T-Shirts have become such a staple in music and arts circles that the T-shirt is no longer just a billboard for a band or a product but rather art in it’s own right. One of my favorite pieces of T-shirt art is my “Put the Needle on the Record Tee” from Threadless. The shirt was designed by Steven Bonner. How do I know that? Well the Title of the piece and the name of the artist are printed right inside the shirt.
I love the play of the thread making up the grooves of the record, and the ink used to print the thread has an amazing texture to it so this shirt feels amazing to wear.
As a visual artist (check out my art here) as well as a musican, I also love the idea of the T-shirt being an accessible form of art. Not everyone is willing or able to shell out $1000 (or even $100) for a painting but $20 for a well thought out work of art on a Tee is a completely accessible.
I think it is important for every musician to have some tees in their closet that emphasis their bands feeling and aesthetic without referencing one specific band or style. If 2x the Mono did an interview and I showed up in a Listener Shirt, we would run the risk of just talking about how Listener has had an influence on us. Which is true, they are an influence, but so is Mewithoutyou, Eric’s Trip, His Name Is Alive, Larry Norman, U2, Johnny Cash, Transistor Sound & Lighting Co., and a hundred other bands both popular and obscure. Wearing a shirt that is a piece of art in itself helps to not get pidgin holed into one genre or one influence.
In honour of an obscure band that I don’t own a shirt from but is an influence on 2x the Mono’s live show, here is a video from Transistor Sound & Lighting Co. Transistor always had a boom box on stage playing ambient noise sounds that would fill in the sound between songs. They would also drape their gear in Christmas lights. They have had a huge influence on my live aesthetic, and they are the band that I think about when I envision what a 2x the Mono show should feel like.