The making of ‘Hot Cakes’

TheeBlog-TheDarkness_HotCakes People usually ask what are the most important sources of inspiration and elements ‘creatives’ rely on when working on projects and I’ve always considered Music to be an essential tool. As a music lover I am stoked to share today’s post, featuring The Darkness, a british band that I’ve been a fan of since 2002, and their newest album called ‘Hot Cakes’. I had the great pleasure of chatting with Rob Chenery, Creative Director of London based agency TOURIST about the ‘making of’ the band’s provocative album cover. This one is a special Friday treat as we’ll enjoy some exclusive behind the scenes photos and the creative process behind this project. Happy Friday!

Now, before we begin, I wanted to welcome Rob by thanking him again for sharing this fun and inspiring project with me and for providing all the lovely and exclusive behind the scenes photos for us to enjoy :)

Visit to check out more of their lovely projects including album covers for Ceelo Green, The Rolling Stones, Keane and more!

Want to pre-order your copy of Hot Cakes? Visit


How was the concept conceived? Did the band present this to you?
The original concept came from Thom Lessner, a friend of the band.

Could you please give us a brief description of the creative and execution process? And, was the band involved throughout it?
Tourist put forward style boards for various props including gold bikinis, sunglasses, etc., the look of the models from magazine reference as well as how we wanted the syrup to drip off the pancakes.

We sent all the style books to the band to approve before the shoot commenced. The band’s brief was to create ‘an unapologetically mainstream 70’s porn, kitsch Linda Lovelace vs Raquel Welch vibe’ with big, bold retro looking typography.

Trying to find a 3D modelling company in London to build three giant 8-foot pancakes within the budget was impossible, so we had everything created in Argentina for the shoot.

Diego was let loose to transform it into a retro looking piece of art after a considerable amount of retouching on the final photo to get the syrup looking just right. The album is out on CD Deluxe and gatefold LP mushroom vinyl on August 20.





You set up a photo shoot with huge pancakes and syrup covered models – whoa! bit of a deja vú there :) – and then hired Buenos Aires based Diego Gravinese artist to use it as a reference in order to recreate it?
The painting stage was always going to happen and there was no way the artist could have been expected to get all the colours, models, reflections right in the syrup without original reference so hence the shoot was set up in Buenos Aires.

Although the shoot turned out great there was an awful lot of retouching done by Diego Gravinese to get everything looking realistic. Of course we kept coming back with our ideas on how to improve it and he did a fantastic job! The whole process took over a week of retouching before approval from the band before the pairing stage which took four weeks. Diego survived on only 5 hours of sleep a night throughout that time in order to deliver the painting artwork on time. He went through a personal roller coaster with ups and downs being locked in his studio!







I have to ask this… what happened to those huge pancakes?
The pancakes are still in Buenos Aires and I’ve heard they have taken four weeks to eat so far… ;-)



Thanks again Rob and excellent job!!!

Now, if you’ve gotten to this point and still don’t have a clue who The Darkness is (shame on you hehe) here are some singles you’ve probably heard and enjoyed unknowingly, and that will help you realize how brilliantly TOURIST was able to capture the band’s essence…

  1. Good choice to switch the heels to Christian Louboutin. The cover is hot but good lord those shoes are amazing…

  2. Wow! Thanks for the post, I was actually wondering how they did their cover cause it didn’t look like an actual photo was used…I’m so glad they’re back though, they’re just a fun band to listen to. I actually got my copy of Hot Cakes from a local record store, since it came with a free patch. There’s a ton of other stores doing the same around the country. The list of them are on their site…

  3. Really interesting :D

  4. Great post! Great cover!

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