Dressing the Beast

Art Direction for Is A Beast was provided by Dave DeCastris (aka Andy Whorehall). He previously provided art direction and production on Cameron McGill and What Army’s 2009 full length, “Warm Songs for Cold Shoulders,” as well as the 2010 EPs preceding the ‘Beast’ sessions: “Two Hits and a Miss” and “Deserters“. Artwork for ‘Beast‘ was produced for CD, Digital, Merch, Web Dev and Social Media branding intents. Included below are session photos, cover mocks and ideas for Is A Beast, plus artwork for the preceding EPs leading up to the Beast’s release.

Per DeCastris’s website about the making of Beast:

“The cover features a portrait of Cameron originally painted in acrylic color by Peter Mera, a regional artist. It was photographed by my sis, Deb, in black and white during its earliest phases on a low-resolution 2-3mpx camera phone to capture a somewhat grainy effect I was seeking to then paint some white fangs and abstract elements on top of.

The collaboration was accidental in tone, as were many ideas for the cover which involved photography and night images— the stark nature of Cameron’s record, its songs, and the road it took to complete it only made sense with it being darker in tone, stark, to the point, black and white.

Was also aware at the time that it is was possibly the last of a few recordings made with What Army. Part of the marketing of this record included a crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter to afford the record’s production. $4700 was raised on a $3000 goal—fan support made the record’s production and distribution possible.

(Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1656891405/cameron-mcgill-and-what-armys-new-album-is-a-beast)

I loved working on this record, and was able to witness its coming to life through various pre-production sessions and planning for the recording as a fly on the studio wall.”— Dave DeCastris, 2018

About the Beast


I Don’t Believe In Magic (but all my friends just disappeared)
Dead Rose
Let’s Make Dinosaurs Extinct
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Adverbs
Michelangelo’s Blue Period
Sad Ambassador
My Demons Are Organized
Someone In Another Life (schizo blues)
Dublin Fight Song
Serious Trust


Cameron McGill
Daniel McMahon
Rodrigo Palma
Darren Garvey

Produced by Cameron McGill & What Army

Strings on tracks 6, 10, & 11 arranged & played by Nathan Swanson
Horns on tracks 2, 4, 6, 9, & 10 arranged & played by Adam Plamann
Cello on Track 9 played by Peter Thomas

Recorded, mixed, & mastered in Milwaukee, WI at Howl Street Studios & Mystery Room Mastering by Justin Perkins
Additional recording & engineering at Blast House Studios and Mystery Room Mastering by Daniel McMahon
Acoustic guitars recorded by Neil Strauch in Nathan Swanson’s bedroom
Thank you, James Bond, for letting us record Sad Ambassador at your house
Art Direction by Andy Whorehall
Additional Design, Illustration and Photos by Dave DeCastris
Cover Photo and Sketch of Cameron by Deb DeCastris and Peter Mera

All songs by Cameron McGill | © 2011 Nervous Breakdown Ditties (BMI) cameronmcgill.com


Cameron McGill & What Army – Is A Beast
RIYL:  Dr. Dog, Cass McCombs, Harry Nilsson, Jeff Buckley, Warren Zevon, Jeff Tweedy

Cameron McGill & What Army’s most recent album, Is A Beast, finds the band in exciting new territory after two years of solid touring and their most experimental lineup to date. The album was recorded this past winter in Milwaukee, WI. It follows their Sad Ambassador 7” single (2010), Deserters EP (2010) Daytrotter session (2010), Two Hits and A Miss (2009), Warm Songs For Cold Shoulders (2009), Hold On Beauty (2008), Street Ballads & Murderesques (2006), and Stories of The Knife and The Back (2004).

The band finished a 25-date national tour, including live tapings with Chicago’s JBTV, Daytrotter, and The Denver Post’s Hey Reverb Sessions. Is A Beast just received a re-release in the EU via Bertus Distribution on May 16th, accompanied by a video for the song “Houdini” directed by Antoine Wagner, who recently directed Phoenix’s “Lisztomania”.

2009 saw McGill joining the band Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, for which he plays keyboards. The year prior he was featured on Margot’s Animal! Not Animal, Rachael Yamagata’s Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart, and Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons’ Cabin Ghosts. McGill’s track “Low Ways” from Warm Songs for Cold Shoulders made an appearance in the feature film, Multiple Sarcasms (2010) as well as the movie’s trailer, alongside Wilco.

Past touring and live performances include dates with Ben Kweller, Rachael Yamagata, The Autumn Defense, Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen, Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s and appearances at Lollapalooza, SXSW, CMJ, and Monolith festival at Red Rocks.

“The albums of Cameron McGill are chock-full of ideas and inventions beyond anyone I’ve listened to in recent years…What’s fascinating about McGill’s records is above all the sensation of romantic abandonment, the idea that each song contains a little universe of sounds that crosses cities, girls, rivers, memories, hills and buildings as if we were still in the era of medicine shows.” – No Depression

“From the captivating unnamed new song, from an upcoming Daytrotter session, to the rich electric and acoustic blend of “Sad
Ambassador”, McGill’s character-filled vocals and wonderful songwriting reigned supreme.” – IGN.com