Show Us Ya Tees: Jared Bridgeman of EARTH ROT - Ausmusic T-Shirt Day Edition
Photo credit: JV Photo & Film
This year the annual Ausmusic T-Shirt Day was pushed to Friday April 17th in support of Australian artists who are doing it tough due to the coronavirus pandemic. The whole entire premise of Ausmusic T-Shirt Day is fairly straight forward: wear some merch from an Australian artist or band and share it online with the hashtag #AusmusicTshirtDay. The annual campaign was originally kicked off by triple j in 2013 after being inspired by the BBC’s ‘Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day’. In 2017, Ausmusic T-Shirt Day partnered with music industry crisis relief service Support Act in order to raise funds for local musicians facing hardships. We decided to reach out to Jared Bridgeman, frontman of Australian blackened death metal outfit Earth Rot, who just recently released a bone-crushing monster of an album titled 'Black Tides of Obscurity' via Season Of Mist.
Blackhelm from Melbourne:
I'd say over the last 4 years I've worn this shirt more times on stage than any other shirt of mine so what better a t-shirt and band to kick off Ausmusic Tshirt Day.
Whenever we book a show, they're the first band we ask to join us. Any city in the country, doesn't matter. Their latest album Dark Clouds Of The Inferno is a masterpiece, they're tough and tight and without a doubt one of the best live metal bands in Australia. I bought this shirt when we played together in 2016 at the Bendigo Hotel releasing our EP Chthonian Virtues. Still to this day one of the most fun shows we've ever had. We first met Blackhelm at The New Dead Metalfest #6 in Adelaide while we were on tour with Psycroptic and Goatwhore, they were called Metalstorm at the time but were the same band just honing in on their sound. I reckon we spent a third of our day hanging with these guys, we've been great mates and huge fans of Blackhelm ever since. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackhelmlegions
Départe from Hobart:
We've been fortunate enough to share the stage with the incredible Départe a handful of times including supporting Mayhem on the Perth date of the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas tour which I don't need to say was a pretty monumental show for us as Black Metal fans and especially as Black Metal musicians. Whenever we play Hobart, we always have time for burgers or manage to sink a few beers and crash on the floor of Jed/Disho. The bond goes a little deeper now, as of July we're label mates on Season Of Mist. Something that I'm still stoked about today, joining one of my favourite record labels in the world and knowing that some great friends of ours have shared the exact feelings is always something special. When they eventually get back to playing shows, you can absolutely bet that you'll see Earth Rot and Départe on stage together again. Also, FYI it's just pronounced 'depart' and not 'de party' although they definitely do party. We've checked.
Now we go to...
Hell Machine from Alice Springs:
This band is absolutely Australia's finest 2 piece band, bass + vocals and drums + vocals but they sound like. It's black/thrash and they are absolutely ferocious. I first saw them at Blacken Open Air in Alice Springs a few years back, they absolutely blew me away with one of the best sets of the entire festival and it's always one of the best feelings discovering a new band live at a festival. Later that night, we headlined day one and by the time we hit the stage we were all fairly sauced from getting on the tins all day and watching bands. When talking on stage I drunkenly referred to them as “War Machine” like an absolute muppet, we laughed it off with all the local lads after the show over a couple more beers. Long day, great festival. When you get the chance next year, you absolutely must make the trip to Blacken Open Air, it's something really special and totally different to any other show or festival you'll experience. This photo is from our 2018 Aus/NZ tour with Dimmu Borgir and I wore this shirt of their Merciless Hate album art t-shirt every night on that run. Some of the best shows we've ever played while supporting a band extremely responsible for my journey into heavy metal.
Up next... No Haven from Melbourne:
If Isis (the band) had a whole lot of angry in their blood, and somehow I had wronged them and the world and needed to be told how pointless my existence is, they'd be No Haven from Melbourne. I think. Honestly I don't really know what subgenre these guys are, some guy on Bandcamp describes them as “post hardcore with heaps of blastbeats maybe” and I'd have to agree with that. It's extremely heavy and dark and even have a healthy dose of caveman riffs (see their track Cesspool) We had the absolute bloody pleasure of sharing the stage with No Haven in 2017 and loved it. They're a band with the all the intensity and beer fueled rage you want to see in any heavy band. Last year they released Deep Ends Of Shadow Lives, a corker of a full length album which even features some bonus Saxophone action from Mika of Blackhelm on track 7 'Sink Holes'. The t-shirt was designed by a ridiculously talented illustrator named Rodrigo Almanegra, it is hands down one of my favourite t-shirt designs ever. The wood-cut style art is incredible and difficult to get the right balance of fine detail to make the design really stick out and screen well on a t-shirt. You can read this design so clearly from across the venue. The show, again The New Dead Metalfest (10th anniversary of the festival) in Adelaide this time with our friends Fleshgod Apocalypse.
Psycroptic from Tasmania:
One of my favourite Australian bands and will go down as the greatest Australian death metal band of all time. I saw them for the first time at Black Betty's in Perth 10 years ago on a stacked lineup with Misery Index, Origin and Decapitated which I'm fairly sure was Ob(servant) album cycle and after hearing for years about how good Psycroptic were, I was turned on the day. Since then I've seen them a bunch more times and we've played some killer shows together. I don't think there's any metal fan in Australia that hasn't caught Psycroptic at least once so I don't think I can tell you anything you don't already know about them. They're consistent, heavy, technical and write hooks that get stuck in your head for days at a time. To cap it off I made the mistake of buying some of Joe's tab books thinking I'd be able to nail a couple of songs to get my guitar playing chops up but lets be honest, I'm a vocalist first, a bass player second and a guitarist when I need to write caveman riffs or trem pick some minor barre chords for a couple of minutes. This photo is an old one from back before I took up the bass role in Earth Rot role. The shirt is fun, who doesn't love a burning church t-shirt, or a Tasmania devil? This t-shirt has been retired due to an increase in beer-related heft.
Black Tides of Obscurity is out now via Season Of Mist.
Follow Earth Rot
Music & Merch: https://earthrot.com.au/
Let us know what Aumusic T-shirt you're wearing today, and remember to support your local artists!