Brothers in arms is what I’m dubbing my interview sessions with the street-wear brands of today that I truly admire. Like hardcore, I’m quite fascinated with this culture for it’s sheer diversity, off the grid nature, and down as hell supporters with an affection for independent music. Furthermore, I like to know who I’m supporting and I’m sure I can say the same for you.
For our first BIA interview I was able to catch up with G from Defamnation clothing. I came across these guys not too long ago and was immediately impressed by their dope gear and unique video look-books. We verse about the brands beginnings and philosophy, his time in Hammer Bros and a side of randomness for good measure. For all things Defam visit their site. Now scope this piece:
SP: State your name and role at Defamnation clothing?
G Defam: My name is Gaius Monteyro or G for short. I oversee the creative development for the brand.
SP: Are there any other soldiers within your camp? If so, who are they and what’s their role?
G Defam: The brand consists of 5 others, which they contribute in marketing, designing, sales and overall focus.
SP: I understand you used to play bass for Hammer Bros, was the brand something you started while in HB or after? Give us some history and also let us know what the name symbolizes?
G Defam: The project started during my term in Hammer Bros and started to become more of a priority towards the end of the band. The idea of the brand was cemented in 2007, after being asked to partner up with a local brand which dissolved; I took over a similar concept and started something different. Defam’s first collection however, wasn’t released until summer 2009.
We first came up with the name Defamation Nation, which meaning still holds to the current name. Defam|Nation means to overthrow higher forms of society, using what they have spoken negatively and turning it against them. All forms of cultures, especially current ones followed heavily by today’s youth have always been looked down upon by society, which to us is a way of life. To them they see it as defacing.
G Defam: While we see a consistent incline in sales with each offering, the brand still has a long way before we can confidently say it’s supporting us comfortably. But with the progression we’re making we’re hoping things can eventually be bigger than what it is. A normal week for me typically consists of freelance designing for clients, whether it may be websites, logo creations, flyers, etc. Which lately has been increasing my intake of Naproxen. But I love it. I also run a screen printing company (Immaculate march) which takes in a good amount of orders per week. I also lend my skills to a local boutique called Persona (www.stackboxes.com) with in-house graphics and marketing. All the while I squeeze in designing, planning, and future decisions for Defam. It’s good to have a team to help these days, they are a big part in where we’re at now, and I know they all would like to see this become a staple in the beast coast.
SP: What is the “cutty life” and is there a central message to Defam that you want peeps to take away?
G Defam: The Cutty Life means to get whatever it is you are aiming for regardless of risks. Some people want success, some people just want to be content with life. A hustler’s ambition to be blunter.
SP: As a young brand there tends to be many lessons learned, let’s explore some of those. What are two things you learned that you wish you would have known when you first started?
G Defam: Never get your hopes up, usually if it’s too good to be true, it’s usually fake as shit. Don’t let too many people in your circle, they usually just want something. That’s something I’ve known from the gate that’s always stuck.
Don’t suck dick. Being hype isn’t the key to life. This industry reminds me a lot like hardcore or any culture to be honest, there are those who are who they are because of the ass they kissed, not because of how genuine their product is.
SP: When running a line, the best part is?
G Defam: Seeing everything come to form.
SP: The worst part is?
G Defam: Seeing everyone jump on because you are doing something they can’t.
SP: What’s worked for you guys in terms of hammering down stockists?
G Defam: Saying no to consignment has helped, unless it’s a shop we truly want to build with and believe they can help the brand. Most of the current doors we’re proceeding with have the look and direction that Defam also pursues.
SP: What’s your camp got brewing for 2011?
G Defam: We’re in motion to droap a few collabs, we’ll be in attendance at most of the major shows, exhibiting or not, come party with us. Also we’ve been sitting on a few woven’s that will be releasing sometime next year. We just take it day by day, always looking ahead but as you know, there are many obstacles and interference that occur. So just time everything appropriately. We look forward to the growth of the Lesser League.
SP: The best part of life in Massachusetts is?
G Defam: It’s the mecca of hardcore music.
SP: Has this environment influenced Defam in any particular way?
G Defam: To a point it has, dealing with an overwhelming view of close mindedness it has limited some of the growth until we basically had to force our own market. Now it is becoming more likely to break folds and open up, basically we carry our own torch and the only way it stays lit is by having our supporters throw gas into it. Gas we give them.
SP: My current playlist consists of?
G Defam: BSBD’s Third Party, Florence and the Machine, Rotting Out, and Wacka.
SP: When you’re not running the line, what can we find you doing?
G Defam: Spending time with my fiancé’ and family, working on freelance projects. Avoiding a 9-5, trouble, and snarky people.
G Defam: It certainly has, in a way it opens up a market that is more willing to support the movement being of our similar backgrounds. They can relate to what we put out, which is a blessing. Others can also relate but Defam most definitely is not for everyone and like I said before, we are fine with that.
SP: Throw out some shouts and spit a favorite quote?
G Defam: Bigs to Still Proud, the Cool, Life of Villains, and Seattle Family. Jeremy and The Persona Family, the homies, J-Essential and Pleasure Pete. And the Defamilia, Cutty Crew, Lesser League and the Caper Committee.
‘It belongs to those who are strong enough to take it.’-Atilla the Hun