Several weeks ago I had the great fortune to be asked to design a T-shirt for The Flesh Eaters tour. Indie record label Superior Viaduct has just reissued The Flesh Eaters' 1981 album "A Minute to Pray A Second To Die" on CD & LP, and miraculously all the members found enough time off from their other projects to put together a five-date West Coast tour.
I was excited for the opportunity to design the shirt, but I'll also admit I was a bit intimidated. It's hard to describe the decades of creativity, artistry and experience within this band, not to mention the cultural impact each band member has made individually and collectively. I put the album on my record player and listened to it over and over, falling in love with the energy, drama, poetry, chaos, elegance and grit. After a few listens, I was singing along and looking forward to certain strange time signatures or particular howls by Chris D.
Although the record has a lot of dynamics and layers to it, to me the overall feel is dramatic, a tiny bit creepy and overflowing with huge talent. So that is what I wanted to convey with the shirt. Singer-songwriter and frontman Chris D. has remained constant through several lineups of The Flesh Eaters, so the lineup for this particular record was noteworthy.
I wanted the feel for the image to be noir, mysterious and a little glamorous in a gritty way. Bonus if it looks like it could have existed in 1981, the original release date for the record. I hand-lettered the band's name, collaged some old photographs & chose a bold, classic font for the band members' names, stretching across the bottom like movie credits. It looks a bit like a creepy film poster, with Chris D. as the star looming largest and beneath him the members of this lineup are all present and accounted for.
My first sketch was approved by the band and that's what made it to the final T-shirt.
I'm not a big fan of having tour dates on the back of T-shirts, but in this case it seemed relevant. I placed the text so that it would still make an interesting overall shape from a distance. The shirts are printed on 100% cotton shirts with discharge ink, so that they'll feel soft and worn in pretty quickly.
I was happy and sad that they sold out of the T-shirts on the second night of the five-night tour! (It was pretty disappointing there were no T-shirts at the Los Angeles show.)
They got additional shirts printed for the final show (tonight) in Seattle with Mudhoney, and from that batch I'll be able to fill orders placed through this website. Shirts will ship on or before January 30th. I've gotten orders from as far as Finland!
I love this record, love the band, and loved this project. I'm looking forward to future design work that is as creatively fulfilling as this has been. Thanks Flesh Eaters!
CONTACT ME if you need your own custom T-shirt design