Bifocal Media’s Charles Cardello x Artist Brian Walsby Pick Their Favorite T-Shirt Collaborations

Bifocal Media's Charles Cardello

If you're a punk fan, you have undoubtedly seen a Bifocal Media t-shirt before. The company's origin story starts in 1997 when Charles Cardello and Brad Scott co-produced and published The Actuality of Thought, a VHS tape featuring Spazz, Cave In, and Braid, among other heavy-hitters.

Bifocal Media would eventually grow into a successful multimedia company, and in 2009 the founders launched their beloved limited edition t-shirt line. The shirt series finds such celebrated artists like Brian Walsby, Chris Shary, and Thomas Hazelmyer designing original work for the cream of the crop in underground music, including Poison Idea, Corrosion of Conformity, and Melvins.

The cherry on top is Bifocal Media splits profits evenly with the bands and artists.

Today, No Echo is happy to share a fun list compiled by Bifocal Media's Charles Cardello and artist Brian Walsby where they each choose some of their favorite t-shirts fro the company's limited edition series.


Here are Charles Cardello's picks:

It’s hard to pick just 10 of these as there are so many that I love to wear. Here are some Bifocal Media shirts that were in my recent load of laundry.

Germs, “Hollywood Forever” (Artist: Ronn Spencer)

A classic photo of the Germs by legendary rock photographer Ronn Spencer graces my favorite shirt we’ve produced so far. There’s a ton of personality on display here and the design is simple and flawless. 

Buy it at this link.

Melvins, “1983” (Artist: Thomas Hazelmyer)

Tom’s style is organic, graphically sound, and instantly engaging. Just about all of his work consists of hand carved and printed linocuts. Top this crudely amazing image off with one of the greatest bands ever, and here you have it. 

Buy it at this link.

Devo/The Locust, “Desert Days” (Artist: Becky DiGiglio)

Oh, no big deal: It’s just The Locust hanging out with Devo in the desert. No type needed. I would love this shirt even if I had no idea who was on it. It’s definitely a conversation starter. Especially if you like answering the question: “Who’s that on your shirt?”

Buy it at this link.

Dazzling Killmen, “Chasm” (Artist: Jay Holmes)

I’m a sucker for the absurd and this illustration of a ten armed weapon welding cat human riding a lion really floats my boat. The Dazzling Killing were just about the meanest bit of chaotic math noise that I ever did hear. What a monstrous-sounding band! 

Buy it at this link.

Big Star, “In the Street” (Photo: Brian Walsby)

Brian Walsby was introduced to Big Star’s Jody Stephens when he (Brian) was working as merch guy for the Melvins. He gave Jody a Melvins/Big Star parody drawing he had done and that lead to this shirt happening. It’s perfect. 

Buy at this link.

Nomeansno, “Wrong Again” (Artist: Chris Shary)

Nomeansno’s Wrong is one of my favorite records of all time. Chris Shary’s Sharpie redux drawing of its classic cover makes for a pretty great t-shirt design. This band has been so gracious and easy to work with. I hope we get to do more with them. 

Buy it at this link.

Poison Idea, “1990” (Artist: Raymond Ahn)

Raymond’s band (The Hard-Ons) went on tour with Poison Idea in 1990 and Ray drew a tour shirt design for them. This drawing is a re-dux of that original design and it makes for quite an appealing garment. 

Buy it at this link.

Corrosion of Conformity, “Milo Goes to Raleigh” (Artist: Chris Shary)

The Descendents once made a parody shirt featuring the famous COC skull. We decided to up the ante and do the same shirt… in reverse. The resulting WTF is an instant classic. 

Buy it at this link.


Le Butcherettes, “Vaca, Cerdo, Cabra” (Artist: Alexis Price)

Alexis’ work is a mix of sex, angry animals, and clever (almost cute) subtlety. This pig human with a couple of cow heads on her hands is really doing it for me at the moment. 

Buy it at this link.

Bifocal Media, “Guerilla Television” (Artist: Kristin Walsby)

I’m a huge fan of Kristin’s design and illustrative work. When I was looking for someone to recreate the cover of this 1971 book about subversive independent video production, she was the first person I called. I love what she did with this one.  

Buy it at this link.

Here are Brian Walsby's picks:

I didn’t mean to just include my own shit in here but what the heck I have done a lot of shirts for Bifocal and a lot of them I still really like. So in no order:

Big Boys, “Fun Fun Fun” (Artists: Brian Walsby and Chris Shary)

I have been friends with Chris for a long time and It’s always nice to collaborate with friends. His logo was the perfect compliment to my artwork and it wouldn’t have been the same without it. We both worshipped the Big Boys, every note they played was perfect. 

Buy it at this link.

Big Business, “Houses of the Holy” (Artist: Brian Walsby)

This was pretty much a perfect shirt, not so much because I drew it, but the colors and logo that Charles picked made it perfect. I did this after discovering that their last record was one of the best things that they ever have done and was inspired. That’s pretty much how most of my shirts go. 

Buy it at this link.

Melvins, “Fair Walsby” (Artist: Brian Walsby)

This was probably the best Melvins shirt I did with Charles. It’s an exact representation of the bizarre and creepy Canadian artist painting of mental illness that Van Halen used for their fourth record. It came out really really good. I am very proud of that one.

Buy it at this link.

The Birthday Party, “British Press” (Artist: Brian Walsby)

Mick Harvey of The Birthday Party waved us through on this one. I don’t know why, but he allowed us to do this and didn’t seem very excited about it. Not that he should have, it’s just a t shirt of a silly idea. We heard later that a few people close to the actual band didn’t seem to enjoy the sentiment. Maybe it was just misunderstood but it was still cool to be able to do this. 

Buy it at this link.

Le Butcherettes, “Fresh Produce” (Artist: Brian Walsby)

This is the first of 2 shirts I did with Le Butcherettes. It was taken from a weird looking Mexican produce crate and was really fun to do. I don’t really know what had happened with the band in recent times but they were a great live band during this period and were some very nice people. 

Buy it at this link.

John Brannon, “Boy Howdy!” (Artist: Brian Walsby)

John has let us do a lot of shirts of his various bands and he is a really nice guy. But this was a bullet proof parody shirt that really came out well. Charles created the Creem font and did a really great job. Charles is invaluable to adding that extra ingredient to make these drawings really take off on a shirt and this is a fine example. 

Buy it at this link.

Rikk Agnew, “Greatest Hits” (Artist: Brian Walsby) 

This one wasn’t super sucessful and it’s not like Rikk Agnew, as talented as he is, has one tenth the appeal as his contemporary Mike Ness; but as a shirt, this was a lot of fun. Driving a nail into the success coffin of this shirt was making it a parody of a Carole King Greatest Hits album jacket. But as a shirt, it’s really good.

Buy it at this link.

Modpods, “Pee Chee” (Artist: Brian Walsby)

These three nice folks toured with the Melvins and were a great band and really nice people. They let me do this and I have no idea why I ended up with this idea, I think I remembered that two of them were teachers. Maybe that’s why, but yeah I like this one a lot. 

Buy it at this link.

Redd Kross, “Hotter Than Hell” (Artist: Brian Walsby)  

Another bullet proof parody of the strange front cover of the second KISS album. The front cover is like…what the fuck is this? And then you flip it over and the back cover is ten times more weird. And since everyone in Redd Kross is very familiar with KISS and in fact liked and championed them when it certainly wasn’t a cool thing to do (just like the Melvins) it made this a really fun shirt to do. I love this one. 

Buy it at this link.

Lou Barlow, "Commited for Life” (Artist: Brian Walsby)   

I have a warped sense of humor with these weird ideas that perhaps only myself and Lou are going to think it’s funny and appreciate and doing a parody of the cover of the 7 Seconds single front cover featuring Lou in the crowd is another one of those ideas that you sort of have to see through. You know no ones going to get it or buy it for the most part but someone is going to get it and that is enough. Luckily, I have done enough successful shirts with Charles to justify things like this [laughs].

Buy it at this link.



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Tagged: corrosion of conformity, devo, germs, melvins, negative approach, poison idea