Larry : I think it’s the Advertising Standards Authority. They’ve sort of banned the use of it on billboards out in the street. The artwork itself hasn’t been banned, it’s just that they’re banning it for use on billboards. So that’s what’s happened.
We kind of knew that we could hit a problem like this with the Advertising Standards Authority, but we talked at length about it and decided that it was such a strong image that we’d go with it anyway.
Interviewer : OK, so it wasn’t a surprise to you, this then?
Larry : I think the scale of the reaction has been a bit of a surprise. Yes, that has been a surprise, but we did expect there would be some sort of response. We knew it was a slightly controversial subject matter anyway.
Interviewer : So why did you decide to go with this image then? What is it about this image that speaks to you as a band and you think goes well with the music?
Larry : We were looking at lots of ideas, with us and Love Creative, the designers of it, and they came up with an image of a baby with a gun that related to a story in America of a ten month old child that had been issued with a firearms certificate and we wanted to create a surrealistic image that reflected a trend in society towards the casual use of lethal weaponry. We wanted people to stop and think about how firearms are viewed, their prevalence and ease of access. They’re dangerous, they’re not to be taken lightly and I think that we as a society have become overfamiliarised, shall we say, with the images of guns and gun culture.
Interviewer : Slightly ironic then that the statement you’re making is an anti-gun stance, which anyone with a bit of common sense would realise. yet that statement is being barred from being seen by the public.
Larry : Yes I know, there’s always that tiny argument that think instead of being a statement against it, that it’s an instruction manual for it, so the mere suggestion that you would have a child in close proximity to a gun means parents across the land are going to go out and leave guns next to their children, as in the same argument of kids watching violence on TV and then going out and creating violent acts. It’s not necessarily that simple.
Interviewer : I’m guessing you’re not too bothered by the fact it’s going to hit your advertising, your avenues for advertising, getting the album out there and letting people know it’s out there. Nothing you’re too fussed about.
Larry : As I said, we saw this coming. We’re not stupid enough not to have seen this coming. And the slipcase that goes over the album shows the child playing with a toy gun. And it’s like a joke, a set up and punchline. There’s the toy gun on the front cover and then you reveal the real artwork underneath and there the toy gun has been replaced by a real gun, showing that development. There is a more innocent image that we can go with for the advertising and that will be racked in the stores.