“Distressed materials translate the punk ethos” – Nike (advertising bullshit)

With love from Alkaline Trio…

Hang on a second, that’s new. Vampiric pop punk legends Alkaline Trio are about to release their major label debut Agony & Irony. And, as usual with rock bands and a new release, they’re on the road, working their way through a tour itinerary as long as my arm. More unusually, and following in the *ahem* footsteps, of fellow mass-marketed horror punks the Misfits, Alkaline Trio kicked off their summer tour by unveiling the new limited edition Nike 6.0, Alkaline Trio, “Heart & Sole”, Air Zoom Cush sneakers, as well as an extremely limited run of “messenger bags”. Both are being released exclusively on June 27, at Jacks Retail Shop, in Huntington Beach, California. A nationwide launch is planned for July 11. Predictably, Nike are spouting the usual kind of PR bullshit you’d expect, “the collaboration between Nike 6.0 and Alkaline Trio was a natural fit. Punk rock’s independent spirit is a common thread with action sports, and the band members live the lifestyle we support” – Tim Reede, Nike 6.0 Product Line Manager.

I don’t know about you. But it all just seems a little weird to me. Almost overnight, Nike went from a jock-dependent sports shoe, to the coolest thing in street, skate, and “alternative” culture since the invention of concrete. A lesson in marketing if there ever was one. And a sobering example of how easy it is to re-invent peoples’ perceptions, if you can afford it. And, by partnering with champions of the underworld, like Alkaline Trio, Nike Inc. get one more notch on their cool-belt. And they know we’re suckers. Fuck, if I lived in Huntington Beach, I’d buy a pair. Here’s Matt Skiba’s official statement, “We chose red and black as the main colours to reflect our Chicago roots and pay homage to the Bulls. We are huge fans. I’m also into sneakers. So seeing the swoosh and our logo on one product is unbelievable. The shoe looks amazing, and provides some insight into who we are.” Can anyone say, cue card?

The limited edition Alkaline Trio “messenger bag”

As far as the “insight into who we are” bit goes, isn’t that what the music’s for? Apparently, custom design elements include; “reflective details and bike-tread-inspired graphics, correlating to the band’s formative years in Chicago, where the members met while working as bike messengers. Distressed materials translate the punk ethos, and the Alkaline Trio logo is featured on the heel cup. The Heart and Sole Cush is constructed of all synthetics, supporting select band members who are vegetarian.” What a load of bollocks! “Distressed materials translate the punk ethos.” What the fuck are they talking about. It’s a sneaker. A limited edition fashion accessory, for one of the richest companies in the world. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather Nike didn’t attempt any translations of the punk ethos. I guess I just understood it already, because it wasn’t in a foreign language to begin with, i.e. it needs no translation. But it’s a co-branded world out there. Everyone’s looking for a leg, or a foot, up – their own Fig Newton sticker on their windshield. Movie releases come with video games, limited edition sneakers, signature chocolates, clothing, and more…

Check out these Hellboy sneaks by Adidas

And these Hulk Nike Air Force 1s.

I guess it’s just a case of getting old, insuring your future, and going from this:

To this:

How about this nifty Alkaline Trio watch

Here’s a few other band/sneaker team ups:

Bad Brains and Vans

Millencolin and Vans

Rise Against and Vans

Misfits (Iron Maiden’s band merchandising nemesis) and Draven