My mother listens to a lot of music, much like I do, and with that often comes a love of band merch. Almost every trip to Hot Topic leads to the same conversation, "Why can't I wear that shirt? You know who they are and I like the shirt! Who cares?"
Every time, I explain there is an unwritten rule about band merch. Don't wear merch for a band you don't listen to! Full on, just don't. This rule irritates her to no end, because she often finds shirts that she really likes, but she always remembers 'my rule.' Its not my rule, its just how it is!
How I explain it is, by wearing a band shirt, you are supporting something. If you don't know the band, you don't know what you're supporting. Which, yes, on some level, that's okay when it comes to bands. At the same time, its not because, if someone comes up and says, "Hey, I like your shirt. What's your favorite song by them?" You won't have an answer.
My personal thoughts on this whole thing are if you can name at least one song, its okay to wear the shirt. You don't have to actively listen to the band to support them, but you do have to know something about what you're supporting.
In my eyes, its no different than wearing a Breaking Bad shirt when you don't watch Breaking Bad. Or, a 50 Shades of Grey shirt, even though you never read a single one of the books. (Do such things even exist? I don't know. I don't even know why that was my first example.)
I don't know why I decided to talk about this now, because I already made a video about it earlier this year. I think its because the conversation came back up again last night. A Day To Remember was playing in the car and mom all the sudden goes, "Hey! That's right, I do know this song. That's why I can get their shirts, right?" I said yes, because she knows a couple songs, and if I could get her to listen more, she'd probably like several more from them.
Apparently its just stayed in the front of my mind.
So, how do you feel about the whole band merch thing? Do you agree that you should listen to the band before you wear their merch? Or do you not care because the band is still getting support then? Let me know!
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