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From the juke joint to the ink well, Forefather's road to success has been marked by the spirit of invigorating imagination. These chaps are pretty much the cat's pajamas when it comes to designing jaw-dropping album art, merchandise and websites.
'Sons of Nero' rises, a graphic design and print company of all things HARD
A small, humble design company emerges by the name of ECTOMACHINE
Those companies created this.
My name is Portland, and I share the co-owner and co-creator title with Jonden. Having grown up playing in bands, I was forced into the design world out of necessity. Someone needed to design the logos for our bands, make the flyers for our shows and come up with cool designs for our merchandise - and that someone was me.
What originally began with my spending countless hours copying handbills at the local Kinko's, ended with me at the helm of one of Hardcore and Metal's most up and coming record labels - Ferret Music.
At Ferret, I served as creative director for seven years. When the owner and president left Ferret to start a new label, I followed his lead and became the creative director at today's successful enterprise, Good Fight Entertainment.
Music has always played a huge role in my life. And, thankfully, those long hours I dedicated to promoting my band by cutting and pasting show flyers has paid-off - the road today stretches out with exciting opportunities.
While working diligently in the music industry, I formed my own freelance design company: Sons Of Nero, where I was the creative lead and director. Sons of Nero was responsible for over 100 CD layouts, countless merchandise designs, tour promotional materials and fully developed web designs. We won awards and received much praise and recognition.
Yet, after meeting Jonden at Ectomachine, the obvious choice was to join forces and start anew. Forefathers, a venture that has only just begun, has already proven to be one of the best opportunities to come my way. I'm excited about the future of this design firm and can't wait to share what we have up our creative sleeves.Follow on Twitter
My name is Jonden, and I am the co-owner and co-creator of Forefathers. For nine years, I've been designing and developing websites; today I serve as Forefather's main website designer and front-end developer.
Having played in bands while I was growing up, I was always fascinated and intrigued by the visuals that accompanied music. So when the time came for my band's logo, website and merchandise to be created, I naturally decided to dive in head first. Because I'd always loved and payed attention to the visual aspects of the music industry, I had a good grasp of how to execute the designs. As I grew older, I began branching out and designing for companies here and there - until it eventually became my full-time job.
The first company I created - under the banner of Ectomachine - offered only freelance web design and branding. However, during the two years that I operated under that name, the enterprise grew into something much larger; I could no longer handle the workload on my own.
I had two options: forge ahead with my company and employ staff, or hookup with a couple of unbelievable designers that I'd met along my journey. Fortunately, that latter became true, and my new team-members also wanted to join forces to launch something powerful, inspiring and cutting-edge.
So here we are, at the dawning of Forefathers - which is hands down the most exciting and creative endeavor I've ever been apart of.Follow on Twitter
My name is Dan, and I'm a new addition to the team. I first met the Forefathers while blazing the Oregon Trail. While sippin' on hooch, they discussed things like how to hire a torpedo to knock-off some fella caught starin' at one of their gal's gams. Only later did I learn that these rough and tumblers were actually designers.
After proving my loyalty to the design and illustration racket, I was invited to work with these fine gentlemen. Without a moment's hesitation, I hopped on the bandwagon and began working on branding and illustration projects.
Preceding my commitment to the Forefathers, I worked at an award-winning agency in South Jersey for a couple of years, where I learned about advertising, aesthetics, and the youtube time-machine. As the days continue their steady march onward, my ambition only grows stronger - and I am humbled to work with such a young and talented crew.Follow on Twitter
I got a hacked copy of Photoshop from a friend my freshman year in high school. I was fourteen - and bored. I didn't really jump on the party binge bandwagon with the kids from school. I spent my time being artsy on the computer, which isn't exactly the fastest way to hit the sheets. But my diligence did award me with compliments like, "Oh, you're the kinda guy I'd wanna marry." I guess rolling through life with my head stuck in an eclectic cloud of surrealism, and laying it all out on paper in graphite and ink illustrations, facilitated this flattery. I mean, I wasn't Dali-weird and never dressed that part, but it did surprise kids when they found out I enjoyed European metal.
Skip ahead a few years... when plenty of different opportunities arose. I decidedly sided with attending the Savannah College of Art and Design (they talked some big game - athletic-style scholarships and all - which won my parents over). Through those years I managed to keep the work flow in session and weaseled my way onboard with Portland at Sons Of Nero.
Companionship, friendship, and hardship brought me to where I am today: sitting at home on my computer, still fiddling with creativity while my friends are still out partying (I hear Advil's pretty fun these days). So I got my four-year degree, but still somehow don't feel like an adult. 26 is a debatable age of adulthood.
Collaborating at Forefathers is somewhat of a new life for me - and one that I am beyond pleased to be living. I'm ready to kick it into gear along side my new friends: Jonden and Dan! Chris is a long time friend, but that's just because I was a Chimaira fanboy. I totally owned 5 or more of their shirts. Game on comrades!Follow on Twitter
It all started at age 16 when I threw a website together to show off my bootlegged concert videos. During the following years, I built a heavy metal webzine and helped local bands and businesses build their websites, too. However, my web career detoured when my band signed a major label record deal.
Life shifted gears and I became a full-time heavy metal nomad. I spent the following twelve years touring the world as the keyboard player and creative director for the band Chimaira. I took pride in managing our web presence, merchandise, album packing and marketing assets. In my free time, I also sharpened my development and design chops by working freelance jobs.
In 2006, Chimaira signed a deal with Ferret Records. This is when I met Portland. I had the honor of collaborating with him for three years - we tag-teamed on album artwork, special edition packaging, branding, and marketing assets.
Fast forward to January 2011. At this point I decided to pursue a career in mobile gaming and web development. Literally the day after I resigned from Chimaira, Portland asked me to work with his new design team along with Jonden. Being a fan of, both, Sons of Nero and Ectomachine, I didn’t hesitate to jump onboard. A few gigs later, I’m both excited and proud to be part of the Forefathers family.
Fact: At some point in my touring career, Jonden’s band opened up for Chimaira. Small world…