INTERVIEW: TUESDAY NIGHT BAND PRACTICE

Musicians have historically been the most influential fashion icons and trendsetters; using clothing — from leather pants to tattered t-shirts — to construct their larger-than-life personas. But according to Mark Murder and Robin Graves, the punk-rock aliased designers behind clothing label Tuesday Night Band Practice, clothing is a viable mode of materializing music itself. One look at TNBP’s graphic tees, leather jackets, and generally rocker-friendly staples, and you’ll see that rock ‘n rollenergy can power things other than just three-minute songs. According to Graves, “We have taken inspiration from our own compositions and have tried to challenge our own ideas, designs, and the people that may buy from the collection.” Originally from the UK, Graves and Murder produced their first collection as TNBP with friends/bandmates Ben Bones and Dan Danger (who have since split from the brand) while living in Bali. The foursome’s weekly ritual of Tuesday night band practice quickly escalated into a creative think tank, leading to the formation of a clothing label that fused the guys’ rocker inclinations with their shared design backgrounds. Beginning with the popular “Thunder Dome” leather jacket — worn on stage by friends Jet Black — TNBP now includes an entire line of perfectly battered womenswear and menswear. OAKAZINE spoke to Robin Graves about the creative freedom of Bali, growing up in the UK, and what songs will play at his funeral (Jimi and G ‘n R, no doubt). Check out more of Tuesday Night Band Practice here.

What are your names and where are you from?

T N B P is Mark Murder and Robin Graves. London-based designers from the UK.

How did growing up in the UK influence your aesthetic and musical tastes?

The UK obviously has had its fair share of musical and design greats over history. We discovered different music scenes and art movements through old books and old records. But our main influences come on a more grassroots level from the areas we grew up in. Our earliest inspiration came grabbing at any little shred of a magazine or poster to stick up on our bedroom wall.

Murder grew next to a live rock venue which gave him insight into the rock world. Bands from around the world would stop by and thrash through their set lists. Inspired by the passing bands, he took up playing the guitar and joined a hardcore band, developing a keen eye for fashion.

Graves grew up around farming, and with this came a dose of folk, country, blues and rockabilly. He found an electric guitar in his attic at the age of eleven, which coincided with his sister passing down a very used cassette of Metallica. Graves, from an early age, has always been interested in design — it’s in his family genetics. Going to great art schools, meeting great friends and tutors, and sharing ideas has enriched his life along the way.

Tell us about the formation of Tuesday Night Band Practice. Why was it such a natural collaboration?

It was a natural collaboration because we generally have the same interests paired with a similar upbringing. We worked on design projects and had been friends in the same social scene before starting Tuesday Night Band Practice. We have different areas of design expertise: Murder is more specialized in fashion design, and I’m from an illustration and graphics background. Those two elements combined help to create the unique TNBP signature.

What were the first pieces you made together?

One of the first pieces we worked on together was a vintage style biker jacket called the “Thunder Dome Jacket.” The pattern and detailing was designed by Murder, and then it was printed, studded and hand-finished by me. The original jacket made was given to UK rockers Jet Black to wear on tour.

Why the name Tuesday Night Band Practice?

We originally used to meet up on Tuesday nights to band practice and talk about design and music. The original band was called the Tuesday Nights, and is an on-going musical project. Tuesday night is still the night-ofchoice for our new musical venture.

What do you like best of Tuesdays?

Ummm…band practice?!!! Although we play most nights. Every night is great if you have a guitar and amp!! Nothing better!!!!!!

What was the initial vision of the brand? How has that vision evolved over time?

The initial vision of the brand was to fuse our passion for design with our love of music. Over time, our love of music and songwriting has definitely influenced the aesthetic of TNBP. We have taken inspiration from our own compositions and have tried to challenge our own ideas, designs, and the people that may buy from the collection. This has moved the collections in a mature direction; exploring new techniques and textures.

How does music inform fashion and vice versa?

Music and fashion generally go hand-in-hand. Self-styled musicians influence the catwalks and trends. Music creates easily recognizable subcultures often defined by inventive hair cuts and clothes.  Stylists and designers often support the music scene by taking social ideals often voiced in the songs  and create fantastic garments further supporting the ideas and social subcultures. These days music and fashion can be a melting pot for artist, designers, photographers and all creative’s. There are many crossovers.

Who do you have in mind when you design?

We usually think about the kind of clothes we would like to be wearing — what would look good on stage at a gig. We stay true to our music and what we like: it’s good not to over-think things. Design should be challenging, but it also needs to be fun and satisfying. Some designs are based on new techniques that we’ve developed in the print studio and are much more involved, but other designs are just quick feelings. We also keep in mind what our friends — and peers alike — would be into. I guess we’ve started creating our own little TNBP gang. We all influence each other, sharing ideas and experiences.

What are your top five favorite albums of all time?

Appetite For Destruction – Guns ‘n Roses

Bleach – Nirvana

Beggars Banquet – Rolling Stones

Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine

Back in Black – AC/DC

Describe your aesthetic in a sentence.

Glory may only last for one day, but obscurity will last forever!

How does Bali influence the work you do?

Bali is a great place to work. The most influential thing for us is all the techniques you can learn and develop there. We have the luxury of being able to play in print studios, and we can get involved in the hand-finishing of a lot of the garments. This is what keep the designs exciting. We can follow the processes from the design sheets and illustration ideas right through to the production stages. Often new techniques just come through trial and error and happy accidents. If we were not able to have such a hands-on approach offered to us on this very creative island,then the designs would have no story to tell and no life.

Also, we play a lot of music with our local friends in Bali. There are some amazing musicians here, and that has given us the opportunity to really expand and learn new things and develop our skills. This, in turn, has inspired our designs.

What is sexy?

Amazonian women on Street Fighter motorbikes and Gibson Goldtops

Who are your favorite new bands?

Our favorite new bands are Jet Black and Romance. They are great UK bands!! Both have that eighties vibe, but definitely own their own sounds.

Best style advice.

Be yourself.  ‘Wearing all the clothes that nobody wears’- Aerosmith

Best life advice.

It may take years to realize, but its ok to be yourself. Massive cliché but 99% percent true, unless you are a mass murderer or something, in which case it might be best to take a break from being yourself.

Challenge yourself and, as my father says, “Don’t get stuck in the mud!”

Freeform list of inspirations.

In no particular order: friends, non-friends, family, guitars, girls, teachers, preachers, love, hate, fear, frustration, dreams, many many fantastic albums, films, books, illustration books, experimentation, traveling.

What’s next for Tuesday Night Band Practice?

We are currently designing our 7th chapter collection for Spring/Summer in Bali. Also, we are working on new tracks for our newer musical project called Rise of the Dogs. We have a new vocalist named Billy ‘Brain’ Skinner who is pushing our sound in a new direction. We hope record the tracks in Bali this season, do some warm-up gigs in Indonesia, and then hopefully perform when we return to Europe.

Make up your own question and answer it.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix

Don’t Cry – GnR

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