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Exclusive: Ben Bruce (Asking Alexandria) on the band’s “offensive” merch

May 8, 2012
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Last week we opened up discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of “offensive” band merch. There was a lot of great discussion among our readers, and we began reaching out to bands known for their provocative merch for comments on the issue.

Here's the first, from Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria (second from left):

“Offensive merch? Something is only offensive if you take offense to it. I don't find swearing offensive and don't really consider our merch offensive per se, rather, risqué. But basically the whole thought process behind it began with stemmed from two words, “Train Wreck.” People love shock, they love what they aren't supposed to, or at least what they are told they are not supposed to, so we said fuck it, we'll be a band that does what we aren't supposed to do, because, well, why not? If you see a car crash on the side of the road, you look, it's human nature, something in your brain tells you that you want to see what's happened or what's going on, and when we were a younger band and starting out, that's what we were to people, a car crash, a train wreck. We weren't afraid to go off the rails a bit and speak our minds, we just did what we wanted to do, we are a voice for the people who want to stand out, who want to rebel, who don't necessarily fit in to society just because they have been told certain things are right and wrong.”

We'll continue to post these as they roll in. What do you think of AA's stance? Let us know in the comments.

Written by Bryne Yancey

Position: Former Web Editor HQ: Orlando, FL (soon to be Cleveland, OH) Nice to meet you! I'm Bryne Yancey, the former web editor for Alternative Press. Prior to joining AP full-time, I volunteered at Punknews.org and freelanced for Myspace Music and AP, writing reviews and such.  I enjoy 80s thrash metal, leather-jacket pop-punk, obscure 90s/2000s emo, contemporary crust-core, and plenty in between. I'm a big fan of pizza, nachos, dessert, sleeveless t-shirts, wearing shorts year-round, sunglasses, science fiction, dry humor, horror, the Florida Marlins, the Orlando Magic, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vinyl is great; Spotify is equally and differently great. Green Day's "Dookie," Bad Religion's "All Ages," and the Suicide Machines' "Battle Hymns" changed my life. I don't think our scene has ever been as exciting or promising as it is right now. Top ten albums OF ALL TIME (but in no particular order): Saves The Day - Stay What You Are Green Day - Warning Jimmy Eat World - Futures Snapcase - Designs For Automotion Hot Water Music - Caution Metallica - ...And Justice For All The Suicide Machines - Battle Hymns Bad Religion - The Process of Belief The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told Descendents - ALL Twitter | Tumblr