Teejerker's Vintage Merch Collection Is Incredible

Matt Sloane gives us a tour of his archive of vintage metal and punk tees.

'98 Peaceville Records long sleeve with the iconic artwork from ‘Transilvanian Hunger’.
Artwork from the bands first demo released in ’92 ‘Wrath of the Tryant’
From Steve Albini’s major punk rock project Big Black, active 81-87.
27 years after forming Sabbath, they were still putting out awesome tees. This one featured artwork from eighteenth studio album ‘Forbidden’.
From the 1976 Technical Ecstacy world tour.
European tour long sleeve from the ‘Blessed Are the Sick' tour.
From the US tour of ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’
From the 1991 ‘Ritual De Lo Habitual’ tour.
Artwork from the 1991 album ‘Forbidden Places’.
From the UK Last Splash Tour in 1993
Late 80s, unknown origin, possible bootleg.
Sonic Youth Japan shirt from ‘92.
Rare Dinosaur Jr. ‘You're Living All Over Me’ shirt from before the legal battle with another band called Dinosaur forced them to add the ‘Jr’.
Bootleg Dinosaur Jr shirt from the early 90s, I've never seen another one.
From the 1986 album ‘I Against I’, the band's third album.
Promo shirt for the 1984 compilation release ‘Bad Music For Bad People’.
From the bands forth single release in 1981 ‘Too Drunk To Fuck’.
Artwork from 1983 ‘Out of Step’ - shirt produced buy Jeff Nelson (the band's drummer drummer) around 1987.
From the tour of the band's forth album ‘All’.
Artwork from the first EP release ‘Painful Thing' E.P.
Artwork from 1988 EP release ‘Feed Me With Your Kiss’
European tour long sleeve from when the band were touring the debut album ‘Like An Everflowing Stream'.
'93 Relapse Records long sleeve for the single ‘Deliverance of Horrific Prophecies’ from the debut album 'Onward to Golgotha'.
Shirt from the first time UK Death Metal band Bolt Thrower toured in the US.
For the ull length album ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’.
Fugazi Repeater bootleg shirt from 90/91, the band never made any official merch.
Long sleeve promo shirt from Tupelo Recording Company - the record company who first pressed Bleach in the UK.

Band shirts are so much more than just pieces of clothing. We wear them like we’d fly a flag, telling the world just how much we love our favourite bands, and many of us can probably recall a whole host of cherished memories associated with our most-worn items.

You and I probably have a solid collection of shirts between us, but some people go that extra mile with certain things. Matt Sloane loves band shirts so much he started Teejerker, a store specialising in super-rare, vintage shirts. Things have really taken off for Matt of late, he recently did a collaboration with London's Goodhood, his Instagram has gotten huge and his shirts have been spotted on a bunch of people you've definitely heard of.

Matt was kind enough to send us a gallery of his favourite shirts (along with notes on each) which you can see above, and take some time to tell us a bit about what he does, check it out:

Hi Matt! Things are popping off for you! How did this get from casual hobby to fully operational business?
It took me a couple of years to realise that people were buying selling and trading tees online, predominantly on Instagram. It was cool to see that other people were really into it, but of all the sellers I couldn’t find anyone else who was curating quite how I would have liked. I thought I’d give it a go myself and aimed to have a selection similar to that which you’d see when browsing a really good record store, just for vintage band T-shirts.

What makes these shirts so special? 
There definitely nostalgia around owning any physical item from a past subculture you relate to, even if you weren’t there at the time - an original press of a record is one thing but a shirt which has been loved by some metalhead/grunger/punk from years ago is awesome. This ties into the unique wear and fading on a vintage tee, when a black tee has turned light grey you know that shirt has really lived, I think that’s pretty cool. The other thing that’s special is just how special the bands are, and the status they have in their respective genres. Original Mayhem, Black Flag, Sonic Youth tees for example are all the more important now when they’re still the defining bands of their genres.  

How do you feel about your place in it? Do you feel any sense of responsibility to preserve these cultural artefacts?
In a way I do, but there’s enough people collecting old band tees and never wearing that I don’t need to go down that route as well. I’m enjoying engaging with genuine fans and providing tees which they’re really excited to get their hands on. Some people are dying / distressing / printing on old band tees, which I don’t think I’d do, keeping it pure and just curating for a true music fan is preservation enough for me.

Why the store? Is it not a case of merch collecting being quite a trade-based market?
Teejerker has given me a big platform to facilitate quite a lot of trades, which is always good fun. In terms of why the store I really just wanted to create the most exciting page / collection of vintage band shirts out there, there’s still a long way to go but it’s moving in the right direction. No one had all the genres covered I wanted to see, I want someone to be scrolling through like ‘Shit that’s a 1991 Bolt Thrower, ahh man look at that late 80s Dead Kennedys, damn a Slowdive long sleeve!’ you know?

Did you ever expect this to grow to the size it has?
Umm I guess not to begin with, the uptake was really promising but I definitely didn’t expect it to turn into a full time job. It’s encouraging seeing the support Teejerker has now, and the messages from people really stoked to receive their shirt. The bigger it gets there seems to be other opportunities coming up too so we’ll see what happens, I’d really love a physical location in London for people to come and browse. 

Ever have any famous people wearing your stuff?
Yeah I recently went to meet Travis Barker at the London Blink show to deliver a Black Flag and Minor Threat tee, I’d grown up listening to Blink loads and I got to take a couple of good mates who had too, so that was an awesome experience. I’ve sold to dudes in Nothing, Basement and Obey the Brave too, and I think a tee actually ended up with Kanye recently too haha.

What's the piece you've been happiest to get? Have there been any that you would never sell?
Probably the shirt I was happiest to get from a sale perspective was a Minor Threat ‘Out of Step’ tee printed by Jeff Nelson (the drummer) in the late 80s. It was well faded and thin and had a couple of bloodstains - a real awesome piece and at the time it was the most I’d ever spend so was really excited to see that calibre of shirt come in. There’s a few I’ve got I wouldn’t sell, I’ve got a 1998 Burzum ‘Aske’ with such nice wear I’d never be able to replace it, also a Dinosaur Jr. shirt from 1987 when they were just called ‘Dinosaur’. A legal battle forced the addition of the Jr. but yeah that’s a sweet piece of history I wouldn’t want to part with. 

What's your most sought-after piece? And are there any 'ones that got away'? 
Maybe the most sought after to come through the store was a 1989 Nirvana ‘Bleach’ long sleeve. It was a promo shirt from Tupelo Recording Company who first pressed the album in the UK, they didn’t press that many of the album so the long sleeve was definitely super rare. Yeah there’s some I’ve missed out on and are yet to have in stock, My Bloody Valentine ‘Loveless’ T-shirt comes to mind, as well as a Dismember ‘Like an Everflowing Stream’ long sleeve which I wanted for myself and was gutted I missed.

Go follow Teejerker on Instagram and check out the store here.


Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?