Whether it's Lil Bow Wow bizarrely wearing a sparkly Pantera t-shirt or the endless sale of Ramones and AC/DC shirts to boarding school Stockholm girls by stores like Urban Outfitters, "true rockers" always get pissed when the normal and alternative worlds collide.
The most recent case came this morning when confused and angry metallers all over Britain started posting links to Sports Direct. Not because the discount sports shop was having yet another flash sale but because, bizarrely, they're selling t-shirts featuring Norwegian black metal band Burzum.
This is strange - and not just because Sports Direct are more generally known for selling astroturf boots than they are black metal merchandise. The mastermind and vocalist behind Burzum, Varg Vikernes, murdered Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth, the guitarist from rival Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, by stabbing him twentythree times. He’s been linked to the neo-Nazi movement and was once a big fan of church-burning. Varg went to prison in 1994 for the murder and for burning three churches in Norway. The shirt that Sports Direct are selling features the Aske EP cover or - to you and me - an image of one of the church arson attacks being sold for £12.99. The t-shirt is a far cry from the drop price Reebok pullovers they usually sell.
It's understandable that a Burzum shirt could be mistaken for an All Saints-style v-neck with something like F3STIVAL or DARK LOVE scrawled across it. But, still, I didn't understand how or why Sports Direct had managed to order in a bunch of t-shirts by a Norwegian black metal band. I called up Sportsdirect.com's press office to ask them exactly what happened but they were very evasive.
They said that they cannot "comment anymore on the matter". However, they did confirm the Burzum t-shirt had been removed from the site.
Even more strangely, though, the Burzum t-shirt is not the only black metal shirt that Sports Direct stock. Alongside the Umbro tracksuit bottoms and Lonsdale polo shirts, they've got shirts by Mayhem, Gorgoroth and Bathory. It turns out that Sports Direct aren't just unparalleled when it comes to buying things like shin pads and football cones, they've also expanded into incorporating trendy satanic black metal clobber too. Nice one!
Varg was a big part of our documentary True Norwegian Black Metal which you can watch here.