METALTALK INTERVIEW WITH FUXK GEAR

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MetalTalk(s) Fun under Xtreme konditions with Founder Todd Weller

Fun under Xtreme konditions (FuXk Gear) is rocking it out on the road with its Fall 2017 Work Hard Play Hard blitz and tour.  The FuXk Gear team is hitting the market hard to drive increased visibility and brand awareness.

FuXk is a next generation brand promoting Fun under Xtreme konditions.  Currently, the brand is focused on clothing including rock shirts.  Fun is at the core of the FuXk movement.

MetalTalk recently had a chance to catch up with FuXk co-founder Todd Weller to talk more about the group and their efforts.

MetalTalk: What is FuXk all about and how do you pronounce it?

FuXk Gear:  Let’s nail the pronunciation first.  It’s exactly what most people think when they ask the question.  The “k” at the end is silent so it’s pronounced “FUX.”  As far as what we are all about, we are new brand, an edgy one for sure.  But I also view us as a movement.

The core value of our brand and movement is having fun.  It sounds like a simple concept and it is – we want people to make sure they are having at least one ounce of fun every day, all the time.  No matter how Xtreme (difficult) the konditions (situations) you are operating in.

MetalTalk: Is FuXk a play on the “F” word?

FuXk Gear:  Funny you should ask because originally that’s how it started.  My friend and co-founder ‘Phil from Philly” said that word with what sounded like an X.  I looked at him and said WTF did you say and how do you spell it!  And a brand was born.

As I thought about it I thought it could be an interesting play on the word.  But I immediately knew that was too shallow.  It had to mean something.  I have an interesting creative side and within five minutes of thought, I came up with Fun under Xtreme konditions.

After more reflection (and several drinks!) – it became clear that this was very relevant to my mode of being and the people I’ve associated with during my life.  My wife has a saying she’s used for over 20 years – “Have fun Todd, you always do.”  Damn right!

MetalTalk: Your brand references “Work Hard Play Hard” why’s that important?

So, I’ve been a big partier all my life but I’ve also been a hard worker in school and in my various professional gigs.  Another description I’ve gotten over the years is “he plays hard but he works hard.”  Some people haven’t been exposed to my professional side – “Professional Todd” as some call it!

At FuXk Gear, we think having fun is important but it’s also important to have balance.  So “playing hard” is important but it needs to be balanced with a “work hard” mentality.  For example, driving FuXk Gear is a lot of work and we are putting a lot of effort into it.  But – while we are working hard on it we are also having fun.  It’s all about balance – Work Hard Play Hard.  I must say my balance is slightly skewed to the Play Hard side!

MetalTalk: Why is FuXk Gear focusing on the heavy metal market?

FuXk Gear:  Easy one and great one to talk about!  First – I love music!  It’s an Xtreme source of Fun for me and many others.  In fact, I think it’s hard not to have fun listening to music as some studies show that listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and reward.

Second – while I love all types of music – heavy metal and hard rock are my favorite type.  I was born in the early ‘70s and the first record my dad got me was KISS: The Originals – the set of their first three albums.  That was my first exposure to music and I still have it!

Other than KISS I wasn’t really exposed to other metal/rock bands of that generation like Led Zeppelin (though I grew to appreciate them later).  My real exposure beyond KISS was with bands like Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Ratt, Poison, Metallica and the list goes on.

So, I love music in general but I really love heavy metal and hard rock.  The great thing about the rock crowd is that it spans a wide age range.  Go to a KISS concert, look around and you’ll often see multiple generations of a family attending – sometimes three or four generations!

This is a pic of my son back in 2012 at a KISS show – no that’s not the real Gene Simmons just some man in the parking lot who looked a lot like him!

Importantly, as you know, heavy metal and hard rock is alive and well and there are lots of cool, new groups that are driving the next generation of rock music.  I listen to Sirius XM Radio and bounce around between Octane, Hair Nation, Ozzy’s Boneyard, and the new Turbo station.  My favorite DJ is Kayla Riley but please keep that a secret!

MetalTalk:  Talk about your Work Hard Play Hard Blitz and Tour.  What’s it’s about and how’s it going?

FuXk Gear:  Our Work Hard Play Hard blitz and tour is all about aping up the visibility of our brand and our movement.  It’s all about increasing our exposure and getting more people behind our movement.  In fact, I’m thinking of starting a FuXk Army but will have to check if Gene Simmons and KISS have trademarked that! LOL!

The Blitz portion of our effort is getting our shirts onto the bodies of industry influencers such as MetalTalk and TotalRock Radio! 😊 We’re having some great initial success in this area as we will be announcing soon.

The FuXk Tour part of our effort is hitting numerous concerts and trying to get shirts to the bands as well as some fans.  We recently saw Brett Michaels play (great show!).

We have a booth at OC Bikefest, a bike festival in Ocean City, Maryland, USA.  What’s cool about OC Bikefest is we are getting exposed to the motorcycle (i.e. biker crowd) which is a great crossover because they like rock music.  What’s even cooler about OC Bikefest is that Kix, Lynch Mob, Chevelle, Tonic, Lynrd Skynrd, and Molly Hatchet (RIP Dave Hlubek) are all scheduled to perform.  We’re also launching our new GHOST RIDER design in connection with that event.

We also have a Nothing More (great new hard rock band – check them out at www.nothingmore.net) show coming up and Guns N’ Roses in October.

Hitting these shows is also getting us a lot of cool pics and videos of concert footage and people sporting our FuXk Gear shirts.  We’re posting a lot of that cool content on the fuxkgear.com website and our social sites.  We are active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so like us or follow us – @fuxkgear

 

 

 

 

Nothing But A Good Time

Tomorrow I’m going to see Bret Michaels at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD.  I’ve never been to this venue but I hear it’s an intimate setting seating only 500 (and I won’t be sitting!).  It’s going to be awesome to see Bret in this setting.

I’ve wanted to do this blog for a while and this is the perfect catalyst.

My History with Bret Michaels & Poison

I’m a huge fan of Poison and Bret Michaels.  I had their first album – Look What the Cat Dragged In – on a cassette.  I thought it was cool because the cassette was clear.

I remember looking at the album cover and thinking “these dudes have a lot of makeup on and it’s nothing like what Kiss wears…it’s like chick makeup!”

What I remember most about the record was how good it was.  It rocked! Across the board – great tempo, melody, guitar riffs, drums, and vocals.  It was one of those records that was awesome from start to finish.

I also vividly remember the Open Up and Say….Ahh! album cover controversy.  The major controversy (lol!) was the long tongue.  I didn’t get it at the time and still don’t.  But for some reason this was viewed as offensive.  So offensive that retailers like Wal-Mart refused to carry it and the record company released a censored version of the cover.  Of course, I had the “controversial” version! Shocker!

Sharing PA Roots

I also had an affinity for Bret & Poison because they were from my home state of Pennsylvania.  While I’ve lived in MD for over 30 years now, I was born in Pottsville, PA and lived in there till I was 12.

(One of my “claims to fame” is I was baptized in a church (St. Patrick’s) that is right next to the Yuengling Brewery.  As the story goes, I was baptized with Yuengling Lager not Holy Water.  Boy that explains a lot!)

I thought it was cool they were from PA!

Also, like me Bret is a huge Steelers fan!  (I spent 20 years on the waiting list and got season tickets three years ago – finally!).

Nothing But A Good Time Seeing Poison Live

I’ve seen Poison live so many times I’ve lost count.  My first show was when they opened up for Ratt in the late ‘80s at the Baltimore Arena.  I think this tour went on for a few years and I saw it again the next year either back at Baltimore Arena or at Merriweather Post.

It was also cool that ten years later Poison & Ratt reunited for another tour.  Saw that too!

I’ve also seen Poison and/or The Bret Michaels Band at festivals like Rocklahoma and M3 Rockfest.

My most recent experience was seeing Poison with Def Leppard and Tesla last April at Royal Farms Arena aka Baltimore Arena – the same arena I first saw the band!  It was another great show and fun time.  This show was different because I took my wife.  She is not a big hard rock fan but she has always liked Def Leppard.  I told her she was going to love seeing Poison and she did.  I think she walked out of that show liking Poison more than Def Leppard.  Nothing but a good time!

Brett, Poison, & Fun Under Xtreme Konditions (FuXk)

Brett & Poison align well with our core values and mojo at Fun Under Xtreme Konditions.  These are:

  • Having fun – all the time and no matter how Xtreme the konditions we are operating under
  • work hard, play hard mentality

One of the things I noticed early on about Bret and Poison is that they always brought it.  Every show – they brought it.  No matter what!

Another thing that stood out is that Bret & Poison were always having fun, a good time and I mean always.  Every show I’ve saw they were having fun and you could tell Bret really enjoyed performing.

Not all musicians are like this.  I’ve seen some shows where you could tell the band didn’t want to be there, looked like they were going through the motions, and weren’t having fun.

Not Poison.  Not Bret.  Every time they bring it and have fun.

Like all of us I must believe there are times when Bret and the band weren’t 100% – maybe they were sick, tired, bored or just having a bad day.  But you would never know that or see that on stage.

And talk about Xtreme Konditions, Bret survived a brain hemorrhage that could have been fatal.  Based on what I’ve seen of Bret, I’m sure he had a great attitude during that difficult time and somehow managed to incorporate an ounce of fun during this ordeal.

Another thing that’s cool about Bret is that not only is he a great vocalist and musician but he is also a phenomenal performer, marketer, and business man.  The Apprentice, Rock of Love, and the list goes on.

That’s All Folks

So I could on and on but I think you get the point.  I’m excited to see Bret Michaels perform tomorrow and I think a lot of what he and Poison are about, aligns well with what we are about at Fun Under Xtreme Konditions.

I’m going to make Bret some shirts and will get them to him at tomorrow’s show somehow– even if I must chuck them on the stage like a Big Ben pass to Antonio Brown!