Under The Cover:
Red Diesel - Supermarket Famous
Supermarket Famous is the debut from London based Red Diesel, aka Glenn Rawcliffe. As the drummer and backing vocalist for Honey Moon, and self-labelled 'dick-pop' band Meal Deals, Red Diesel is Rawcliffe's first solo project. On the day of Supermarket Famous' release, he wrote to Hook about the story behind the song, and the cover art he chose to accompany it.
I’ve always been more of an analogue kind of guy really. I’m not very trusting of machines and only use them in situations where I can’t avoid it. So, in my head the artwork for this single was always going to be hand drawn or painted. The talented young Chloe Solomon accepted the task of depicting the tireless struggles of mankind against the forces of capitalism and shopping trolleys. I took a great deal of selfies on her phone so that she could accurately capture the anguished essence of my physical form.
I think the visual gag is fairly obvious here, so I won’t bother to explain it. As for the colours and the style of the artwork itself, I wanted these to reflect a certain warmth that I hope to convey in the music. I think it’s lovely when you listen to people like J.J Cale and Little Feat and you can really feel the soul that has gone in to the songs. And you look at the artwork and this same voice comes through it.
This song isn’t particularly joyful, but I don’t think it is dark either. I actually asked my housemates to close their eyes and tell me what colours they saw whilst listening to the track. Simon says “it’s sunny and warm and there’s palm trees and maybe a beach, but it might also be night time in the city. But it’s not gloomy or sketchy. It’s lit by neon lights and the frantic buzz of excited conversation”. And I said, “that not what I asked you Simon, I said what colours do you see”. Nonetheless, an interesting experiment.
Chloe went with a sunset in the end, which is maybe what Simon was getting at there. I think it’s gorgeous anyway.
The song itself was actually written three years ago, in the winter of my first year at university. The title is a translation from the American “grocery store famous” which my American friend Kaelynn told me was the level of fame I wished to attain. I had said that I did not want to be so famous that I lose sight of my beliefs and become conceited, reducing myself to a commodity to be packaged appropriately for consumption; but just famous enough so that maybe someone might recognise me in the shops buying some milk and think to themselves, “hey that’s that guy, Red something. Really dig that song he wrote about cruise ship entertainers”.
This is not the last supermarket themed song I will be releasing, so keep your ears peeled if that’s the kind of thing you’re in to. It was produced by the one and only Gianluca Bottoni, a man overflowing with creative juice. I hope you like it.