Metallica & Crowbar

Designers Of Metallica’s New Album Cover Comment On Similarities To Crowbar’s “Odd Fellows Rest”


Awhile back a minor controversy erupted over the similarities between the cover art for Metallica‘s “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” and Crowbar‘s 1998 release, “Odd Fellows Rest“. Crowbar vocalist/guitarist Kirk Windstein at the time doubted that the band were involved in the matter, though he speculated that the artist responsible may have taken some liberties.

Decibel Magazine have since tracked down Dimitri Scheblanov of Herring & Herring, the firm, who in addition to having directed a few of the band’s recent music videos, also oversaw the artwork for the album. The actual cover itself was handled by design agency Turner Duckworth. When asked if they had seen Crowbar‘s cover prior, they offered:

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“We had not. We hadn’t heard of Crowbar or seen the album, and it was kind of a surprise to us. I think the first comment we saw with the image was on Facebook. After seeing it, there’s definitely a similarity, but definitely not an intentional one.

When asked about their reaction to seeing the cover, he offered:

“I think while the look might be somewhat similar, I think the intention behind it was probably pretty different for us and also for Turner Duckworth, the design agency [who worked on the cover]. I guess I like the Crowbar cover (laughs), there’s nothing wrong with it or anything. But, yeah, it was pretty shocking that there was such a similar looking thing. But I had never heard of the band or the music so it was also interesting that it was another metal act. I still haven’t listened to it, unfortunately.

I’ll tell you the funny thing: on Tuesday the record came out, then I guess that Friday or Saturday we went out to Minneapolis to see Metallica play because they were projecting the photos up on the screen [at the concert]. So afterwards when we were at the afterparty with the band, we were talking with management and with some of the guys from the band and talking about all the different comments we’d gotten since the album art came out. Somebody brought up the Crowbar thing.

The funniest bit of it was everyone was like, “Who the fuck is Crowbar?” That made it feel a little bit better, because we were kind of shocked, but because other people within the community didn’t really know about them either we felt it wasn’t such a huge deal, that it wasn’t a well-known enough thing to where most people would think that there was some kind of copy-catting. So at first we were really shocked by it but then hearing that they were kind of a smaller act we definitely felt better about it since it’d be pretty bad if people felt we were trying to rip somebody off.”

He was also asked if the band were aware of Crowbar and the cover prior:

“No, that’s the thing: they weren’t. Somebody had brought it up during the conversation, and I guess somebody had told them about it, and they had seen a comment or article with those comparisons, but they didn’t really know.”

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