Warlord Clothing boasts the most eclectic line up of metal bands in the merch community including: Brutal Truth, Intronaut & Rotten Sound. In addition, they have their own line of Warlord shirts that have some pretty gnarly designs. Warlord founder, Bruce Reeves gives a look into the other side of the merch business.
How long has Warlord been around and how did the company start?
Warlord started in 2004. I used to play in Phobia from 1990 – 2005 and we would always do our own merch, printing shirts using those home speedball kits, screening our own patches etc. We finally came across a free 4 color press and figured out how to do things the right way. I went to college for graphic design, so it was easy to put the two together and start making merch for us and for other bands we knew. It just all grew from there. It was always my side job from doing graphic design and motion graphics, but after being laid off every year from every different company I was working for I decided to focus mainly on warlord. Now its turned into a full time thing and we are busy as ever.
How closely do you work with bands on their designs?
Some bands have designs ready to go from album art or previous art they have used. Others just have an idea of what they want and I will work with my team of artists to come up with something cool for em.
Do you create all of the Warlord shirt designs?
I do my share of the band designs and Warlord Clothing designs, but I also work with a few freelance artists like Mike Fisher, Farron Loathing, Peter Han, and Jeff Zornow on band stuff as well as getting new warlord designs together.
What artist’s work are you into right now? Who are your favorites artists of all time?
Right now I’ve been looking at the guy from Wormrot is killin it also Santos, he did the new Noisear record cover that came out amazing. So many good underground artists out there right now. Faves of all time. Gustav Klimnt, Alphonse Mucha, Vince Locke…. Im sure theres a ton more I can think of, but those are the main ones off the top of my head.
Can someone submit artwork to Warlord if they hope to get it on a band shirt?
Sure, I guess so. I don’t mind looking at stuff. I have had people send me stuff they think would make a great warlord shirt, but were totally off. Im pretty picky and specific when it comes to the Warlord line so usually just sending something wont ever make it. I usually work with the artists on an idea and flesh it pretty specifically.
What bands are you into?
Gravehill is my new favorite. I just went on three week road trip and all we listened to was the bluegrass station on XM and black sabbath and lots of hair metal!
Is Warlord to most badass merch company in the world?
Of course. Well we definitely aren’t the biggest merch company in the world. There are so many out there doing merch, but Warlord has a more diverse selection of underground bands and a closer connection to the bands than these other big companies. We are a DIY family business with a staff of 4 people including me. We do this cause we love the music, the scene, and I like free T shirts. What better way to do that than to start your own company!
Check out: WARLORD CLOTHING