Enlarge Photo Credit: Jake Owens

Ash Gray of Venom Prison Shows Off His Most Prized 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.

Venom Prison guitarist Ash Gray (side note: most metal name ever!) is the latest to share his most prized threads for our series My Metal T-Shirt Collection. Venom Prison turned the collective metal world’s head with their 2016 release Animus (embedded below) and the band is getting set to release a new album later this year. Here’s Ash:


I own a fair bit of Carcass merch but this has to be my favorite shirt and I’d go as far as saying Carcass are my favorite metal band. The influence this band has had on me goes above and beyond.


This shirt was passed down to me a long time ago by my friend Darke. He used to hand me a bunch of merch and I’d go home and check the bands out. Some of them I liked, some I didn’t, so I’d just wear the shirts if I dug the bands. Arsis is one that has always stuck with me and the new record, Visitant, slays!

Iron Monkey

Our Problem, Iron Monkey, Enough said. If you know, you know.

Morbid Angel

I picked this up when I was living in Germany from some metal street festival literally right outside of my apartment. Yeah, I wasn’t at that tour… it’s OK to admit that. Tour shirts are gnarly though, just seeing all the venues and tour routes bands have taken, plus this beats the standard front print version which is probably a bootleg… Yeah, I said it, sorry!

Insect Warfare

World. Extermination. Grind. Insect. Warfare. This isn’t rare or hard to come by, they’re just a cool as fuck band and this is a cool as fuck shirt.


I’m sure I own a few Sepultura shirts, but this was the first one that came to mind. There isn’t much to say about it other than what you already know: Chaos A.D. rocks! Oh, and it reminds me that I could probably do with a Nailbomb shirt in my collection… hint, hint, if anyone reading this has one in size Large then drop me a message, thanks!


This shirt is old as hell. I’ve had it for ages now and have worn the hell out of it. Symbolic rules, Death rule, R.I.P. brother.

Napalm Death

GREAT record and great shirt. This is my stage shirt that I’ve rocked religiously through almost every single Venom Prison show. I’ll stop wearing it once it falls apart and burns but until then it’s not coming off my back. Grind has always been my jam and this band vocally and musically have always ticked all of the right boxes for me.

Blue Oyster Cult

Say it ain’t metal? That’s fine, but the day I got my hands on this shirt I was beyond stoked. This band was always jammed at home when I younger, especially when riding in the car with my parents. I remember they had a compilation CD titled The Best Rock Album Compilation in the World, a mouthful of a title but it’s very accurate. Blue Oyster Cult were on there, that’s how I discovered them and they are a band I’ve held onto closely for a long time.


Another lucky find and probably a shirt I haven’t worn nearly enough. Similar story to the Morbid Angel shirt (picked it up at a street festival in Germany), this one was a lucky find.

I spend way too much time and money checking out shirts, so hopefully I’ll get another hobby soon!

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