Thrashed: (Limited Edition) Collab between K&K + Sacred Reich

K&K+Sacred Reich

Thrashed: (Limited Edition) Collab between K&K + Sacred Reich

What up!

Robb here:

I am super excited to announce the final installment of the Killers & Kings + Thrash collaboration called “Thrashed” with three of my favorite 80's thrash bands: Destruction, Forbidden, and Sacred Reich.

In this Journal I’m going to talk to you about how this “limited edition” Sacred Reich collab happened, why I felt strongly about doing a collab with these bands, and walk you through the various stages the design went through to meld the Sacred logo with the Killers & Kings logo.

*I talked about this in the previous Destruction and Forbidden Journals, so skip down a few paragraphs if you already read it.*

One of the main reasons that I decided to do a Killers & Kings + Thrash collaboration was that I recently went to a streetwear convention in Las Vegas with my buddy Dom Deluca who owns an old school/legit skateboard/streetwear shop on Melrose called Brooklyn Projects.

While walking through the convention we came a cross a streetwear company whose name I can't remember, (nor would I even want to promote), who had various flyers from 80s thrash and punk shows all over their booth. At first I was really stoked to see this, I was like "wow, a place that gets where Dom and I came from"

But as I started talking to the people at the company, they clearly had no clue about any of it. In fact the guy straight up told me "yeah these are cool flyers right? We downloaded them off of The Google!”.

Fuck that.

And while I "get it"… I was kinda pissed that they were taking the culture that I grew up in, (and in some small way contributed to), and we're just using it to sell their brand.

Dom called ‘em Culture Vultures.

I walked away thinking, I want to do the collaboration with these bands and actually have it be from an authentic place. With the people that were there at the beginning of it, from people that contributed to it, and put it out to the world as a “limited edition”, premium shirt, with a rich, 14-color layout that stayed as true to the original art as is possible via modern screenprinting methods today.  

It was an epic undertaking, I reached out to several bands, (some of whom unfortunately declined after we created some really amazing artwork) but all 3 bands involved happily signed off on the collaboration. And all of the bands involved in this collab have been paid to use their artwork.

The third and final K&K / Thrash “limited edition” collab shirt I’m releasing is Sacred Reich - Surf Nicaragua.

***
I met the Sacred guys back in 1988 when my previous band Vio-Lence stared touring. I believe Phil was friends with their singer Phil Rind and they would always come hang at the Phoenix shows.  I can clearly remember driving in our van listening to the debut Sacred album and being way stoked on the song "Death Squad" which began with one of the heaviest riffs of it's time.  

So we're on our first U.S. tour, 5 band members, plus our manager Debbie Abono and co-manager/soundman/roadie/light guy/ bug-collector-extroidinaire (and future-MH-manager) Joseph Huston driving all across America in a cargo van.  7 people, all our gear and luggage packed in to the van (no trailer) drums tied to top of the van with cheap rope.  Life was good, we got a solid break, we did our first tour of the U.S opening for Testament.

Ya gotta remember...back in '88 there was no cell phones, no internet, no social media to keep us distracted, if you wanted to talk to your girlfriend you had to call her from a payphone pumping in an endless stream of quarters, but if you didn't have any money...  What we did have was music... specifically, cassette tapes.  

We would play a show, load our gear in the van, maybe play some pool, try and talk a girl into a blowjob, and if that didn't work... a beer, if that didn't work... well, McDonalds would do.  At first I wasn't old enough to be in some bars, so I had to wait in the van more than a few nights.  Once the show was over it was just another long overnight drive to the next town, and whoever drove, controlled the stereo.   Sometimes we'd drive halfway, crash out in a Motel 6 for a few, then drive the rest of the way in the morning.

Deen, Phil and I drove the most, as well as Joseph (who we called Joey back then, and I still call Joe to this day), and on those tired nights driving it was always music that carried us through.  In fact, when you're driving all that time, the band we were listening to had better have good "driving songs" or your cassette might get thrown out the window.  Motorhead's - Best Of "No Remorse" got A LOT of play, and SR's - "Ignorance" and "Surf" did as well.  

I remember us catching them at The Channel in Boston later that year, and they were just killing it.  KILLING IT!  The Channel was PACKED, and people were loving this band. They played "Surf Nicaragua" and the place went NUTS... I mean NUTS!  It was a straight up Thrash Smash!  If I'm honest, a 20-year-old Robb Flynn was tad jealous.

But ya know what... they had captured a moment, and when music works best, it channels the times. Not to mention, what a combination of words to make into a song!!  "Surf Nicaragua"??!!  Somehow it worked!   It felt new, they from a new area (Phoenix), their singer Phil always had an interesting take on the world, he was a smart dude with cool political lyrics, and of course, a massive pro-weed stance which I thought was great.

I caught 'em at the Omni in Oakland a few times, most memorably when they co-headlined with Sepultura on the wonderfully titled "New Titans On The Block Tour" (a not-so-subtle dig at the Clash Of The Titans tour featuring Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth)

By the time "Independent" came around a few years later (now on a major label with major push), they seem poised to take over the world.  

Little did I know, what a strange and interesting thread Sacred Reich would weave into my life.  As many of you know, Dave McClain was in Sacred, he joined them on their "Independent" album. I always loved the title track, goddamn what a hook! Machine Head even worked on this tune for a covers album that we had contemplated but never came out.  Check him out in the video below and see what a svelte, long-haired, greyhound-like Dave McClain looked like back in 1993 in the Mark Pellington (Pearl Jam - Jeremy) directed video for the title track.

3 years later Dave would join Machine Head, and the rest is history.  It's never lost on me, the journey this band has played, in my musical career.

I reached out to singer Phil Rind, and he was way down for this collab.  Sacred have just gotten active again, and are gearing up for a U.S. tour in the Fall which encourage all of you to check out.

Unlike the CD, the original Surf Nicaragua shirt had the album cover in a round shape for some reason. Not that it looked bad, but I wanted to change it, and make it a modern, full-length design.

So I had my graphics dude Geert get started on re-shaping the original square (CD-sized) design, to match what are considered modern, over-sized prints.

We talked about how to best approach fusing their logo. As was the case for all the logos we melded together for this collab, making that damn "S" jive was a struggle.

Like a lot of metal logos it has longer / arc-ing first and last letters (think Maiden/Metallica/ Testament), so we tried making only the "K"'s have the longer length, but it basically looked shitty.

So he took a another pass, making the "S" have the arc-ing metal vibe to it, but also capitalizing them. And even though the original logo did not have that capitalized design aspect to it, this one minor change somehow made it look more like the original logo.

We settled on the front design, but when it came time for the back, the same layout just felt small. I mean just tiny!

So we stacked it and tilted sideways, but it look weird with the straight front.

So we tried straight/stacked and added the fade

BOOM!

And this is what we got!!!

SACRED REICH - SURF NICARAGUA

SACRED REICH - DEATH SQUAD

SACRED REICH - INDEPENDANT
Check out a svelte, greyhound-like Dave McClain on drums.



Thrashed: (Limited Edition) collab between K&K + Forbidden

K&K + Forbidden

Thrashed: (Limited Edition) collab between K&K + Forbidden

Hey you guys

Robb here:

I am super excited to announce a Killers & Kings collaboration called “Thrashed” with three of my favorite 80s thrash bands: Destruction, Forbidden, and Sacred Reich.

In this Journal I’m going to talk to you about how this “limited edition” Forbidden collab happened, why I felt strongly about doing a collab with these bands, and walk you through the various stages the design went through to meld the Forbidden logo with the Killers & Kings logo

*I talked about this in the previous Destruction Journal, so skip down a few paragraphs if you already read it.*

One of the main reasons that I decided to do a Killers & Kings + Thrash collaboration was that I recently went to a streetwear convention in Las Vegas with my buddy Dom Deluca who owns the skateboard/streetwear shop on Melrose called Brooklyn Projects.

While walking through the convention we came a cross a streetwear company whose name I can't remember, (nor would I even want to promote), who had various flyers from 80s thrash and punk shows all over their booth. At first I was really stoked to see this, I was like "wow, a place that gets where Dom and I came from"

But as I started talking to the people at the company, they clearly had no clue about any of it. In fact the guy straight up told me "yeah these are cool flyers right? We downloaded them off of The Google!”.

Fuck that.

And while I "get it"… I was kinda pissed that they were taking the culture that I grew up in, (and in some small way contributed to), and we're just using it to sell their brand.

Dom called ‘em Culture Vultures.

I walked away thinking, I want to do the collaboration with these bands and actually have it be from an authentic place. With the people that were there at the beginning of it, from people that contributed to it, and put it out to the world as a “limited edition”, premium shirt, with a rich, 14-color layout that stayed as true to the original art as is possible via modern screenprinting methods today.  

It was an epic undertaking, I reached out to several bands, (some of whom unfortunately declined after we created some really amazing artwork) but all 3 bands involved happily signed off on the collaboration. And all of the bands involved in this collab have been paid to use their artwork.

The second K&K / Thrash “limited edition” collab shirt I’m releasing is Forbidden - Forbidden Evil.

***
As you may or may not know, I started the band Forbidden back in 1985 with my buddy Jim Pittman.  

I wrote about half of the first album including songs like "Forbidden Evil", Chalice Of Blood", and "As Good As Dead" as well as quite a few others which never saw the light of day except in demo form such as "Legions Of Death", the Exodus-worshipping "You're Next To Die" (whose riffs later ended up in "I Profit" by Vio-Lence), and the gloriously titled instrumental (and blatant Mercyful Fate rip-off)  "Egypt Has Fallen".  Craig and I were the primary song writers, and while I eventually left to join Vio-Lence, these songs and his band will always hold a place in my heart.

Craig valiantly carried on the band after I left, and Forbidden went on to have a respectable amount of success, even surpassing Vio-Lence at the time (much to my chagrin!) with albums like "Forbidden Evil" and "Twisted Into Form".

It was my choice to enlist Jim's cousin Paul Bostaph to play drums (which as you can imagine, promptly ended Jim and my friendship for a short while, he even threatened to sue!) 10 years later, Paul would eventually go on to join Slayer, where he remains to this day.

Craig and I have stayed friends, we get together and jam whenever I throw a birthday bash or a Robb Flynn & Friends, so when I approached him about this collab, he was stoked to be a part of it.

Their logo in particular was an interesting challenge to blend with the name Killers & Kings, in that it had to be divided up into 2 different fonts. There wasn't really a way to make the words Killers & Kings all one line, so we needed to think a bit outside the box.

I collaborated with my artist Geert on how to best approach this as it’s a great logo. For some reason, making the "S" jive was a struggle.

Like a lot of metal logos it has longer / arc-ing first and last letters (think Maiden/Metallica/ Testament), so we tried a couple more making the "S" (or what be the "N" on Forbidden) drop down to match the "K" (or what would be the "F" on Forbidden) but the whole thing just looked clunky.

So I asked him to take a 4th pass, and we settled on this one, which seemed to flow the best by connecting the R and S.

Next came working on the "& KINGS"

We settled on the front design, but when it came time for the back, the same layout just felt wrong.

2 different fonts worked with album art involved, but for a stand-alone back it was a fucking mess.

We decided to match it to the album title font, and at first seemed like one color could work...

But yellow sucked.

So we tried blue.

And that kinda sucked too.

We finally settled on a 2-tone 80's-style fade, which I always loved on band logos such as Thin Lizzy or Kiss, but the blue and yellow of the Forbidden logo just turned it all pukey-green

So we decided to match the color of the crashing skulls in blue and red.

BOOM!

Done!

And this is what we got!!!

WATCH THE VIDEO PODCAST: Robb talks with Schmier and Craig about the K&K + Destruction / Forbidden collab.



"Thrashed (Limited Edition)" Collab K&K + Destruction

Schmier - Destruction

"Thrashed (Limited Edition)" Collab K&K + Destruction

Hey everyone,

Robb here.

I am super excited to announce a Killers & Kings collaboration called “Thrashed” with three of my favorite 80s thrash bands: Destruction, Forbidden, and Sacred Reich.

In this Journal I’m going to talk to you about how this “limited edition” collab happened, why I felt strongly about doing a collab with these bands, and walk you through the various stages the design went through to meld the Destruction logo with the Killers & Kings logo

One of the main reasons that I decided to do a Killers & Kings + Thrash collaboration was that I recently went to a streetwear convention in Las Vegas with my buddy Dom Deluca who owns the skateboard/streetwear shop on Melrose called Brooklyn Projects.

While walking through the convention we came a cross a streetwear company whose name I can't remember, (nor would I even want to promote), who had various flyers from 80s thrash and punk shows all over their booth. At first I was really stoked to see this, I was like "wow, a place that gets where Dom and I came from"

But as I started talking to the people at the company, they clearly had no clue about any of it. In fact the guy straight up told me "yeah these are cool flyers right? We downloaded them off of The Google!”.

Fuck that.

And while I "get it"… I was kinda pissed that they were taking the culture that I grew up in, (and in some small way contributed to), and we're just using it to sell their brand.

Dom called ‘em Culture Vultures.

I walked away thinking, I want to do the collaboration with these bands and actually have it be from an authentic place. With the people that were there at the beginning of it, from people that contributed to it, and put it out to the world as a “limited edition”, premium shirt, with a rich, 14-color layout that stayed as true to the original art as is possible via modern screenprinting methods today.

It was an epic undertaking, I reached out to several bands, (some of whom unfortunately declined after we created some really amazing artwork) but all 3 bands involved happily signed off on the collaboration. And all of the bands involved in this collab have been paid to use their artwork.

The first K&K / Thrash “limited edition” collab shirt I’m releasing is Destruction- Infernal Overkill.

This was one of the early thrash records we got into. I remember listening to it for the very first time in my friend Craig Locicero's bedroom at his parents house in Fremont. He was 16 and I was 18, (eventually I would ask him to join my band Forbidden Evil).

My friend Jim and I had the “Sentence Of Death” E.P. and we were loving the song "Mad Butcher” (we used to crack up about how it, and Sodom’s “ Blasphemer” sounded an awful lot alike) but when “Infernal" dropped, we were blown away. With instant classic’s like “ "Bestial Invasion”, and “Antichrist” the album felt like it was ushering in a new era, and when it got to the song "The Ritual", my jaw hit the floor. That opening riff was so goddamn heavy!! I still jam that riff at soundcheck to this day!

To think that these guys were there at the beginning (1984) and just a few months after the seminal releases of “Kill “Em All", and “Show No Mercy” is pretty mind-blowing.

Their logo in particular was the biggest challenge to blend with the name Killers & Kings.

I collaborated with my artist Geert on how to best approach this as it’s a great logo. Something about the 3-dimensionality of it made it extremely difficult to capture the vibe.

The first 2 versions, kinda got it, but it felt like it was missing something.

After looking at these, the “K’s” felt a bit off on the first pass, and the “I” and “LL” didn't really jive on the 2nd pass.

So I asked him to take a 3rd pass, and we settled on this one which matched the flow the best.

Next came matching the 3-dimensionality

We settled on the front design quickly, but when it came time for the back, the same layout just felt wrong, too small.

So we decided to stack it and try and match the color scheme of the front, but that fell flat on it’s ass.

We finally settled on the stacked logo with white outline.

Simple, classic.

Next came creating the custom neck label for each design

And when it was all said and done, this is what we got!!

K&K + Thrash Collab (Destruction)

K&K + Thrash Collab (Destruction)

Killers & Kings will be releasing a new Thrashed collab every Friday for the next 3 weeks.

*The Destruction collab will be available until August 25th *

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