Interview by Liz Ramanand
Letlive Frontman Jason Butler Talks New Clothing + Lifestyle Line Gentlemen In Real Life, His Need For Beard Oil and More. While on tour in support of their latest album The Blackest Beautiful” Barmetal got the chance to chat with Letlive singer Jason Butler about his new line aptly called Gentlemen In Real Life. A gentleman himself, Butler talks about his new venture as well as where the idea came from of having beard oil as part of his line. While selling shirts of his own, he also talks about the first band shirt he ever purchased. Be on the lookout for Letlive on tour this summer with Killswitch Engage and Rise Against! Check out out full interview with Jason Butler of Letlive below:
Talk about your lifestyle line Gentlemen In Real Life [G.I.R.L.]
Well I guess essentially it’s just that, when you create sometimes you always seem like a megalomaniac – you want it bigger than life or bigger than people expect. For me that sense of utopia is cultivating a culture. What I found in lifestyle brands is that they expand their reach whether it’s apparel or grooming or whatever it is, those are the one’s I’m attracted to.
I’d wanted to start a company for years but I just needed to know I can authentically endorse it by way of some amazing friends I have grown up with. I found that we share some particular and exceptional talent and those talents are represented in this line and in this brand.
What we’re doing is that we’re dealing with handmade quality goods and the mantra or ethos behind it all is if you’re someone trying to do better or if you want more or you want to excel in any way, we’re simply trying to provide those tools. We’re trying to do this fairly at a justifiable price point and we’re doing everything in the U.S. – not because I’m the biggest patriot but because I want to make sure it’s fair simply because standards and guidelines are much different in the U.S. I guess in the end we’re making what we deem to be essentials and we’re making them really well.
Is the beard oil an essential for you? Where did this idea for it derive from?
For me it is! That’s actually what sparked the whole idea for me. I had a friend that lives just outside the UK, he’s in a band and also really into holistic things and he’s a very organic loving fellow. He made me this beard oil and I had never used any beard oil before and I was like “Oh whatever man.” But I always wondered why my beard was so coarse and tangled and generally fucked up.
I started to use the beard oil and a week into it I felt my hair softening, it was easier to comb through, maintain and shape. I know this may sound superficial but I just felt more in line with who I wanted to be aesthetically, not internally. It was an outward representation of who I was trying to represent inward. I know that’s a really hyperbolic way to put it but it’s also the scents, it’s aromatic and these are all things we consider when we make it.
Me and everyone on this very small team, we wear, we use, we test every product just to make sure that it does something for us. We’re just like everyone else we’re selling to. We’re just people trying to use something that will help us or use a tool for betterment in any field and just something that will last.
How would you want to expand this line?
I want to do everything in my mind that’s an essential. I have two dogs and I love them so dearly and my wife always says “They ask me for this” for a nice collar or a nice dog bed and I’ll go “Alright.” I would love to provide for what I see as essential. Dog collars, dog beds, leashes – that’s essential for me and probably for other people too. I’m not going to go and say everyone needs to buy out products because they are essential to everyone’s life. What I am saying is that we’re going to cover such a wide range of products that you can probably find something in it. I promise you the quality, the aesthetic and everything will be in line with a sense of being exceptional and excelling and if it’s not then it won’t be put out.
Describe your style.
I would say there’s a sense of utilitarian, it’s an aggregate of the hustle as well as the hope for something more pristine. Biggie said it, “From ashy to classy” – that’s my style. I’m right there in the middle, I’m not too classy and I have lotion on now so I’m not so ashy. [Laughs]
Well I see a lot of people rocking the G.I.R.L. shirts, do you remember the first band shirt you ever rocked?
Wow that’s such a good question, the first band shirt I ever bought with my own money - I think it was a band called Taken from California. I was probably 14 and they were like this tech, hardcore, metal band. When I was younger, my parents didn’t buy me band clothes or anything.
When I finally had 15 or 20 bucks to my name and I was at a show and I saw all my peers wearing band shirts so I bought the first shirt that I saw from the band that I knew and it was Taken. Dude, I think it was a nautical star with different colors from this company called To Die For from Orange Country, California. They used to make these tattoo style band shirts and it was by them.
For more infos about Jason and Letlive click here!