First published: Fall 2012
We recorded this interview in my studio, on my computer in November 2011. I asked Chris Pyle to bring a back-up recorder, just in case mine messed up. I was shocked to see that the recorder he brought was a new tape deck (c. 1969) that he had bought at K-Mart. I did not know you could still buy cassette tapes, much less a recorder.
During the interview his recorder made a whining sound that reminded me of a dying animal. At some point I realised it was the perfect thing for the interview. Low tech and loud, just like the two of us. There were many beers and laughs shared thoughout the night. We also listened to some Hank Williams and Greg Allman after we were done with the interview. Not only did we have a good time working on the interview, we also may have found a cure for all the worlds problems. Or is that just the beer talking? Thanks to Chris for a crazy night and being such a good friend.
Michael Nolan: How did you get started as an artist?
CJ Pyle: I didn’t know much about art when I was very young growing up in Richmond, Indiana, but I was fortunate that my mother was a creative person who was supportive of my early drawings while I was in grade school.
MN: What kind of drawings were you doing at that time?
CJP: Well, I started by copying images from my school text books. One of my first drawings was of some Egyptian hieroglyphics. My mother saw it and was really impressed. I was surprised because I thought everyone could draw as well as I could. She recognised my talent very early on and was very supportive.
We both come from working class families.
MN: What kind of art influenced you as a child?
CJP: For me it was Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth. In grade school I fell in love with this magazine called Car/toons. Later I discovered Ed Roth’s Rat Fink T-shirts in the back of comic books. I begged my parents to buy me one, but I think it was a bit over the top for them.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #76