Enlarge Photo credit: Atiba Jefferson

Earthless Drummer Mario Rubalcaba Shares His Ten Favorite Metal T-Shirts


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.

Mario Rubalcaba of psychedelic/stoner rockers Earthless is the latest to share his threads for our series My Metal T-Shirt Collection. Earthless’s new album Black Heaven is out now on Good Nuclear Blast; order it here and listen to the track “Volt Rush” below as you peruse Mario’s most prized metal shirts. The band will be on tour in Europe in April; get dates at the bottom of this post!

 1) Leafhound

This shirt isn’t very old (or official, for that matter) but it is one of my recent favorites. Leafhound are a legendary hard rock band from the UK. The vocalist Pete French did a very small stint in Cactus later on but this album by Leafhound is a stone cold classic! I like how whoever made this shirt used the crude art drawn band pic on the very rare poster.

2) Groundhogs

Maybe not metal per se, but still a hard and heavy rocker for sure with the insane guitar talents of Tony McPhee. Groundhogs were a huge fave of Earthless and meeting TS McPhee some years ago and having his thumbs up on our cover of “Cherry Red” was a definitely a band life hammer!

3) Motörhead

I’ve had this shirt since 11th grade in high school. My buddy made it in his art class when they had to pick out something to silkscreen. An ex-girlfriend once stole this shirt from me and moved away to the Midwest with it. I caught on and tormented her night and day on her voicemail with annoying animal cries and voices of the devil until she mailed it back to me. Don’t mess with my homemade Motörhead shirt!!!

4) Genocide

Rare shirt from cult death/grind ore band Genocide, pre-Repulsion! Genocide had a slight punker edge before they got really fast in Repulsion. This is the cover of their rare demo.

5) Bathory

Another shirt I’ve had since I was 16. Bathory played some of the rawest, most evil death/black metal I had heard at the time and the recordings fit the image well. R.I.P. QUARTHON!

6) Napalm Death

I bought this through the Earache records mail order when I was a teen. I was such a big Napalm fan of this era of the band with the Lee & Bill lineup. Stoked to still throw this on… and it still fits, too, haha! Love the multi-sleeve print as well.

7) Blood Feast

I was chuffed to find this on eBay some years back. This four song EP was in my opinion the best damn thing they ever did! So pulverizing and tight! I would play this over and over! I once drew this logo on the back of the school bus seat and the driver next day was furious, screaming at all of us kids “who’s the DAMN SATANIST on this bus?!? Why isn’t your Satan butt so tough now huh?!?” He was really mad! Speed/thrash metal at its best!

8) Venom

Ahhh good ol’ Venom. I love this “one-eyed wolf pup” shirt. Another fine teen purchase that used to scare the hell outta my grandparents!

9) Celtic Frost

An odd white shirt design for this band. Also, it’s even stranger that for some reason this shirt has the drummer Reed St. Mark’s signature screened as well. Huh? RIP Martin Ain!!!

10) Slayer

This shirt rules: it’s a two-sided crusher from when Slayer were at the top of their game! I saw them open for Judas Priest on this tour. A rare navy shirt color version. Metal as fuck!

Earthless on tour:

April 3 Korkrijk, Belgium De Kreun
April 4 Bristol, UK The Fleece
April 5 Manchester, UK The Deaf Institute
April 6 London, UK Islington Assembly Hall
April 7 Paris, France Petit Bain
April 8 Frankfurt, Germany Zoom
April 10 Munich, Germany Feierwerk
April 11 Berlin, Germany Bi Nuu
April 12 Copenhagen, Denmark Pumpehuset
April 13 Oslo, Norway BLA
April 14 Gothenberg, Sweden Truckstop Alaska
April 16 Hamburg, Germany Molotow
April 19-21 Tilburg, Netherlands Roadburn 2018

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