Emmure Frontman Frankie Palmeri Addresses Cold Soul Merch Line Controversy

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Emmure frontman Frankie Palmeri has been causing quite a ruckus around various corners of the blogosphere recently after All In Merch reported that his clothing company, Cold Souls, had been shutdown. At the time, no reason was given for the closure, but mentions of the incident on MetalSucks and Absolutepunk lead many users to believe the content of Palmeri’s shirt company was to blame. You can view an example of the line below:

Now that bloggers and commenters have had their say in the situation, Palmeri himself has stepped forward and released a statement regarding the closure of Cold Soul. His message reads as follows:

“Hello everyone, first of all I would like for you all to know that it wasn’t All In Merch who shut down the store. It was entirely my decision for the webstore to be removed and all Cold Soul orders be terminated, All In Merch played no hand in the “shutting down” of my Cold Soul webstore.

Now, the question is raised. Why?

Why did I decide to overnight shut down a project that I put my time and faith in to? And to many who might not believe or want to was a growing business for me and was succeeding more and more on a daily basis.

Let me say before continuing that the goal of Cold Soul merchandise was not to be promote bigotry, racism, or exploit the pain and loss of others. I do not condone violence against people no matter what race or creed.

With that being said, I also do not act like these things are not going on in the world around me.

There is something to be said about the things that occur in our life time that shape and mold our moral values and feelings, my clothing line was a direct reflection of that. I am no stranger to loss, sadness, or hatred. I used Cold Soul merchandise as a way to circumvent those feelings and turn it into something people can stand behind.

We live in a society that is constantly shoving in our face the harsh reality’s we live in through mass media. News reports of death, murder, social decay have become the norm and the information age and I for one do not shun or act like it is some kind of fantasy.
We cringe from the thought of real life catastrophes but will spend hard earned money to watch these things re-enacted in film, on television, and an even more interactive medium, video games. Everyone being fine with offensive material, until it actually offends, IS the joke.
Even as I am writing this, I am watching an action movie, with an over the top amount of senseless, tasteless violence. But I understand that this is a product of entertainment. It is something to be bought and sold based on supply and demand.
Not everyone has to enjoy this product, but there is a market for it none the less. I am sure there are people who probably would not be able to sit through what I just witnessed and that is OK. Maybe they are sensitive to what is happening on screen and that is fine. No one is forcing them to think that this is cinematic art. Which it is.

The shirts were made to be offensive. They were made so people would remember harsh realities. They were made to attract notice, and they have. To say that they reflect racism or bigotry of any kind though, is absurd. Searching for things to be personally offended by in something that’s whole basis was to offend in the first place, not only shows that the point missed you completely, but also that you’re part of the satire I was originally trying to disrupt in commercializing these images.Let me get this straight with everyone, I know am hated. That’s fine, that’s more so to the point, actually. I do not need to be loved by everyone, I think I would have a much harder time coping with reality if I went through life expecting everyone to understand me or what I do or how I feel.

In an age where gore and death and horrible past occurrences have been trivialized down by band names, movies, media banter, and in reality, just people striving to become the next front runner by exploiting these things, I wanted to bring the cold realness of things back to life.
Maybe I succeeded too well, maybe I was preaching to sheep so well herded that they missed how life works and what matters, and what is really offensive or not. Or maybe I actually just offended a large portion of people that I didn’t intend to.

I’m never trying to encourage or create new bullying or prejudice to any sort of group or race or class or gender or anyone. But for whatever reason, if that’s what people are taking from the line, or getting out of what I’ve made… then THAT is why I removed the webstore.”

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Drew

    Absolutely nothing in this loser’s statement justifies, explains, or sheds more light on anything about this story. All that’s written in the statement is like a bad excuse from a teenager. It was shocking for the sake of being shocking, and nothing could be more juvenile. This band, much like these shirts, offer zero substance, revelation, or purpose.

    You and your asshole band need to just GROW UP, kid, in the purest sense. Don’t you dare right this off as “Trolling” either. The fact your band even amounted to any recognition in the thousands is an anomaly, thanks entirely to clueless teenagers no older than 17 being sold on image by your corporate sponsors. Period.

  • John

    LOL bullied much in school Drew? They’r just shirts, get over it.

  • jess yves

    ^ are you the douche who made these shirts? or just some idiotic emmure fan? cuz i’m with drew. there is NO defending this sh!t. totally lame. no thought or real commentary. just stupid. watching the poor fat a$$ try to intellectualize the whole thing was almost funny.

  • Drew

    What difference would it make if I was bullied or never bullied once in my life? Makes no difference whatsoever about what I said. While you have nothing but assumptions, I’m basing things on this guy’s public actions.

  • Cam

    If someone bullied me in school I would’ve shot the place up too.same way I would at work in traffic in the store or wherever people deserve to be put in their place.people are way to sensative.go watch basketball diaries.

  • cam is a moron

    That’s because you’re a big pussy and can’t cope with your problems. A grandmother could use a gun. Doesn’t make you badass. It’s self-centered and weak.

  • TheWeekendWar

    You have a national TV show like American Horror Story on FX, that completely reproduced the mass murder scene from Columbine, Ted Bundy killings, Black Dahlia, etc. It becomes a branded, celebrated, and a huge commercial success. Frank Palmeri, makes a t-shirt with columbine imagery, and it becomes a problem. The show made lots of money exploiting tragic events, no different than he did, but it’s a controversy when he does it? It’s all tangibly/poignantly hypocritical. You can argue that “he fucking sux” or “his music fucking sux” but you can’t argue that people are practicing what Jon Stewart likes to call “selective outrage”. Hate him, but understand how ass backwards lashing out at him is, when the biggest companies in the world do it daily and you eat it up.

  • charles manson

    I think that shirt rules.

  • i find it ridiculous that all of you idiots are hating Frank for doing what he loves, how many of you can say you’ve played in front of thousands of people at a gig where everyone loves your music? how many of you have started your own clothing line and have succeeded in that? quit whining about it, you guys only hate him because you’ve seen that some other people do.