Bands have to make money, don’t they? Yes they do. And while there’s really no money to be made on music, merchandise must be well, creative. While most band websites cater to the expected fare of T-Shirts, CD Bundles and posters there are others that have taken music brand marketing to a whole new, unusual level. You can certainly fill your home, yard and gullet with all things music-inspired while providing free advertising to bands. You can even book cruises with your favorite bands and enjoy an entire week of concerts and meet-and-greets all from the deck of a rockin’ boat. From satanic car shade visors to heavy-metal Christmas ornaments, you can find the wackiest, weirdest money-wasting schemes on music websites and here’s a list to prove it.
Not only is this band responsible for some of the most consistent and coolest cover art ever seen out of a metal band in recent memory, but just about all of their merch is dripping in ultra-saturated coolness. Sporting holiday-themed apparel for Easter (Thumper and his girlfriend, you guess the rest) and Halloween (witches with er, um, interesting pumpkin placement). You get the idea. Sexy, artistic and hip Mastodon has one of the best sites for interesting band merch.
No rock and roll merch list is complete without a nod toward KISS and the music marketing machine that started because of them. However, today’s KISS website looks more like a JC Penney catalog. Items range from an oddly expensive $44 umbrella (because Gene Simmons has apparently never set foot in a Walmart and done price comparisons) to a women’s American flag half-shirt for $44.95. If you haven’t thrown away enough money yet, you can adorn your man-cave with the raddest pinball machine ever made for a cool $12K.
8. LADY GAGA
Are you running low on rave costumes? Did you need a neon blue wig to go with your new outfit for work? How about a shirt that reads, “LADY FUCKING GAY GAY” or a meat shirt? Of course you need that in your wardrobe, and Lady Gaga has got you covered; some items are even on clearance. If that’s not enough to brighten your day, try brightening your smile with whiter, cleaner teeth! (Seriously, I can’t make this shit up.) The site reads:
Make brushing fun! Listen to Lady Gaga while you brush with the Brush Buddies Singing Toothbrush. Each brush plays her mega hits 'Born This Way' and 'Bad Romance' for a full two minutes — the dentist-recommended length of time to brush.
7. SNOOP DOGG
In what is referred to on his site as the (wait for it) “Snooper Market,” shoppers have a range of typical items such as shirts to interesting yet appropriate “tobacco” smoking accessories (cough). Unsure whether Snoop is encouraging literacy and language skills or just an activity to complete while using said accessories, the site also offers a Snoop-themed Mad Libs. Get your wackiest verbs, nouns and adjectives ready for this (not safe for children, probably) fun game. And while Snoop may have strayed away from his porn-producing enterprises into more family-friendly fare, perhaps in response to his mass appeal and accessibility as a rap artist, his best online offering is easily a “Snoopafly Action Hero” — characteristically dressed in gold chain and French braids. If this doesn’t make you into one of those weird merch collectors who keeps their purchases boxed and shelved for admiration purposes only, then nothing will. What 40-Year-Old Virgin doesn’t want one?
6. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Feeling a little over the hill? Needing an all-carry sack for your belongings? Lost all sex appeal and self-esteem? How about a fanny pack? Or a Flea-endorsed bass guitar? Good luck finding prices as most links on this site are broken, lost or go absolutely nowhere, kind of like RHCPs' music these days. But naturally, why would you need a web site anyway; especially when most of your stuff is sold at Hot Topic, JC Penney and Target. I’m not calling them sellouts, but I’m calling them fucking sell-outs because well, they are. Lame.
5. KANYE WEST
I wish I could write how hyperbolic Kanye's self-absorbed audacity is, but when you check this site and find that the autobiography of the self-proclaimed “greatest rock star of our time” has fallen to a mere $10, you realize you’re dealing with a performer who either has a shitty book or has fans who can’t read. I say it’s a draw; let’s go for both. Could you have a more narcissistic title? Doubtful. “Thank You and You’re Welcome” is touted on the site as, “A guide to creating then celebrating your moment!” Which is really his moment, as they all are, because who the fuck are you compared to Kanye? Exactly.
This is the bandwagon of bands. From Nicki Minaj’s Sangria and Moscato to Metallica’s latest partnership with Anheiser-Busch Budweiser for a metal-inspired beer, it seems lots of acts have bottled their own brews. Just to name a few, AC/DC have their own pilsner beer, logically titled "pils." These fine wine connoisseurs also offer up an impressive selection: "Hells Bells" Sauvignon Blanc, "Back in Black" Shiraz and "Thunderstruck" Chardonnay. Not to be forgotten, Iron Maiden offers "Trooper" beer and the latest, Poland’s black metal lords, Behemoth, have their own Belgian IPA beer, "sacrum," complete with their own unholy trinity symbol embossed on the label. If that’s not enough metal and alcohol, there’s an entire merchandise extravaganza waiting for you and your credit cards.
Do I begin with the blood-splattered BBQ apron thingy or the dog clothes? Maybe I should start with the women’s bikini with pentagrams adorning the breasts? (Full disclosure: I personally own said bikini and am not allowed to wear it, thanks to my teenager who believes I live to embarrass him in all public places.) All personal bias aside, Slayer’s site actually contains quite a few awesome finds, like the knitted winter bobble hat and jean vest with Slayer patch (a metalhead wardrobe must). There’s even a Christmas sweater filled with just enough satanic symbols to scare everyone in your extended family for the holidays. Perhaps coolest of all are the reasonable prices at the site. Definitely a bookmark favorite.
Years ago, Lars Ulrich almost singlehandedly dismantled online music piracy. Bands can thank him for bringing to light the theft of millions of dollars of music, while fans can thank Metallica’s marketing team for creating a musical merchandise showcase that puts KISS to shame. Their online store should be relabeled Wal-Tallica, because everything can be found here. No, really, everything. Clothes, music, blankets, baby items, band-aids, coffin-shaped lunch boxes, gift-sets, key chains, and even a Death Magnetic thong. (Perhaps the only place that album belongs — someone’s ass crack). Beach balls, pet accessories, you name it. Really one-stop shopping for the Metallica-minded superfan. You can literally adorn every damn thing in your house with the Metallica logo.
Motörhead have many cool things on their web site: a party pack that includes a deck of cards ("Ace of Spades," get it?), a Christmas shirt that includes the caption, “Merry Fucking Christmas”; the baddest T-shirts around; and a wide array of Motörhead skateboard accessories. There are also condoms, rolling papers and Motörhead Motorboat cruising items.
But who cares? Motörhead is now marketing sex toys.
No, just, NO. Stay in my stereo and out of my bedroom, Lemmy. Thanks.
They sell a fucking dildo advertised like this:
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Coming at you hard and fast, this turbo-powered, super-sized bullet vibe battles out a rallying rattle to shoot arousal to its shaking apex. Insert its blunt point to channel vibrations internally or power each potent shudder straight to her external pearl.
Many band sites offer a ladies line including female-fitted apparel, band-themed totes and handbags and cutesy accessories, which is to be expected. Perhaps the only mistake this marketing team made is assuming this will be a ladies-only item. Guys, this one’s all yours. No, thanks.