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Violent Gentlemen (Clothing Company)

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Violent Gentlemen (Clothing Company)
On the Warped Tour, there's a lot of vendors looking to sell you something, and it shouldn't be much of a shock that a lot of these tents are Grade-A bullshit. However, for a few great days in California, there was a clothing company that I really loved stopping by - Violent Gentlemen. I mean, they were conveniently located near the Every Time I Die and Jordan Buckley World-Wide tents anyways, so it was pretty hard to miss them.

I spoke with co-owner Mike Hammer to talk about the brand and what we can expect from them in the future. If you love Hockey, you definitely want to check out this brand - if you do, you can save 15% off by punching in the promo code "Absolutepunk" at checkout.


For those unfamiliar with your brand, can you give some history on Violent Gentlemen? Hockey is a massive backbone for the company.


Very rooted in the game. We started in 2011 when I met one of my partners George Parros through a friend who worked for the Anaheim Ducks. I helped him with making some shirts and we became friends. He was working on a charity based clothing line when we decided to start fresh. I brought my friend and now third partner in VG/Creative Director to dinner with GP. Our meeting went great and we quickly realized we were all on the same page. On the drive home Brian says.. “So this guy is a top Princeton grad, wears a suit to work, paid to fight and protect his team mates!?” He went on to tell me about a name he had for a clothing line that fit this perfectly…Violent Gentlemen.

What would you say is Violent Gentlemen’s main ethos?

We try to stay very close to what we believe in. We will never make a product we wouldn’t wear ourselves.There's enough brands out there claiming to be things they're not.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single ad out, I became aware through Jonathan Vigil (The Ghost Inside) and Tom Williams (Stray From The Path) - how important is it to remain DIY when it comes to promotion?

Its huge for us. I hate the classic marketing strategy of throwing money at things and hoping something sticks. Our idea is we make a product we love and believe in, if you’re on board with us…awesome. We’ve never paid one person to wear VG.

Bands like Every Time I Die and Stray From The Path really love the brand - Andy Williams even has his own t-shirt with you guys. What other bands do you work closely with?

We for sure do the most work with ETID - they’re close friends anyways, so it's a win/win doing cool projects with friends. Andy is a huge component for us. We fly him out to California to DJ every event we do. Jordan has contributed a couple unreal pieces to our art shows. Keith, Legs, Mitch, and Sankus all wear VG as if we're paying them millions and it couldn't mean more to us. Those guys are so talented and have such strong personalities. Tom Williams is an animal of a hockey fan. Legitimately has an issue. Also, he beat me twice in a row at NHL 14. Thanks Tom.

We sent some gear out to The Gaslight Anthem a few months ago which was a huge thing for me being a big fan. We’ve got gear on everyone from Dierks Bentley to Anthony Green.

Is there a band you’ve really wanted to work with that you haven’t had an opportunity to work with yet? How about a particular athlete? And if I’m not mistaken, a solid amount of athletes love the brand too.

Life is so weird. Last week my quick answer would be Alkaline Trio and Wayne Gretzky. A few days ago I was connected to Skiba through a friend to do some art for a VG project. As we do this interview I’m up in Idaho staying at a friends, Wayne is his neighbor/good friend and we got to have some things signed by him in exchange for anything he wants, haha. You never really know whats going to happen.

Can you describe your typical design process for shirts? There’s a couple series that are really cool, including a line representing each NHL team and one with skateboarder Mike Vallely. You think we might expect a MMA series soon? That’d be cool to see a collab with Josh Barnett or Nick Diaz

The design process is such a labor of love. It changes every season as we learn and focus in on whats important. Brian usually thinks about it for awhile, then drops a bunch of art on me for us to pick and choose through. George is super creative and throws some solid ideas in the pot that we try to integrate with whatever we’re working on.

MMA has taken a very interesting turn. It used to be a style icon, brands like Affliction were absolutely killing it - now its just too saturated. There's so many MMA brands just out there trying to jump the shark. Mike V is another project we were super stoked on. Growing up skateboarding, we loved Mike. Getting to meet him and see what a cool, down to earth guy he is even furthered my fandom. You might even see another Mike V collab just so we can hang with him again. Same goes with (Josh) Barnett. He’s a close friend of VG and an absolute animal. That would be really fun, maybe for his next fight.

You guys were on most of the California dates of the Warped Tour - what inspired you guys to come out and sell merch on this tour in particular? If I’m not mistaken, you guys were next to ETID/JBWW most of those days.

We were indeed. When you setup in the morning at Warped Tour, it's kind of like Gangs of New York trying to get a spot. Luckily for us we had the Warped veterans in ETID take us under their wing. We had HUGE help and support from Chuck and Kate as well. Without them we would never do the tour again, now we’re already thinking about next year.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking about starting their own clothing company? What immediate do’s and donts come to mind?

Whenever people ask me that I say the same thing. If you have something you’re passionate about you should always go for it, clothing company or frozen banana stand. Be stoked to wake up.

What can everyone expect from you guys in the near future?

Near future is getting wild as we approach the season. In September we will be having a proper release for our “Ice in Our Blood” video series. Including but not limited to a full rager of a party at a movie theater in Orange County, a bunch of NHL’ers and VG family, and possibly a showing of a classic hockey movie.

After that we will have our fall line dropping and then the third VG art show in October. Will hopefully give people enough time to recover from the movie release.

Lastly, I feel like it would be foolish of me not to ask - who do you see winning the cup in 2015? The Kings really have a good thing going, but I can’t help but entertain the idea of the Penguins making another run, especially since Bylsma got let go.

I fully agree with the Kings statement. They’re built to be playoff team. Looks like their MO is to win every other year. I LOVED Dan Bylsma. He kept a great room. That team is always great with Mario at the helm. I can see them going deep but there's no way they beat a team from the West. The West keeps getting bigger and badder. Its insane. Being from Orange County however I must say my pick is the Ducks - they had an unreal season last year, improved the team, dropped some weight, and got another round further.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
04:23 PM on 08/18/14
#2
HeyItsAllyssa
Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose
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Another killer story sir. I was wondering when someone was gonna talk about this brand. Very cool. They are targeting a niche market no one has tapped into yet. Or so I've seen.
06:11 PM on 08/18/14
#3
Jake Denning
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Another killer story sir. I was wondering when someone was gonna talk about this brand. Very cool. They are targeting a niche market no one has tapped into yet. Or so I've seen.
Hockey is fun. I'm still mad that the Pens traded James Neal. Make sure you spread this around! Tell a friend!
07:04 PM on 08/18/14
#4
parkerxcore
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I absolutely love this brand. Wear my Ducks shirt on the regular. Didn't realize they had an Angels shirt and some new gear. Will be picking up atleast 3 come next paycheck. Hopefully that promo still works!

They should release the shirts they do for Andy in ETID. People would pick those up so quickly.
07:31 PM on 08/18/14
#5
Jake Denning
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I absolutely love this brand. Wear my Ducks shirt on the regular. Didn't realize they had an Angels shirt and some new gear. Will be picking up atleast 3 come next paycheck. Hopefully that promo still works!

They should release the shirts they do for Andy in ETID. People would pick those up so quickly.

They have the "Mr. Williams" shirts available online. I'm sure the code will be active for a bit. Spread the word!
05:36 AM on 08/19/14
#6
Christian Otte
Get money fuck bitches smoke trees
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I don't have to be into hockey to wear this, right? Because I think their stuff is sick as fuck, but I have no interest in hockey (via being a European).
07:24 AM on 08/19/14
#7
Jake Denning
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I don't have to be into hockey to wear this, right? Because I think their stuff is sick as fuck, but I have no interest in hockey (via being a European).

Nope! Plenty of people who don't enjoy hockey wear it. Thanks for reading! Cheers.
11:36 AM on 08/19/14
#8
parkerxcore
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They have the "Mr. Williams" shirts available online. I'm sure the code will be active for a bit. Spread the word!

No idea they had multiple pages!! I just ordered 5 shirts.
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01:32 PM on 08/19/14
#9
Jake Denning
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No idea they had multiple pages!! I just ordered 5 shirts.
Let me know how you like the fit - it's super comfortable, imo. I didn't expect it at all, but BOY was I surprised.
08:25 PM on 08/27/14
bmiller
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GO DUCKS!

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