Truth be told, I played drums in a metal band, called Lightning Swords of Death, in fact, was its founding member. The same band wore “corpse paint”, the bat winged, Kiss/King Diamond/Alice Cooper-like black face paint rubbed over the eyes in fingerling patterns. True to metal we joined the urban cowboy with a mixture of denim and leather, studs in the collar, and patches sewn into the back of the denim, usually sleeveless, jackets. We played with a Sabbath like sludge, unlike the intricate double kick patterns, and machine gun rattling-off 16th notes fired in relentless patterns across fret boards, and drum heads usually associated with Death Metal bands. Persons in the band had avatars; the singer went by “Autarch”, the guitarist “Roskva”, I was plainly Jonathan. We did our best to wield spells, tell tales, and test ear drums with turned down tuning, washing cymbals, and carnivorous carnival barking which was a blend of helium pitched screams and cries towards the heavens, and low, guttural growls, mish moshing words and sacred phrases blended through the throat chords of a demon bear.
We played shows with Cattle Decapitation, and a host of other metal bands, the band eventually signed to Metal Blade records. “Autarch” (who had been a friend since I was 19, also a roommate for a few of my younger years) would draw these cryptic logos, in the Death Metal style; a mix of graffiti like encryption, Gallic decorative opulence, and horror like erosive gutters and streams which, if skilled in such logo-craft, would spell out the name of the band in a, “Oh, I can see it now.” moment of realization. Not much different from staring at the paintings in the mall, where you’d have to cross your eyes, and after a half hour or so a “Pirate Ship” would appear. Eventually, I pulled the accelerator back into hyper drive, put the drums up on the racks, and started a Collectibles Company. 10 years later, here we are, releasing A Death Metal Red Panda. The catalyst of pushing my idea for a collectibles Co forward in part on the heels of my departure from Lightning Swords of Death – can the universe be any weirder? Or more intuitive? Not only is this particular series in parallels to my own life experience; a creative director for a start up with a horrible boss, and a metal drummer by night blasting ear drums with fist pounding frustrations brought on by the day’s activities at the office…Aggretsuko oddly squares its way into the 10 Year Anniversary products, and we exist for 10 years because my disinterest in pursuing my metal drumming career! This is like when future Bill and Ted met past Bill and Ted, “Whooooa!” “Don't forget to say “hi” to the princesses!”
Needless to say, this might be my favorite TLS 10 Year Anniversary offering for all the listed reasons; life imitating art, and vice versa. Certainly a personal one, might be why we painstakingly combed through ever detail to tell the story with sincerity. This little red panda packs a punch – not only is she heroically throwing up horns, she’s doing it while standing on a mound of burnt, smoldering, and flaming skulls, simmering in a pool of blood. I think my friends from LSOD would be proud. The "Flaming Skull Base" tooling exists ONLY for the 10 Year Anniversary product. Aggretsuko boasts 13 points of articulation, a true mechanical wonder for this mighty mite! She also comes in a commemorative “TLS 10 Year” window box, with a collector card! Certainly an Action Vinyl for the ages.
We’ve fixed some of the web glitches, we’re doing our best to keep shipping affordable, and we are prepared to start shipping once orders are received. *Hint – if you purchase two, shipping is a better cost, if you purchase three, it’s a killer deal. DETAILS: Available for purchase on www.theloyalsubjects.com tomorrow, Friday the 20th at Noon PDT. Happy hunting! Limit THREE per purchase.
Next up – T-Shirts! Next Wednesday we’ll have some killer TLS styles available to the public; TLS 10 Year Anniversary Logo Tee, Stay Loyal Logo Tee, and the TLS Army Color Camo Logo Tee! Keep your eyes peeled next Wednesday, and rep TLS loud and proud!