If you’re a woman and into the metal scene, you may have noticed that buying your favorite band’s merch is tough. Most merch consists of hoodies and t-shirts and on the whole, is generally geared more towards men.
Danielle Bossi, a metalhead from North Carolina, is hoping to help bring more options to women. Bossi has been in love with the metal scene since her teens, and she saw a need in the industry for more merch options for women. As an answer, she launched Torvus Underground Metal Apparel.
To find out more about Torvus we recently spoke with Danielle about this awesome idea. Check out our interview with her below.
AltWire: So what exactly is TORVUS?
Torvus Underground (Danielle Bossi): Torvus Underground (Not to be confused with the band Torvus, from Washington, D.C.) is a metal band merchandise company that puts out female attire with band logos and album artwork. The metal scene standard of merch often is shirts, stickers, and occasionally hoodies. We’re bringing other items to the table for bands that cater to women (or those that wish to wear them), where they have often been left out.
AW: Tell me a bit about yourself, how did you get your first taste of metal music and what inspired your love and passion for the genre?
TU: I’m a late bloomer compared to most other metal heads. It wasn’t until my mid teen years that I was really exposed to the genre outside of nu-metal. Around 14, a high school sweetheart introduced me to Sonata Arctica but somehow, I found Hypocrisy and Iniquity and left power metal behind not long after. Death metal has been always been my first true love of metal music. Much like it is for those that listen to underground metal, and even the old bands that still tour and make the music we love still, why we have such a passion for it is sometimes unexplainable. It’s a feeling of gripping ferocity at your heart, and an adrenaline that courses through your body that gives a release of many emotions. Least to me, it does. Depending on the genre, it can be a total relaxation that whisks away a hollowness and puts you in a wooded area so you can stop being an asshole, or a way to lose the hurt of a situation. I listen to a mixture of metal genres, and it’s all so different, but all the same. The talent of metal bands are truly a treasure to be discovered and cherished.
AW: What inspired you to launch the TORVUS brand? How did the idea come about?
TU: It’s been an idea I’ve had for a while, seeing a real lack of items for women and the creative ways they destroy their band shirts to make clothing for themselves. Sometimes bigger bands will release the items because they have the financial backing to do so, but the local and smaller underground bands can’t part with the cash for the small group that make up the fan base. I won’t say it’s sexism, because I don’t believe it is. Metal bands barely make money selling their own music, and most profits they make come for the shirts they sell. To make a female shirt costs more than it does a male shirt, and considering women make up such a small part of the fan base it would be a loss for the bands. That’s where Torvus Underground comes in. We make the items for the band and they get a percentage of the net profits, women get their merch suited to their tastes, bands get promotions through our social media and website. Everyone wins.
AW: What bands do you have on your roster?
TU: We finally released our Skinned leggings (been in the works for several months), but we have a large list that is growing. Notable bands include Skinned, Putrid Pile, Nader Sadek, Deteriorot, and we’re working with Beheaded to release some items around summer time for their tour. There are even larger bands that have come forth to ask for items, but I can’t say whom because no agreement has been reached. All I know is I am stoked for it. We’ve finally started to add black and trash metal bands to our roster, something that has not been very easy. All local bands, and bigger local bands like Bleeding Spawn from South Africa, Frosthelm, and Sodomized Cadaver from the UK.
AW: There are many music related clothing companies out there, with more sprouting up each day. What do you feel sets TORVUS apart from other clothing brands?
TU: I know of one other female clothing company that does what we do as far as garments, but in comparison, I am doing something that helps out the bands that make up the metal community. It’s not a fashion show, I’m not trying to make metal fashionable, nor am I trying to use Torvus Underground as means for my personal employment. Much like the bands we support, my own money goes into this project, as well as my free time, and I do this because I love metal. What we are releasing, and plan to release, are items female fans make and already wear. Instead of doing it themselves, we’re doing it for them while supporting local and underground bands. It’s like a community service, to sustain our metal community.
AW: Considering TORVUS was launched to be an answer for the lack of metal swag catered to women, will there ever be any plans to come out with a line for men?
TU: That is a question I get a lot, and a few men have actually gotten really mad at me when I tell them we do not offer male attire, and that for now, we won’t. I know it does seem unfair to male customers, but considering bands release male shirts / hoodies with every release, there is no shortage of male items. I see nothing wrong with releasing only female garments, especially when spandex in metal has been pretty gender neutral throughout the ages. You like the leggings? Awesome. Buy them and hope to Sithis they fit. You can wear the leggings under the metal band basketball shorts you bought from Indiemerch, along with the male sized zipper hoodie. No worries, bro, you’re gonna be alright.
AW: What are your goals with TORVUS, what do you hope to accomplish?
TU: I hope to help grow the metal scene to a plane that it was during the 90’s, when metal was a genre of music that people knew about and didn’t laugh off. Expose the truly talented musicians that encompass the genre, and get people to attend local band shows once more. The community is really hurting, and I want to help.
AW: If a band is interested in being represented by TORVUS, how do they get in touch?
TU: We do have a website, torvusunderground.com or Facebook (like everyone else) page under Torvus Underground Metal Band Apparel. We accept most metal genres, from small bands all the way to world renowned ones, just check out the sites to see who and what we have to offer.