By Jameson Ketchum
WRECKED: How did Veil Arms Clothing get its start and what is the meaning behind the name?
VA: Veil Arms originated in 2004 while I (Shawn ) was at a Christian university and my fianc (now wife) was home in Albuquerque, (and we) decided to do designs for some bands. We attempted to do one for August Burns Red, who have been great friends of ours and HUGE blessings to us, and they rejected what we had done. We liked it anyway and decided to print it. And it was a small batch of twelve at first, but kids loved it and it kept growing from there. As far as the name goes Veil Arms basically means that we are not walking or functioning on our own understanding but allowing and trusting that God leads us. We base our trust in the hands of God.
WRECKED: A lot of your shirts have some pretty interesting designs. Who comes up with these ideas?
VA: I wish I was able to say that it is my creativity; however, I am terrible with designs. Ashley does everything; she sits in the office with her headphones and lets God guide her.
WRECKED: How do you decide which verses to use for designs?
VA: When Ash does a design it typically stems from a random verse that she reads, usually she feels an overwhelming desire to work with that verse and tries to come up with a visual interpretation of what it is actually saying.
WRECKED: Veil Arms recently attended The Wake, a three day tour with bands such as Sleeping Giant, The Glorious Unseen, and Chad Johnson speaking every night. Tell us about Veil Arms’ experience there.
VA: Where do I start?!!! That tour simply would be cheapened by words. All I can say is that it was spiritually charged, lives were changed, people were blessed, and God showed up every night!!! Having the GU play worship was a blessing; Chad’s words penetrated the hearts of everyone there and Sleeping Freaking Giant spiritually challenged everyone on the tour!
WRECKED: Do you ever see Veil Arms expanding beyond clothing? If so, what would you like to venture into?
VA: Yes we do! We recently have been feeling God leading us to book and promote different bands. We have recently just completed a second tour titled The Anchor featuring The Wedding as the headliner. We have assumed responsibility as full time reps for a multitude of bands and God has been allowing us to bless them with things other than cool clothes. We plan to open a venue summer of 2010 and planning financially– that has been challenging but awesome at the same time!
WRECKED: Veil Arms is worn by bands such as August Burns Red and other faith based hardcore acts. How did these connections come about and what role does music play in your company?
We had the opportunity of gaining a friendship with ABR before we even had Veil Arms. They honestly have been there since day one fully supporting and wearing, even sometimes embarrassing designs, to support the vision God lay on our hearts. As far as the others it honestly just humble persistency. Writing and asking if we can give away some free items for them to wear etc. So many bands have been gracious enough to help us out and that is one of the main reasons we like to promote and book shows. We try to repay their kindness by giving them more money each time they play for us!
WRECKED: Who are some of the bands you are now booking and representing?
VA: We have just started up this program called Active Management. Here is the low down on this. Basically we believe that a band should have the opportunities needed to succeed. We basically have different bands that subscribe to the service and it works out great. We only offer two solid months out of the year, but with that we ensure that the tour is solid and bands are well taken care of. We also offer merch discounts and free designs with the package. It truly is pretty beneficial for the active band that is trying to gain exposure. We have some great success stories from bands that have benefited from the program. I think you personally know of one great band that recently signed to Chad’s label, and that is part of our active program. Other bands that we have worked with under this are the following:
Stars Go Dim (Former Pillar Members)
Seventh Day Slumber
All or Nothing
In the Midst of Lions
And many others.
WRECKED: What are some current goals for the company?
VA: Other than expanding the influence of Christ, I would say–and I think everyone here would agree–would be getting that venue up and running by summer next year. We recently gained a two-hour weekly spot on the national radio station M88 titled “A Night With Veil Arms”. They are allowing us to play bands that are not necessarily radio friendly but still amazing on the air. We hope this will help bring exposure to bands that deserve it!
WRECKED: Tell us a bit about the format of your time on M88?
VA: That is still a bit hazy. We are still trying to format the program. I can only hope and wish that we are half as cool as Hopecore Radio.
WRECKED: Who would you love to see wearing a Veil Arms shirt?
VA: Let’s go down the list here
Shawn: Mark Whalberg (I know lame but incredible)
Brandi: Jack Black
Gage: Dallas Taylor (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster)
Ash: Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath that is)
Levi: Gage Spies (Mercutio)
If you liked this article, check out: To Write Love on Her Arms Founder Discusses the Power of Story
Jamie is an aspiring writer from . He is currently an and works with the online radio station Hopecore.com as well as the non profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms.