Informal Poll: Does “offensive” merch help or hurt a band?

May 1, 2012
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The above t-shirt from Dayton, Ohio-based The Paramedic is making waves on the Internet today due to its content. 

Provocative band merch is nothing new–groups from Asking Alexandria to Oceano to Salt The Wound are known for their merchandise that features profanity, graphic images or in some cases, both. There's no argument that being provocative will get one's band noticed among the crowd–this post is a prime example of that–and one could argue that if these merch designs weren't selling, bands would stop printing them.

What do you think, though? We want to hear from both sides–those who have bought and worn merch like this, and those who haven't. Does your opinion of a band change with merch designs like these, and does it change for the better or for the worse? 

We've reached out to several bands for their takes on this (including those mentioned in this post) and will relay their answers as we get them. In the meantime, give us your thoughts 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