, came from a design I did for the band From First To Last back in 2006. The design was a collabration design between the band and Rockett Clothing, where I actually developed my horror themed design niche. It featured a small group of zombies, electrical plugs and lightning bolts. I named the file “Electric Zombie”. I liked how it sounded and just went with the name as an alias for my projects and graphic design handle. In 2007, I had scored a job with Warner Bros Records and was making a good amount of money. After a falling out with Rockett, I decided to save all my ideas for my own endevour. I never had any problems coming up with a name, I just stuck with Electric Zombie, in hope that people, fans and followers would put 2 and 2 together. In December of 2007, I came out with 6 designs off the bat, and then a few months later another 4. It’s kind of taken off from there.”

THEoDEAD:”So what made you want to start “Electric Zombie”? Have you always been a big horror fan yourself?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”My dad pretty much raised me to be a horror freak. I remember watching Evil Dead when I was like 3, and we lived on elm street, so the Nightmare series has always had a spot in my heart.

But in all honesty, I am sort of a poser Horror fan. I’m not a huge fan of underground or foreign or B-movie type movies. I’m a straight up Hollywood horror lover. I’m sure I’ll get tons of eye brow raises, but hey! I like my Toxic Avengers and Hatchet and the like, I just can’t get into movies like Feast and Poultrygeist or Dead Alive. Just over exaggerated retardedness. Visit my site for my email for all hate mail! Ha! ”

THEoDEAD:”In doing “Electric Zombie” you are mostly a one man show. What goes into making the designs for the shirts? You use so many iconic characters like Freddy and Jason. How does something like that come together?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”I have this book of ideas that I’m always writing in. It just happens. I wish I could explain where the ideas come from. A lot of the time I’ll look through all the resources I have and I’ll find ways to put them together and collage them and make them look like a poster or an image that already exists. Things just pop in my head. It’s a very fortunate gift. A good part of the time, I design stuff for bands and I’ll write down the file name in my book so that I can go back and revisit it and put my own Electric Zombie twist on it. It’s hard to do a design for someone and think the whole time, “Man, I should totally keep this” . But in the end it works out. There’s no real answer of where I get the ideas from, sometimes, you just see something, hear something and it just clicks. I can’t tell you how many times I come up with an idea while laying in bed and just pop up and write it down. ”

THEoDEAD:”A lot of the shirts feel as if they have been ripped straight from a Hot Topic store and many of the designs resemble that of a metal band tee. Does your musical influence inspire you while you’re making your designs at all?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”I usually try and mesh the two together. I have this new shirt coming out and it’s a mix of Metallica and Freddy. I feel like a lot of my shirts have that punk rock / metal feel. I have a massive amount of skateboard influence. I have a very nostalgic flare to what I put out.

I do a good portion of Hot Topic designs, so I can see where that might come into play. Electric Zombie is just a hobby a do for a few months a year (collectively). My passion and job is designing merch and anything music related for bands and the music industry. When you do that all day every day, it’s bound to wear off on Electric Zombie related stuff. ”

THEoDEAD:”Many of your designs are very unique, and wildly different than what we see coming from most companies. For example, the “DOME” tee takes the classic V-Neck design and turns it on its head. (for lack of a better pun) How did you come up with a design like that?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”Sometimes you see an iconic image and wish that you could have it on a shirt. I’m one of those people who take the risk and just make the shirt. With that particular design, I spent so much time trying to figure out how I could make it cool. All it took was me putting on a v-neck. It just clicked. Usually I put my edge on it, but the image itself was too good, and just worked out perfectly. ”

THEoDEAD:”You have a new line of shirts on the way? What can horror fans expect from not only this but “ELECTRIC ZOMBIE” as a whole down the road?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”Usually in the summer I try and do the fun, goofy and spoof shirts. More in your face designs. When I think summer, I think of tours, and skateboarding, and beign outside, sunglasses and of course, MOVIES. I have a summer movie collection coming out and a bunch of skateboard influenced shirts and a few music based designs. I feel like the fall is the time to do the dark, serious and more gorey designs. I think it’s best to work with your surroundings, and timing is definitely everything. Summer is fun and Fall is gloomy, it gets darker earlier and creepy things go down. But this fall I am hoping to go with a theme and color scheme going. I’ve already started planning and I’m pretty excited. ”

THEoDEAD:”Do you have any new projects coming up you’d like to plug? We are giving you a free shot here!

KYLE CRAWFORD:”Besides the new line of 26 tees, 4 posters, 2 skatedecks, 3 hoodie and a varsity jacket. I have a collab with Fright Rags coming up that I can’t talk about other than that. I have a possible music tour coming up, and maybe a few more things around back to school time. I’m hoping to do more custom items, like the jeans I already have out. More than just shirts. We’ll just have to wait and see! ”

THEoDEAD:”Last, but most certainly not least, Freddy VS Jason-Who wins?

KYLE CRAWFORD:”Freddy, hands down. Jason may look cooler, but he’s a momma’s boy with retard strength. You can’t run from your dreams. Maybe I’ll change my mind when the new movie comes out. But Robert England Freddy vs Kane Hodder Jason. I’d put my money on Freddy. At least you know where Freddy gets his powers from. Jason just keeps coming back? Sounds like a bitch to me. ”

Everyone here at Bloody-Disgusting.com would like to thank Kyle for being an awesome sport and working with us with this interview and in our Dead By Summer Sweepstakes. If you would like to check out all of Kyle’s work head on over to Electric Zombie.com and be sure to keep things locked here at Bloody-Disgusting.com’s Graphic Content next week as we bring you another gruesome installment of our Killer-Graphics column!