It’s the way bands make a lot of their money. It’s a way of proudly displaying that you like a band. It’s a piece of clothing that every right-thinking person owns at least one of. Yeah, the humble band t-shirt. I have two deep drawers full of the damned things. Six of which have Every Time I Die emblazoned upon them. Here’s a crap story about how I came to own them all…
1) November 2005: Eagle
Props: Puffin, fierceness due to “UNITED WE ROCK” mantra on t-shirt
Warming up the crowd for My Chemical Romance at Brixton Academy in support of Gutter Phenomenon, this was the second time I saw ETID live. The first was a couple of years earlier at Camden Underworld with Sick Of It All and Nora but I didn’t buy a t-shirt. It was my intention to get drunk and then rectify that. I got drunk. I watched Every Time I Die. I moshed. I got clotheslined by a girl. Or the other way round? Can’t remember, but I got this wonderful t-shirt, adorned by an eagle. It’s well worn – it’s gone grey and has holes in. Little did I know but I’d have more ETID t-shirts with animals on when I grew up.
2) April 2008: Wolf
Props: Clown mask, saw and a genuine sense of puzzlement
It was over two years before I bought another t-shirt because I didn’t really believe I needed more than one t-shirt per band. LOL. I drove to Oxford with some chums to see ETID playing with a couple of really shitty metalcore bands but it was worth it. Stone cold sober and yet still alarmingly full of kebab, my arm was twisted with ease. Terry Bezer commented, “If you can’t wear a tshirt with a pink and green wolf on it, I don’t know who can.” Loads of people, but also definitely me.
3) May 2009: Tiger
Props: The Rock foam hand, lightning bolt striking my poor decisions down
This t-shirt was a mistake. Who buys a beige t-shirt? As you can see from the photo, there is no joy in wearing this shirt. I broke the seal with the Wolf t-shirt and thought I should just buy a new one at every ETID gig in Oxford. I was wrong. Or so I thought. (I was.) I just haven’t been back to Oxford since they supported Gallows in 2009. It’s lovely there, but whatever.
4) December 2009: Monster
Props: A garden fork and fake desire to maim
When ETID played a Christmas show during the big freeze of December 2009 I got in the mosh, cried a bit and then bought two t-shirts. Then I went next door to the Crobar, got more drunk, panicked about getting the last Tube home (because there was no way I was risking London’s icy roads on a bus) and left my t-shirts on a stool in Crobar. For 20 minutes, I feared for them – I truly did. Luckily, my mate was still there and returned them to me the following week. Crisis averted.
5) December 2009: I PARTY
Props: Genuine builder’s radio, inflatable over-sized Corona bottle and a lime
I bought a Trap Them t-shirt from the Underworld and the sleeves were really weird and massive so I decided to cut them off. That was the first t-shirt I’d ever doctored but it opened the floodgates. This was the next one to feel the wrath of my scissors. It’s definitely a party t-shirt now. Check out the guns. Go on. Touch them.
6) November 2011: Owl
Props: Trophies for winning at loving Every Time I Die
I heard ‘Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space’ and knew I had to buy something. Owls are cool. They’re also genuinely funny little creatures as well. They don’t really make a “Twit-twoo,” noise. Is that interesting? No? OK.
Do you have more Every Time I Die t-shirts than me? Of course you don’t. One more t-shirt and I have a whole week’s worth of them. That’s cool, isn’t it? It is. What’s #7 gonna be though? Dunno, but click on the Ex Lives cover and read my review while you mull it over.
Thanks to Ben Gibson for developing the concept for this photoshoot and making me look like a dickhead.