I was contacted by someone who is starting a line of "metal lifestyle" products. Naturally, I was curious about this. What are "metal lifestyle" products? I thought, perhaps, since most of us can't collect Nazi memorabilia like Lemmy does, because it's just not practical, maybe it's Paula Deen cookware. (Get it? Because . . . oh, never mind.)
So I clicked through to find that it's a blog (a combination of a metal blog, BuzzFeed garbage, and marketing tips, I guess). It's also a clothing line. The clothes feature the logo of the blog. And immediately, I was annoyed.
It is a cool logo, yes. But it's not going to support the people who actually make the music we love. We don't wear band T-shirts only to show the world we are metalheads, but also because buying it pumps a little money into the coffers of the bands and labels that need it. I don't have a problem with people who don't make music making money off metalheads. You can write all the metal-related books and movies you want. Really, any other products are fine. But when you start horning in on the profits of the people who make music, that's a problem. Shirts, beanies, and hoodies are one of the last revenue streams that bands can still make money from. Every shirt this "metal lifestyle" blog sells is $24 that doesn't go to Pallbearer or the many fine artists of Hells Headbangers. (Not to mention, that's pretty pricy. You can buy shirts straight from Profound Lore or HH for $14-$17.)
I had the same issue a while back with someone who was posting in a Mercyful Fate group on Facebook. This person was making shirts that evoked images associated with MF and King Diamond, but didn't quite infringe on copyright. I called them out then, and I'm calling this guy out now. Though, I'm not doing it by name, because I don't want to send any traffic his way.
Don't support this kind of bullshit. Spend your black T-shirt money on the bands.