Video for Aqua's Rene Dif's very own line of nachos.Bands and artists have been aware that times are tough for quite some time. People download their music without paying or rely on streaming options and there is no way this situation is going to change anytime soon. No one is ever going to pay the same amount for their favorite singer’s latest release as it costs to get a decent meal at a restaurant anymore. What is left nowadays for artists to earn a bit of income is the merchandise, but beyond buying a t-shirt to prove to your high school mates how fucking punk your adolescent self is, what merchandise do you really need (or want)? According to bands like Rammstein and Sex Pistols the answer lies in crème brûlée accesories and orange-based fragrances.
The bottom line is this: musicians need to get creative if they want to pocket some of your hard earned cash. Lucikly, creative is like their middle names or something. Keeping that in mind, we compiled a neat little list of some of the most ridiculous attempts at making "rad" merchandise out there. Have a look, but please don't buy any of this stuff. It'll only encourage them further.
Screenshot from metallica.com
Summer is just around the corner which means it’s about time to prepare for next winter already. Recently, heavy metal mastodons Metallica launched a set of skis for next winter season making it possible for you to engage in some slope shredding (see what we did there?), while proudly showing that you are way too cool for the after-ski group chanting along to DJ Ötzi. These babies don’t come cheap and to make sure that Ulrich and co´s retirement doesn’t turn into a financial mess, you have to be dead serious about buying them, paying a fee before and after the skis are made. Actually, Metallica isn't even the first band to launch this nothing-to-do-with-music-whatsoever-item. Rolling Stones kickstarted the mania already back in 2012.
Slay the Slopes with Metallica Skis
Image of the Kiss Premium Casket, via Brandmemorial's Facebook page.
The glam rockers, Kiss, have always taken merchandise to a whole other level - but what really takes the prize is when they launched a series of coffins. It's the piece of merch you will never get to enjoy! The coffins, which are no longer available (and you should probably question if someone puts one on ebay), came in different variations; one particular beauty having the words “Kiss forever” written on it. However, not everyone likes the idea of their final ceremony to be in a casket. Therefore Kiss has another suggestion so that more people can spend their money: Yes, there is a Kiss urn as well. Before you start with all that "who would buy such a dreadful item?", we'd have you know, that Pantera´s long lost guitar-shredding icon, Dimebag Darrel, is buried in one of these caskets.
Would You Die for One Last Kiss?
German industrial shockers, Rammstein, released their album Liebe is Fur Alle Da in 2009 and soon after a very special edition box set followed. Six dildos (unlikely, but apparently shaped after each band member's private parts), lubricant and handcuffs were included in this treasure chest of pure joy. While this might seem the pinnacle of useless merchandise garbage, the Germaniacs actually released something even weirder during the launch of their single “Mein Teil” from the album Reise Reise released in 2004: a flambé burner. Yes, the item you have always needed – showing off your crème brêlèe skills while showcasing your love for industrial metal. While the dildo box set is sold out and surely a rare collector’s item by now, the burner is still available on the band´s webshop.
Rammestein Dildos and Kitchen Tools for the Sex Crazed Chef
The monster band Gwar, who inspired some Finns to go and win the Eurovision once, holds an annual BBQ. Though, if you can’t make it to the feast or if you simply want to re-live the joyous experience, you can purchase a concoction called Gwar-b-q sauce. If not for the taste, at least buy it for the name. What makes this piece of merch stand out from the rest is that it actually comes with a low budget Home Shopping Network-esque commercial that will have you grinding your teeth in embarrassment. As the ad suggests; Put it on a steak, on some chicken or put it on a baby (but don’t eat the baby). It’s so dumb it almost works.
GWAR-B-Q Sauce For Your Baby Cooking Needs
As you probably know, launching a fragrance is standard practice for every single pop star more so than for the average punk fella. Still, the anarchy fashionistas that are Sex Pistols launched a perfume in 2010. Surely it’s never too late to re-enter the merchandise market - as Johnny Rotten already gave in to capitalism two years earlier by starring in a TV ad for butter. You may not recall the smell of perfume when you were marching the streets demonstrating against hierarchy in your young punk days, but this fragrance is, according to the press release, a whiff of anarchy and chaos.
Smells Like Commercial Punk Rock
Press photo via.
As if imposing the song “Barbie Girl” on the world wasn’t enough, Rene Dif formerly of Aqua, has decided that he won’t stop until both his songs and his snacks grace every 90s themed party from now until the end of time. That’s right, inspired by Paul Newman’s famous pasta sauces and salad dressings, Rene has decided to create a line of tortilla chips and dip because his passion for food and cooking burned so deep. In true Paul Newman fashion, Rene needed a drawing of himself to put on every product, which he taste tested all by himself and then outsourced to a Mexican company. So naturally when he heard that one of the Pussy Cat Doll’s moms drew caricatures - he couldn’t pass up the chance. Not to forget his musical background, there is also a chip theme song which can be found by scanning the QR code on the product.