If you mention Straightedge clothing, chances are you’re going to hear the name Trust Comes Tough. Perhaps you may have seen their tees on Bleeding Through, Earth Crisis or Set Your Goals and if not, i’m sure you have seen your local straightedge kid repping one of there many designs. For the last couple of years this Australian based company has been spreading the straightedge lifestyle across borders with much success and tenacity. I caught up with Weber (the lines founder) amidst his life on the road, to explore the beginnings, ideals and future of this independent line as they are a great example of success in even the smallest of niches. Enjoy!
SP: First off, your name and role at Trust Comes Tough Clothing?
SP: How did you come up with the name and give us a rundown of the TCT story?
Weber: The name comes from a song by a band called The Promise. The song is called “the Kiss Off” and I liked the idea that you shouldn’t just give trust to someone, it should be earned and proven.
SP: Besides TCT, I see that you also tour with bands. What do you do for them (are you playing or handling merch) and what bands have you been out with?
Weber: I Tour Manage/ Drum Tech for a band called Parkway Drive from Byron Bay. We tour worldwide all year but sometimes I manage to jump on the road with a few other bands as well. I have worked with a lot of bands a few of which are Bleeding Through, Throwdown, Deez Nuts, I Killed The Prom Queen, The Acacia Strain, The Architects, Madball, Converge, Bane and loads more.
SP: Take us from sun up to sundown of your typical day with running TCT and any other randomness you want to throw in?
Weber: When I’m home I normally get up around 10am, eat some toast and drink a coffee, take my girlfriend to work, check some emails, pack some orders, grab a little lunch at one of the many amazing vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne with a few friends, then go home and play a lot of X-box!
SP: TCT is obviously a Straightedge clothing line but as of late you have broadened your appeal a bit to include a god free, vegetarian and hardcore slanted t-shirt. It appears to be a reflection of your own beliefs, talk a bit about this?
Weber: Initially all of my designs were based on a drug free message and that has worked really well for the label as a lot of people have supported it. In addition to Straightedge though, I have other beliefs that I wanted to get across to people and didn’t want to wear out the drug free message which is why I opened the label up to include other types of ideas.
SP: You are just getting ready to drop the winter line, tell us about some of the designs and the meaning behind them?
Weber: The “God Free” design has caused a little upset with certain people as any anti-religious message does, and that’s fine with me. I knew it would happen but I felt that with all the force-fed pro-religious propaganda I thought it’s not hurting anyone to speak out against those sorts of messages, hence the reason I did this shirt.
The vegetarian one is self-explanatory really, I feel that all animals have the right to live and don’t think people should eat them so I put the most obvious vegetarian message on a shirt (Meat is Murder).
SP: What’s in store for TCT in 2010?
Weber: A lot more presence in the public eye and a lot more messages to keep people thinking!
SP: Even though I myself am not straightedge I certainly respect individuals who have committed to the lifestyle for the amount of time that you have. What has kept you going down that path for the last 12 years of your life and what kind of advice would you give to a younger generation that may be interested in this lifestyle?
Weber: Straightedge is the best lifestyle choice I could have ever made. It kept me on the right path and kept me out of a lot of trouble when I was younger. My only advice is that younger kids should take their time with claiming straightedge, as it is a lifetime commitment and shouldn’t just be claimed because that week you feel like it’s the cool thing to do. Many people like myself take it very seriously and we support younger people getting involved but only when its for the right reasons. Get involved, stay off drugs and respect the movement. Everyone’s welcome but don’t come in all guns blazing and think everyone will put their trust in you, cause as they say, “trust comes tough!”
SP: Australia has been churning out some awesome bands the last couple of years; tell us about the Aussie scene and what the atmosphere is like there?
Weber: Australia has some great bands and a really good hardcore scene. Everyone has heard of Parkway Drive who have being holding it down here for many years as one of the biggest bands to ever come out of the country, but many other great bands also tour regularly such as Miles Away, Carpathian, The War, 50 Lions, Blackout, Word Up, Dropsaw, Deez Nuts, The Red shore and loads more!!
SP: What’s on Webers play list at the moment?
Weber: Well I’ll be honest these days I listen to a lot more rap and pop music, but if you want a quick break down I’ve been playing a lot of 2Pac, Biggie, E-Town Concrete, A Day To Remember, Blood For Blood, God Below and Lady Gaga!
SP: In my interviews I like to get some words of advice that you may be able to offer to other upcoming clothing lines since you have had some success with TCT and have probably learned a thing or two. What are two things you learned that you wish you would have known when you first started?
Weber: Honestly I think the way I have run the label has worked well. I haven’t encountered too many problems but there’s always room to learn and do things better and more efficiently. I guess I would like to speed up the rate at which we can get the orders out as it’s always good to have people get their orders quick so they feel good about ordering from you next time.
SP: What kind of budget do you think is ideal for a new start-up line?
Weber: A few grand can get you enough stock to start something up, but in all honesty I started with 60 shirts across 2 designs and spent under $1000 for the first order, so start small and work your way up.
SP: The most important characteristic to have when running a line is ______?
SP: Regarding band sponsorships, did you actively seek them out or did they approach you?
Weber: I just pick the bands I like and give them stuff.
SP: List some sites for people to peep your line?
SP: Any shout outs?
Weber: Patrick, Galvin from Canberra for all the help with the designs and being a huge help to my label!!!
Let us know your thoughts and recommendations by commenting? We want to hear from you!! Don’t forget to Support Still Proud Clothing by picking up a tee at the Store .