Back when I was starting Mosher Clothing, in January 2014, I knew we needed two types of shirts: plain, basic logo/lettering shirts and artwork shirts. Since I already had the logo (designed real quick; it took me a few hours to come up with what you see today, and still be satisfied with - such miracle), we started selling the “Mosh Sweet Mosh” logo t-shirts, because we needed to get our name out there ASAP.
The first batch of shirts sold pretty well, since we had full support from the biggest underground bands in Portugal from day one. It was now time to come up with the artwork type of shirts, something that could make or break the Mosher brand, and we wanted to start on the right foot on this one. We were a few weeks away from Moita Metal Fest, an underground festival that a few hundred people attend every year.
Even though we’re not a band, we definitely think like one, and having an official mascot was something that was always in our plans. Megadeth has Vic Rattlehead, Iron Maiden has Eddie, Motorhead has Snaggletooth, and so on. Mascots are extremely versatile, adapt to most artworks, and certainly add continuity to the collection of shirts they’re featured in. It was a no brainer, really.
We needed two things, first and foremost: a name and a look. As for the name, I always liked wordplay, and all I had to do was to find something that would link nicely with “Mosher”. After playing around with a few ideas and eventually dropping “Pitt” as an option (I always imagine people having trouble spelling stuff), Mosher Pete became the name of our mascot.
Even though I’ve designed a few shirts over the years, when it comes to pure artwork, I let the real artists shine. I got in touch with the reference in the portuguese scene, André Coelho, in January 21, and immediately gave him an idea of what I was looking for. For a plethora of obvious reasons, Mosher Pete was bound to become a stereotype of the thrasher metalhead: thin guy with long hair, tight pants and white sneakers, band shirt, etc. I asked André to add an evil touch to the mascot.
The first sketches (revealed here for the first time ever) revealed an evil tone, alright. The artist added horns, a forked tongue and Pete was missing an eye, lost in the action of the mosh pit - everything was great, truly demonic, but we eventually dropped the tongue detail and added a forked beard, instead.
André wisely advised me to have a simpler design, for bigger impact, and we came up with the ultra-cliché idea of having Mosher Pete crushing a can of beer, full rager mode on, with bright red flames as background. I have no problem admitting some of our stuff are clichés. Clichés put you immediately on the same level as the potential audience, for that’s something they’re familiarised with, and something they can connect with easily. Ain’t nothing wrong with aiming for success, right? I had previously played around with a certain logo for “thrash”, and asked the artist to have Mosher Pete wearing a shirt with it. This would be me doing inception into the people’s brains, because we eventually released this Thrash shirt as an exclusive Mosher item!
Weeks later, the first Mosher Pete shirts flew off our merch stand at the aforementioned Moita Metal Fest. This was also the first time we got an international act to wear our stuff on stage, which proved to have opened many, many doors for us. Thank you, Angelus Apatrida.
The final result was a t-shirt that is still our best-seller, an item that instantly connected with brand new fans worldwide and helped get the Mosher brand name out there. A small step, indeed, but a solid one. This first artwork shirt validated and encouraged us to do all the shirts we have done ever since.
You’re a mosher, wear Mosher!
- Yours truly,
Proud father of Mosher Clothing
NP: Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction.
David Alvarez from Angelus Apatrida at Moita Metal Fest. Picture by Tomás Lisboa.