Mudhoney's past two records — 2006's "Under a Billion Suns" and 2008's "The Lucky Ones" — were a bit lacking in the cover art department, simply sporting the band's logo and album title over top an abstract background. So, for the band's latest, the newly released Vanishing Point, the Seattle garage rockers turned to a previously untapped source for inspiration: singer Mark Arm's wife Emily Rieman.
The album's cover is a photo Rieman took of the ruins at Apamea in Syria, revealed Arm in a recent interview with Exclaim! "She ended up going there four months before shit went haywire," he explains. "There was something about the photos of Apamea, the sky, the lighting in those photos. I remember thinking, 'That could be something cool for a record cover at some point.' When it came time, I showed them to everyone in the band, we narrowed it down to two photos, and one ended up on the front and one ended up being on the back."
Rieman's trip falls in line with her habit of travelling when her husband is on tour, says Arm. "[She says,] 'Oh, you're going to be gone? I'll take a cool trip.'"
Prior to the album's release, Arm told the blog Waller Not Weller that the photo also inspired the record's title. "Things just go off into the distance. It also refers to a movie that we all like," he said, likely referring to '70s B-movie Vanishing Point.
Sub Pop art director Jeff Kleinsmith added the black circle "and he made the cover look aged, which I thought was cool," says Arm, "Cause we are!"