Does the Despair Faction needs its own merch again?


#1

*To clarify, years ago the Despair Faction had its own merch store online. The question is, should that happen again?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


#2

I personally don’t feel it does, the members of despair faction are there as fans of afi yeah? In that case, personally, I think that AFI merch is enough.


#3

There’s a difference between wearing a regular AFI shirt or a Despair Faction shirt. I say that meaning the feeling of when you’re wearing it. Anyone can go to Hot Topic or an online outlet and buy an AFI shirt. The merch that is dedicated to the band’s official fan club is definitely more significant.


#4

At the very least patches. Maybe some shirts.

But I know tons of people who love tank tops and I guess that must be a regional thing because they’re so hard to find from any bands.

Maybe we could have DF members submit designs? Make sure there’s rotation on who wins and what designs every so often?


#5

Yeah, I’d love it if there was even just one online exclusive design. I would likely buy all Despair Faction merch. I did before! :slight_smile:


#6

I don’t know. I don’t think I really loved the elitism that came with being part of the DF. Like I was a part of it, partially because I could scrounge up my own allowance money to pay for it. I was always acutely aware that some people couldn’t afford it, couldn’t join because their families were against it, or didn’t know how to join. I mean, I had the DF merch, and I loved my DF merch, but at the same time, I always felt terrible when there were fans who just didn’t feel like they were true fans because they weren’t in the DF. It’s kind of like uniforms at school: often they make students wear them not only for modesty but because of socio-economic issues.

Again, I love the DF, but at the same time, I hate anything elitist. It’s why I got into rock music into the first place; it was to feel like I was a part of something, like I could walk into a show and be equals with everyone. The notion of these exclusive fan clubs that maybe not everyone can join always felt slightly hypocritical and kind of antithetical to the DIY/punk ethos.

But, like I said, I was and am a member, partially because I felt pressured that I wouldn’t be considered a real fan if I wasn’t a DF member. I didn’t find that it really impacted me; I didn’t participate much because I was 12/13 when I joined.

And I go with @Glenn’s thinking. I just view everyone as fans with equal right to full enjoyment of all the band has to offer, including the merch and ticket sales.


#7

To this point though, would you consider a new AFI a DF member then? Are all AFI fans considered DF members? It was also never meant to be elitist, I mean, I get what you’re saying but just because someone can’t afford everything in a DF store doesn’t mean they have to buy everything in there.

Having the option for exclusive merch was also just a perk to being in the DF. Think of how many of AFI’s items are rare and/or limited and continue being that way.

Sorry, I got way too involved on this one. :slight_smile:


#8

Nah, you’re not too into it. It’s something that’s really bugged me about bands for a long time.

Are you saying a new AFI fan? I think if they’re just as devoted and taken in, then they’re a DF member. If they’re listening to the music and enjoying it and loving the band, then yeah. Everything else- the concerts, lining up early (because, yes, that’s a privilege; not everyone can get off work or can afford to take off work or school or even get a ride), the merchandise, the physical albums- is all extra.

I’ll never forget reading back in '03 an interview with Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. He talked about the only way he got to “own” any music from bands he liked was if a. he worked longer hours or b. a friend burned a copy for him. His family was so economically depressed that the teens had to work to help pay bills. They couldn’t afford to spend money on themselves, which means he didn’t have the time or the money to join fan clubs or buy fan club only shirts.

I think that every AFI fan should be treated the same. The human psyche reads any distinction as something that separates a person from another. It’s like when you can achieve gold member status or platinum member status at a club. Immediately that person feels a bit more elite than someone else. The same thing with fan clubs. If someone is a part of it, some think they’re that much more of a fan than others.

I think from a collector’s stand point the DF only merch is cool, and God knows I had it (again, allowance money can go a long way if you’re frugal) but at the same time, I am incredibly privileged. Some people may not be so lucky, and that’s where my issues with fan clubs come from. I don’t think it was initially intended to become a status symbol, but thanks to corporate, that’s what it’s become, and I’m not sure if I’m down for that.

I guess the DF deserves its shirts, but, at the same time, there are people out there who for a myriad of reasons can’t be part of the DF, and I don’t think that makes them any less of a fan than an actual DF member.

So my issue isn’t with DF only merch (though I never really viewed it as necessary; the prints were just cooler than other merch; like the Blood Tour DF shirt was SO much cooler than the other shirts). It’s more with the concept of fan clubs, especially fan clubs- like Green Day’s and how misleading the new AFI DF sign ups were at first (I know a lot of people who thought they had to buy the bundle to become a DF before HQ cleared that up)- that require a fee.

And I hate distinction amongst fans; all fans love the band. Leave it at that.

This is so not an attack on you, though, or anyone’s love of collecting or really anyone in the DF. It’s more of my problem with something like a fan club when we’re talking about something that’s supposed to unite disparate people.


#9

Whether you have to pay to join a fan club or not, I totally see the point of wanting to own a shirt or something that says you’re a member of that fanbase. I don’t think it conveys any message that someone is trying to say they’re a bigger fan than the person that doesn’t own the shirt.

To me, I see DF shirts as a secret nod between AFI fans. For the most part, they’ve rarely had the band’s name actually printed on them. So the only other people that understand what the shirt means are probably other fans. I always found it cool to randomly bump into people in public wearing a DF shirt or have someone say “I love AFI too” when they saw me wearing a DF shirt.


#10

It also probably didn’t help how things have been handled before. I heard and read so many complaints about the DF years ago when they updated their official forums and getting your info updated was a nightmare.

Yep, I totally agree with all of this.

It’s never been about being “higher up” than another AFI fan. To me, it’s always been an extension of my love for the band.

Honestly, besides DF only tour merch, I don’t see them having any more online DF exclusive merch.