Band tees come in cycles. They kind of just show up, play for a bit, hang out, borrow money, have a beer, and then take off—just like that one guy you know in a band. A few years later, he’s knocking on your door, asking you “bro ...? where have you been?” and you’re like “me? I live here …”. And before you know it, he’s on your couch for an unclear amount of time. Eventually he leaves, you look under your couch, damnit … that’s where your Appetite for Destruction tee’s been. I read an article recently that said “some famous person’s name” brought back tour merch 😂 I found it really funny … it never left … it’s just been under the couch.
As a teenager, one of my favorite parts of going to a show was passing by the merch table and just getting a good look at all the shit you can’t buy online (surprise!!!! there wasn’t an online) you just couldn’t buy it in general, unless you were—you know, actually there. But here’s the whole dilemma with the merch table most of us can relate to: Do I buy a shirt now and give up my sweet spot near the stage? Or do I skip the last few songs (miss my faves) to potentially score a tee or poster that’ll inevitably be sold out. But hey, at least you weren’t that guy wearing the band’s shirt to the show. Instead you wore your dad’s Peter Saville Factory Records shirt, which lets everyone know (band included) what page you’re on.
We headed down to SXSW and got to know some artists, bands, and fans —Letting them look through OC’s version of a merch table, a curation of this season’s heavy hitters for tees, hoodies, and hats featuring brands we love, artists we work with, and even a little X-rated embroidery via Japan. Below, see what styles our new friends from Austin picked to model and hear the skinny on each person’s favorite tee from their closet … Because everyone’s got that story.