Music, drugs, anime, art and Brooklyn are a few of many things that brought Flatbush Zombies' members Erick Arc Elliot (The Architect), Meechy Darko and Zombie Juice (Jewice) together. Their shared interest in art has also manifested itself in another unlikely place: the trio's tour merchandise.
All three work together to conceive and design the pieces, with occasional help from a collaborator or artist. Released in small runs, the merchandise has become coveted among fans because of its limited nature. Following the release of the Zombies debut studio album, 3001: A Laced Odyssey, and ahead of touring, we sat down for a quick chat on fans, merch, and the process of conceptualizing album art.
Tell us how the merch evolved?
Erick: Well the original shirt, which I still have, helped supply us with money before we ever sold an album. So we basically used shirt money to fund our career.
Juice: Yeah, it all started with a logo that Phil at The Madbury Club drew.
You guys are still rocking the logo so it carried through, yeah?
Juice: Yeah, it’s still relevant. People who don’t even know us three know that logo….
Lately you've embraced a graphic-novel aesthetic. The illustrator you worked with for your album cover also used to work with Marvel Comics. Coincidence?
Juice: No, it was a calculated decision. We were deciding the direction of the album art [for 3001: A Laced Odyssey] and we were inspired by Marvel comics growing up. The album cover is actually a story if you look in-depth. They also say if you listen to the album and play 2001: A Space Odyssey something special happens...
All of your merch is limited, right?
Erick: Yes, all of our merch is made by us. We don’t have a huge company giving us money, this is fucking real and that’s why it's limited.
How do you sell to fans?
So it's always on time?
Erick: Yes. Every Friday at 4:20pm people tune in to see what dropped.
Meechy: We’re selling grinders.
Erick: Yeah, our first grinders ever.
Juice: It's a collab with Phoenician grinders.
You’ve done various collaborations outside of music and the internet. What’s one of your favorites so far?
Juice: The Flatbush Zombies and Bathing Ape collaboration for the New York store's 10th anniversary has been my favorite.
Meechy: We were there when the store first opened and we barely had enough money to buy anything. To have an item with the same brand 10 years later is really cool.
Stay tuned for their next drop this Friday here.