Interview @ prettyinnoise.de (25.11.2020)
We asked Thomas a few questions about Indepentees.
How did you come up with the idea of taking care of T-shirts from bands that have long since disbanded?
I've been a collector of band shirts myself for over 30 years now. It started with the old metal and punk stuff, then at some point hardcore and emo came along. Every collector knows the feeling when the shirts don't fit anymore. Meanwhile, many well-known labels reprint the old stuff, in better quality, because they have recognized that the old motifs are still very popular. For many originals from the old days, hundreds of euros are paid. But it is not my goal to jump on that. My goal is to offer shirts from bands that hardly anyone remembers, especially bands from Germany. But bands that also have some fans. YAGE or TEPHRA are the best examples. The people who bought the shirts back then, they usually don't fit anymore, or the shirts dissolve little by little. I've heard from many people that they would like to buy the shirts again to fit. So I thought to myself, okay, you can do something about that. With today's printing technology, it's very doable, you don't have to print a certain number of shirts with screen printing, and then you're left with a bunch of shirts. It's also fun to make the contact. Some bands are completely blown away by the fact that you still remember them. It's just really fun to organize the whole thing. I also know some people from the bands privately, and it's more relaxed than writing to people you don't know.
How do you get the motifs or designs?
It varies. First I ask in my group who still has original shirts, and then people send me photos. With bands that never had shirts, I orient myself on the records or CDs, sometimes also on flyers or posters, and then I put something together. I then discuss the motifs with the band. Without the permission of the bands, I do nothing.
Which ex-bands are with you so far and which ones do you still have in the pipeline?
So far Tephra, Yage, Cyan, Pale, Reno Kid, Andorra Atkins, Kill Kim Novak (on request, unfortunately, you may no longer officially offer), and New Day Rising from the U.S., which I personally as a big fan most pleased. From Robocop Kraus and Maggat I also already have permission, but there I'm still looking for motifs.
If you had three wishes free, for which three bands would you like to design shirts?
Phew, that's a long list. For German bands I would like to do something by Rusty James, Age or Assay. Or Sometree, everything else would go beyond the scope.
Where can interested people submit their ex-favorite bands?