Literature can be a wonderful, challenging, and subversive thing, be it fiction, social commentary, or in the case of Arizona’s brutally honest Run with the Hunted, the raw, imperfect poetry of Charles Bukowski. Just as Bukowski’s work (which includes the poem, “My Doom Smiles at Me”, from which the band draws their name) deals with the thoughts and lives of dispossessed people, the five men who make up Run With the Hunted inescapably howl as persons frustrated, questioning, and disgusted with what they have experienced as the effects of “the American dream”. Essentially, there’s a great deal of intelligent, focused rage woven throughout the music this band produces, and merchandise created for them simply must speak to that.
We Bears tend to be annoyingly optimistic, hopeful folks, and so creating imagery for a shirt described by the band as needing to be “dark” and full of “despair” was admittedly a challenge for us. However, as those of you who take the time to listen to Run With The Hunted’s new full-length (November, 2010, on Panic Records) may likely realize, there’s something about this upcoming album that even we couldn’t help but resound with. Through intense discussion, constructive critique, and brainstorming with the band, we created the following design – expanded from the ancient visual concept of the Ouroboros, or “tail-devourer” – that we feel captures something of the band’s pessimistic critique of ye olde ethic of American determinism: “if you work hard, you will succeed”.
Sometimes you’re the one who’s winning, and sometimes you’re the one being eaten.