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Bruce Licher

From the Virgin Cracker site

Designer and musician Bruce Licher's affiliation with Cracker goes back to the Camper Van Beethoven days, when Licher's Independent Projects Records released early Camper with the distinctive look and feel that has become IPR's signature. His distinctive design style and letterpress production have earned him two Grammy nominations for packaging. Licher's projects include work for musical artists as diverse as Kendra Smith, R.E.M., The Buck Pets, Polvo, as well as Licher's own ensembles, the legendary Los Angeles 80's band Savage Republic and his current group, Arizona-based Scenic.

"Letterpress is a technology that was state-of-the-art in the 30's, yet hear we are in the 90's making art with a connection to an older trade. You look at it and you say, 'Somebody made this. It didn't come off an assembly line.'"

The Arizona New Times recounts, "It was the high level of TLC that resulted in Independent Projects discovering the now-legendary alternative band Camper Van Beethoven. Before Camper was even Camper, bass player Victor Krummenacher boarded buses in 1984, along with about 400 other Savage Republic fans from Los Angeles, and rode 5 hours to a remote lake bed in the Mojave Desert to see Savage Republic perform."

[Ed: This was actually Djeme El Fna, a temporary bridge project with Mark Erskine, Bruce Licher, Greg Grunke, Thom Fuhrmann, and Ethan Port just before Savage Republic reformed in 1984. This accoustic project played up in the hills before Einsturzende Neubauten and Mark Pauline performed.]


Licher recounts, "Victor had  been writing to me, telling me he had been coming out to shows and he sent me a tape. I thought, 'this is kinda weird stuff, but it didn't seem like anything I could work with." Camper regrouped and recorded another tape and addressed it to IPR. Licher says, "It was very much improved, and I said I'd be glad to get it out, so we printed up 1200 copies of Telephone Free Landslide Victory in 1985, and it just took off." I did a second edition with a hand printed cover, and it got to the point where I couldn't keep up with it, so we licensed it to Rough Trade."

Licher's recent work includes the striking packaging for the debut
 album of his instrumental ensemble, Scenic, called 'Incident at Cima.' "The natural world inspired the music," says Licher, now a Sedona, Arizona resident. "The more I thought about it as we were working on the project, the reason I was taking these photographs of the East Mojave, and making this music, [was because] it was evocative of the lonely, beautiful spaces of the desert. To me it just fit together."

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