Four Stroke Baron’s Matt Vallarino Shows Off His Metal T-Shirt Collection!
A metalhead’s t-shirt collection contains some of their most prized possessions. Sweaty, stained and torn, our shirts are chronicles of our lives, physical markers of a past time and place that we pridefully put on our bodies every day. They have a clear pecking order: there are those shirts you wear only when all the best ones are in the laundry, there are the absolute favorites you wear once every couple of weeks, and there are all the shirts in between, each with their own clear rank. To a metalhead, T-shirts are EVERYTHING.
Four Stroke Baron drummer Matt Vallarino is the latest to share his most prized threads for our series My Metal T-Shirt Collection. Four Stroke Baron’s new album, Planet Silver Screen, is out now on Prosthetic Records. You can stream it below, and purchase it here.
I have no idea what’s happening on this shirt… There’s a guy skateboarding on one side… “Not?”… And on the other side it says “Mosh It Up!”… fuckin’ nerds, I love it. Hahaha. I got this shirt way back in high school when I was listening to a bunch of thrash — Among the Living might be my favorite Anthrax record, but a bunch of their albums are pretty rad!
Between the Buried and Me
BTBAM is probably the band I’ve seen the most live — Colors was one of the first albums to really get me into progressive metal. Blake Richardson is one of my favorite metal drummers, so I’ve taken every opportunity I can to see him play.
I used to work at Best Buy as a “home theater delivery and installation specialist,” and I was working at some guy’s house when I noticed a Zappa poster in his garage. I gave the guy props for it, and he responded, “How the hell do YOU know who Frank Zappa is??” Told him I had been listening for awhile and we bonded for a few minutes over it. After the job was finished and I started to leave, the guy was holding the shirt and says “Hey, do you want this? I made it myself — consider it a tip.” Fuck yeah, I wanted it!
Fun Fact: I rolled my first truck while listening to From Mars to Sirius. I managed to tumble down a thirty-foot drop into a riverbed — I don’t think I could have had better music playing during the crash.
The shirt is cool and all, but there’s no story behind it — I just ordered it online cuz he kicks ass. I actually have King Diamond’s face tattooed on my thigh and it’s my favorite of all my tattoos. Every once in awhile I think about the fact that my girlfriend has King Diamond stare at her every time we have sex and I think it’s hilarious.
These guys actually came to Reno a few years ago and played at what might be our tiniest, shittiest venue. They still sounded awesome live — we got to talk to them a bit after the show and they all seemed super cool. Four Stroke Baron was just becoming a serious thing around that time and we tried to plug ourselves a bit, but I’m sure they get shit like that all the time, so I don’t know if they ever looked us up.
I’ve seen Opeth live a few times now, and they always put on a hell of a show. This shirt was from the first time I saw them, and was also the tour that Ghost opened for them. I can’t lie, Ghost kinda stole the show for me, but Opeth still earned the shirt purchase.
My bandmates have been into Shining since Blackjazz first came out, and when we found out they were playing in San Fran a few years back, we decided to make a trip of seeing them. Almost went into the wrong venue because we didn’t realize there was a second story with a way smaller stage where they were playing. Was super intimate and kick-ass! We were stoked that Jørgen Munkeby agreed to do a sax solo for the last song on our new album (“Video Maniacs”) — he was in the middle of recording Animal at that time and was still able to bust out a final take for us in like a day. He’s an awesome dude to work with and has been super supportive of FSB ever since, which has been way cool!
The Dear Hunter
These guys might have been the best live band I’ve ever seen. They weren’t the headliner on this tour, but they were certainly the headliner for me that night. Was absolutely blown away by them.
I actually derive a lot of influence in my playing from hip-hop, and Wax is one of my favorite artists in the genre. He played in Reno in the same venue that FSB had only the night before, so I couldn’t resist a photo under the marquis. I let him know that if he ever needed a live drummer to hit me up — the offer still stands, Big Wax!