INTERVIEW | Down For Life
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this one. It’s almost as if the dudes behind the Philippines-based clothing line Down For Life were peeking into what we’re reading here at Unite Asia. We’re in the midst of wrapping up a book called ‘This is Not a T-shirt’ that chronicles the life of one of the founders of The Hundreds and right at that moment, Down For Life made an announcement of a shirt reissue that fully caught our attention. You’ll see the shirt further below but we were so touched by the idea behind the design that we had to shoot them a few questions about it.
Support your local scene first and foremost.
UA: What’s up guys! So stoked about the shirt reissue! Can you tell us a little about yourselves and Down for Life?
DFL: Hello! We really do appreciate all your hard work for the Asian Hardcore Punk scene. Thank you very much for your support and interest in us.
Down For Life is the product of our love for the hardcore punk scene and the art of band shirt making. Our inspiration is the desire to provide quality yet affordable merch for the bands/crews that we believe in. It was established by Allan and Peter in 2006, at the start we had no idea how the silkscreen process works so we had to start from scratch. After months of trial and error and online research, we finally produced our 1st screen. The late Butch Regala of the infamous Take 4 Collective helped us in sourcing screen printing supplies and shirts in Manila.
Our first official release was for the Japanese band, Myproof, followed by Settled Down and Radio Off Project from Batangas. Honestly, we really don’t know what we stand for, but we do it with passion. Income from the shirts is just a bonus, but it helps us give back to the scene as it provides us means to organize shows and enable Pete’s bands to tour. It also helps us during hard times especially this pandemic since Pete’s main business suffered during the lockdowns. We are not a popular clothing brand, and sometimes a dormant one for years. For the past few years, we became focused on printing shirts for Pete’s bands such as Barred, Sandy Good and Typhoid Mary and some local bands in the scene.
UA: So what really caught our eye and inspired us to want to interview you guys is this specific shirt that you are re-releasing. Can you talk to us about the original concept and where the idea came from?
DFL: This is a tribute shirt that consists of a collage of the local bands and crews that we’ve printed shirts for before. A simple way of showing our gratitude for supporting us and trusting us with their band/crew shirts.
Scott Vogel repping the original shirt.
David Wood (ex-Terror, Down to Nothing) repping the original design as well.
UA: What was the design process like originally? What was the design process now since yon updated it?
DFL: The first version was released in 2009. Peter was the one who designed it with the permission of the bands and crews that were included in the collage. In the updated 2022 version the print is larger, more detailed, and we included additional bands.
UA: What was the original feedback like when it first came out?
DFL: It was one of our best sellers back then. As far as we know, it was well complemented by some of the scenesters. Probably due to the freshness of the idea of the design and the print was detailed even though the pictures on the collage were tiny. For the past few years, we have been asked repeatedly to reprint it.
UA: What’s the reason for the updated design?
We decided to focus and release our own designs this year. It is one of our very first releases for the brand Down for Life so we’ve decided to start again beginning with this design. A few bands were added to the list so we’ve decided to release an updated version. Bands and crews on the collage are Realidad, Veils, Clean Slate, Stick To Die, Past Forward, Typhoid Mary, xFortressx, Irrevocable, Standout, Seven Lakes HC, Walk Me Home, Settled Down/Ala Eh Mob, Sandy Good, Caudal Fin, Biofeedback/I Cease, Aunt Audrey, Hardcore Hope, Barred.
If you want to grab a shirt then hit up Down For Life directly here: https://www.facebook.com/downforlifeph/