Today we are riffing with Aaron Thomas, Brand Ambassador for Sailor Jerry and one of the hosts of tonight’s rock and roll rager at the Portside Pub.
K- Tell me about your role as an Ambassador?
A- Other than being the face of the Sailor Jerry brand for Canada, I deal with all the experiential stuff that comes with being a lifestyle brand — rather than just being a clothing line, or a music label, we’re everything. It’s my job to connect with all of our “believers”, we don’t like to call them our consumers because we think of them as part of this lifestyle or subculture that were lucky enough to be a part of. I guess I’m like a personification of that lifestyle.
K- It sounds like a pretty big job to encompass all of those things into one role.
A- It can be, and sometimes it’s really hectic to try and put so much together. It’s a really big territory, but it’s a lot of fun.
K- Are you required to be a sailor to work for Sailor Jerry?
A- No, (laughing) Sailing doesn’t have anything to do with it, Sailor Jerry was just Norman’s nickname or the name that he coined for himself rather.
K- What is it about Sailor Jerry’s that you love, and what makes people want to drink with the sailor instead of sail with the captain?
A- One reason why people would want to drink it is because it’s 11% higher than other rums. It’s 46% vs. the regular 35%. If you’re talking about bang for your buck, Sailor’s is a better deal for those who want to get drunk. But the bigger distinction I’d say behind it is the history. William Grant is the distilling family behind Sailor Jerry, they’ve got 125 years of distilling experience and are one of the oldest distillers around. The knowledge that they’ve used to make some of the worlds greatest scotches, and whiskeys has been used to help create our product.
K- I’ve been hearing there will be free tattoo’s tomorrow night. What’s the skinny on that?
A- Dan Climan, who’s actually tattooing me right now will be at the Portside Pub tomorrow night. He will be tattooing people by random selection and there will be six Sailor Jerry images for you to choose from. It should be a lot of fun, It’s something we do a lot of the time as a way to help showcase and share Sailor Jerry’s legacy as an artist with people by branding them with his great art work. We look for artists that share the same passion and philosophy as him when it comes to tattooing.
K- Did you say your getting a tattoo right now!?
A-Right now yeah!
K- That’s AMAZING! What are you getting tattoo of and where?
A-Jesus… on my thigh…
K- My mind is blown! What’s the craziest tattoo you’ve ever seen at one of your events?
A- There’s a lot — I’ve seen tons of dumb stuff, but the craziest tattoo I think I’ve ever seen was on a cop actually — He had a tattoo that said ”HATRED” on his neck. It was scary as hell!
A- Sailor Jerry (AKA Norman Keith Collins, famous American tattoo artist) actually had a tattoo called Guess Who, which is one rat fucking another rat, and people actually get that tattooed. It’s pretty funny…
K- That’s INSANE! Tell me about the bands that are playing, King Dude and Rich Hope.
A- Rich Hope is a local act, and they’re kind of a rockabilly band — country influenced with an upbeat tempo. King Dude have often been described as more of a Johnny Cash meets New Orleans kind of band. They’ve got a darker, heavier sound, and they’re a three piece.
K- It sounds right up Vancouver’s Ally! Why is the party tomorrow night important for Norman Collins (Sailor Jerry)?
A- June 12 is actually Sailor Jerry Day, and the anniversary of his death. We have a campaign online called the 40 days of Jerry and every day we put out a fact on his historical importance. To end that 40 days of Jerry and to celebrate his life we’re putting on the free show and sharing some of his tattoo art.
K- What an incredible event. I’m sure he would be very happy to know that this is going on his honour.
A- Oh ya! He’d approve.
K-Aside from the anchors on the their sign, why did you choose the Portside Pub for the event tomorrow?
A- It’s a pretty new venue, and they support the brand. It’s great to team up with like-minded individuals who want to see us have a great and successful night.
K- So we got free Sailor Jerry’s, free rock and roll and free tattoos, sounds like a pretty epic party to me! What time should people start showing up to this mind blowing event, and more importantly how can they get on the guest list?
A- Doors are at 9:00, Rich Hope is on around 10:00 and then King Dude hits the stage around 11:00 or 11:30. I would say get there earlier than later though to be safe. If you go to: http://dude.sailorjerrypresents.com and RSVP, you’re good for the guest list.
K- Are there any other Sailor Jerry events coming up that we should be marking on our calendars?
A- We’re doing a really cool collaboration with another company — I can’t say who exactly — but Vancouver will definitely be getting the benefit, keep your eyes facing the sun… That gives you a hint!
K – Thanks for chatting with us today Arron!
A – Thank you very much!
There you have it! Hope to see you ALL at the Portside Pub (7 Alexander St, right beside Chill Winston in Gas Town) TONIGHT at 9PM for this mind blowing event in Van City!