The Dichotomy of Marketing & Merchandise

It doesn't take much reflection to realize that railing against capitalism looses some of its credence when the railing entity has a store full of items for sale. As much as capitalism is flawed it is the system we are saddled with and if we want to share our ideas it is going to take more than yelling from on top of some perch in some busy part of downtown Chicago or wherever we might might travel to in order to get people to take notice.

Bands like Fugazi never made or sold a single shirt in their years of touring but they made their stand within the context of being composed of some of the most revered hardcore punk and post punk icons, backed by one of the most successful independent record labels in punk music, built when records were still hugely popular. It would be amazing to draw a similar line in the sand but bands like Poison Planet don't have the same built in draw, we don't have the ability to tour constantly, nor do we have the same climate where most people bought their music instead of downloading it. These are different times and the context we exist in is very different.

The adage goes "a picture is worth a thousand words" and that is what makes t-shirts, posters, stickers, and record art so important and impacting. Putting the aftermath of the meltdown of Chernobyl on a t-shirt or a freedom fighting rebel from Libya on a record cover reinforces both the horrors of unrestrained quests for power and the gritty realities of the struggle to subvert it. All of that impact is lost in an MP3 listened to completely out of context with 8 or 12 lines gruffly yelled about a topic, so we seek to combine imagery with our ideas to lend strength and urgency to them. Doing so requires mediums that grab people's attention. We sell some of these to provide us with the means to self sustain our infrequent touring and allow us to produce more music and art.

We seek to pack our records full of imagery and ideas to give you more than just a listening experience but an immersive gateway into genuine counter culture, much how I felt when I discovered bands like Dead Kennedys and MDC, and I poured over their record inserts and art. A record can be more than just entertainment and a shirt can be more than just marketing, its all in how its used.

We use sweatshop free t-shirts, try to use recycled paper products when available, and source labor and expertise from other punx within our community whenever possible. We urge you to do the same, so that we can build a sustainable community for ourselves and a less abusive existence for those around us.

9 Volt/Poison Planet