Not content with being one of the most in-demand illustrators around, and a director at leading London post-production and VFX house The Mill, Matthieu Bessudo – aka mc bess – also sinks his creativity into his band, Dead Pirates.

Watch the animated music video mc bess made at The Mill, featuring Dead Pirates’ very first track, Wood, above.

When he started Dead Pirates in late 2009, the “band” was just him, and its first recordings were created for an animated clip featuring his art. That was soon followed by a book, Malevolent Melody (Nobrow), which included a 10-inch vinyl disc of his music. Then Dead Pirates were asked to play a private party, and mc bess had to rope in his brother and some friends. Now the band existed in reality.

Dead Pirates’ dark and dirty sound is clearly linked to mc bess’ instantly identifiable black-and-white shaded artwork, which adorns many a desirable print and T-shirt. He says he creates the mood in his illustrations by listening to the right track, and that the process sort of works in reverse when he makes music. “If I find a mood in a photo or I’m somewhere that feels cool, I write a melody based on that – then some lyrics about how I like to eat boob-shaped food and drink beer.”

In April Dead Pirates were at the Pictoplasma character-art festival in Berlin, where they played an unauthorised gig in the back of a truck. “We had twenty minutes to set up everything inside the truck without being seen by the police,” he says. “We dropped the tarpaulin and played five songs before the police came to shut us down. We went back and played another one, [then] they came back and stopped us for good.”

mc bess says it’s easy for him to balance work and band commitments, but adds: “If I ever had to choose, the band would be my choice. It’s too good to let go.” mcbess.com

Dead Pirates play Berlin’s Pictoplasma festival to open a mc bess show at Dudes Factory, a store which stocks his T-shirts.