Connor Hallisey, vocalist for Our Hollow Our Home, talks all things merch and how they approach band merch in 2019.
Tell us a bit more about your band and how you got started out?
OHOH formed in late 2012/early 2013, and at this time we were just five guys all from varying backgrounds and situations, we had all been in a couple of smaller bands before, and we all shared a similar passion and unanimous goal to create heavy music. Most importantly, we wanted to write the music that we wanted to hear ourselves. The line up has seen a couple of changes since then, but our goal has remained unchanged and is for sure something we are always striving to achieve.
Can you remember your very first merch design? Tell us about it!
It was this big shield emblem that we printed on brown and grey tees haha… it had some cool little symbols on it that didn’t have a lot of relevance to the band, (I think there was a top hat in it somewhere?) and had some really early lyrics printed on. I remember it selling really well because of the interesting colourways we chose!
What do you think artists could do different regarding their merch?
I think focusing on quality over quantity is super important when it comes to merch designs/printing. It’s better to build your range up over time with solid designs you feel sell your brand/product well and will last, rather than just rush the design picking & choosing phase and ending up with a bunch of products you’ll only ever print the once and be stuck with after a few months.
Now the other way around – what did you notice some artists are doing right?
I think some artists coming up at the moment are really nailing the branding aspect of the merchandise they’re putting out. When you produce a line or range of products with a strong image in mind, I feel that’s when it’s the most successful.
One band that springs to mind is Lotus eater… every time you see one of their designs you instantly recognise it as one of their products, either from the design or the colour palette used!
Why do you think it is important for artists to focus more on their merchandise?
I think it’s especially important in more recent years for bands to take pride in their merchandise and designs as people often will have a preconceived idea of what your band will sound like just from your general image and branding, which of course is built strongly by online branding and merch. Taking the time to figure out how you want your band to be seen by those that may not have heard you before is extremely important, and as previously stated, merchandise in all forms can play a key role in this.
How do you approach selling your merch? Do you have a merch table/ sell online?
We do both! As we’ve established ourselves as a brand over the years, we have found there is a demand for our products across the globe, often in places we as an independent band at this stage in our career would find extremely difficult to actually visit or play in. Having an online store enables us to reach these fans to some degree, and allows them to be just as involved and engaged with our merchandise and products as they can be with our social media profiles.
As we continue to grow as a band, our online store and it’s use by international and national customers continues to grow accordingly and allows us to keep connecting with new and old fans in a way otherwise impossible at this point in our journey.
Where will you think merch will be in 10 years’ time? Will merch tables still be around?
I feel like being able to sell merch at shows/events as an artist is a really vital part of touring/being in a band in general. It enables you to build a rapport with the customer that would be otherwise unachievable if you were just selling your products online. I think the feeling of leaving a show with a physical product in your hand is also something shopping online for merch can’t really compare to, and for a lot of people is probably quite reminiscent of a time where going to shows was the only chance you’d be able to pick up a band’s new shirt design or new record, and I feel that genuinely plays a role in the push of sales at concerts too. I don’t think you’ll be seeing merch tables at shows disappearing anytime soon!
Any tips for bands looking into making merch?
Go as diy with it as you can! When we were starting out, Tobias (guitar, vocals, synth) used to piece together designs for our merch himself on photoshop, which cut down a lot of early design costs meaning we had money to play with in other areas, including the printing of said designs! If you have the tools at your disposal, taking matters into your own hands as much as possible is something that can prove really helpful, and helps you build up the authenticity of your brand/product when executed well.
What type of merch do you find are the best sellers?
We’ve always found our classic tees are the products that keep our fans coming back for more! For the majority of our tee designs, we tend to stick to a key design model featuring our classic logo as a pocket design, and then choose a more adventurous, individual design as a back print. I think these designs have been so successful as they’re all in keeping with the OHOH brand image, yet all have their own kind of feel to them too. and often relate either to a specific lyric or song, giving our fans a choice within the range to pick something that resonates with them more personally.
WATCH THEIR MUSIC VIDEO FOR DISCONNECT HERE: