I love when musicians step out of the studio to try their hands at something new, and I’m particularly fond of rock star clothing lines. Whether it’s Travis Barker’s Famous Stars and Straps or Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B., I’m always amazed to see what artists can come up with outside the music world. The latest artist to bring his own spin to clothing is none other than Phil Sgrosso, guitarist for San Diego metal band As I Lay Dying. We had a chance to talk to Sgrosso fresh off AILD’s headlining performance at California Metal Fest about his new venture, so read on to hear what made him take the leap into fashion.

What made you want to start a clothing line?

I started NOMAD as a means of being creative with something outside of music. Through music, I’ve grown to admire a lot of great visual artists and their work; whether it’s an album cover or a shirt design, if it’s creative, I can connect with it and appreciate it. Since we all wear clothing everyday, I feel that this is another outlet for me to showcase my creativity.

How do you feel the clothing line represents who you are?

It’s the same as with music, essentially. I have to be excited about what I write or how I play something, and therefore, I need to feel the same about the concepts and the vision for the clothing. I like things to be simple but effective. If other people share the same interest, I’m happy to connect with them on that level.

What will we see that might be unexpected in the line?

Something you’ll see with NOMAD is the original artwork created for the brand. All designs will be conceptual to the theme and imagery we’re trying to create around the name. Expanding beyond t-shirts to flannels and jeans are a couple of the other things that we look forward to putting out. I don’t ever see there being a limit to what we can do as long as it’s creative.

What inspired the name Nomad?

I wanted to have a name that I could somehow relate to and feel a connection with. I’ve been touring since I was 18, so I’ve grown pretty accustomed to continually traveling from place to place. With that in mind, the name NOMAD just felt right.

You are also currently doing a fundraiser for the disaster that has recently hit Japan. How can people get involved?

We’ve set up a fundraising page at www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/nomadclothing/oxfam to raise money for Oxfam America’s Japan Relief. People can donate however much they’d like, and as cliche as it sounds, every little bit really does help. We’re currently more than halfway to our goal, and the majority of the donations have been in the realm of $5 to $10. We’re hoping to raise $2,500, and we’re getting closer to reaching that goal everyday.

You are also offering prize packs to three people who get involved with the fundraising effort. Could you tell us what is included in the prize packs?

One of the prizes is a signed PRS guitar that I’ve used on several of our recent tours. The other prizes will include some of the earliest prints and merchandise from the NOMAD line. I’m so appreciative of those getting involved with this cause that I figured the least I could do would be to give a few things back in return. It’s cool to have people coming together through this crisis, and hopefully they can find other charitable ventures to help out with in the future.

When will the line be fully available for the public to buy?

We’re looking to launch this spring.

Where will people be able to buy the line when it is available?

The entire line will be available through our website, www.nomad-clothing.com.

Any final words on NOMAD?

We’re hoping to make NOMAD more than just a clothing line by incorporating other creative elements within it. It’s really exciting for me to have this opportunity to step outside of my usual routine and be a part of something new.

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