.. / design / guillotine riot




So, my friends from Guillotine Riot recorded an album in Chicago with Steve Albini, the iconic producer of Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The Stooges, Pixies among many other luminaries of the independent music scene. 

After listening to the songs for many days, as I was present at the recording (check out the short doc), I started to think about evolving the “look and feel” I created back in 2012 for the band. I felt it was a bit stiff and difficult to implement in all DIY flyers and elements that the band was generating with no design supervision.  

I started with the logo. I wanted to give a more organic feel and human attitude to the band, so I decided to undust some of my brushes and create something with my own handwriting. 

Before I was able to start thinking about the cover, the band needed some promo pictures to introduce the new bass player: Freya, so within a few days we planed a photoshoot with three setups: 

First I did some snaps in the studio while the band was getting ready. I love to capture those intimate reactions when the subjects are not expecting the camera. 

Second we wanted to capture something with daylight, so we went for the "magic hour” look in a Brooklyn rooftop. The challenge... Fall became winter that day, it was fucking cold! After a few pictures I felt we got something.

Third I really wanted to shoot at the "old" Times Square, trying to capture its previous glory. Nothing cooler than a 25¢ video neon sign, stingy sex shops and peep shows. We headed to eight avenue to find an interesting location. In the cab, I gave some direction to the band. When we got there the stylist stopped the traffic of angry New Yorkers trying to pass by. The band got in place quickly, pedestrians weren’t listening, so I pressed the shutter and captured one image. A few seconds later, the owner of the peep show was outside yelling at us, in a not-so-polite attitude, he wanted us to leave immediately, he didn't need the unnecessary attention to his store and costumers. I get it, he is right! and I was lucky! I checked the camera, zoomed in into the picture to look at the focus, exposition and all that technical crap, and realized we got an amazing picture on the first shot.

At that moment, I knew I had the image for the back cover. That little instant inspired the entire look and feel of the album. As Werner Herzog would say: Ask for forgiveness, not permission. 

The cover itself is an extension of the music, starting with the name of the album FUCK IT and some of the song titles: Take of your pants, man points, don’t call me a slut. For me the attitude on the images represent self expression and taking control of your own destiny.


Photography + design: A.F.CORTÉS

Model: Stivie Tosh

Year: 2014







Photoshoot (THE THREE SETUPS):