The Ariston bassist Will Parsonson

The Ariston Special Edition Tees: Will's Tee

It’s time to reveal the second in our exclusive collection of special edition graphic tees designed in collaboration with alt rock band The Ariston.

The next metaphorical cab off the figurative rank comes from the cinematic mind of bassist Will Parsonson. Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present what is probably our boldest tee yet: the Oscar-worthy Semantics Tee.

The Ariston - Semantics Tee graphic tshirt

Like the rest of the graphic t-shirts in our ever-growing range, The Ariston - Semantics Tee is made from 100% soft jersey cotton for top-tier comfort. Bog standard band merch this ain’t! We screen print all our premium tees with long-lasting, eco-friendly inks.

The Ariston are guitarist and frontman Luca Slade, lead guitarist Clay Bennett, drummer Finn Bunce, and Will Parsonson on bass. Each tee in this exclusive collection has been designed by one of the boys in the band.

The Ariston alt rock band

Will had a clear vision for what he wanted his tee to be about. By learning more about his interests and creative influences, we helped Will render his ideas visually. The result is an impressive and very cool tee.

The Ariston - Semantics Tee is available for pre-order now. Don't wait! All pre-orders include a signed letter of thanks from Will.

For the story of his tee and what it all means, we asked Will to talk us through it. Read on for what he had to say.

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Hello Will. Please introduce your tee.

My tee’s called Semantics. I wanted the design to represent me, both personally and creatively. That's why we chose to feature 'Semantics' on this tee, as that's probably the song that best represents my work with The Ariston.

THE ARISTON - SEMANTICS TEE Shirts & Tops TEN OF CLUBS

Talk us through your tee's design.

What hits you first is the kind of Möbius loop design, which I love. I really like symmetry and patterns, and I love the way this design seems to draw you in.

The film poster idea came out of my initial conversations with Skev, when we were discussing things that inspire my creatively. We realised my love of film plays a big part in my artistic make-up. As this tee is an amalgamation of things that mean a lot to me, it felt right to somehow incorporate movies in the design.

I wanted the design to look like a real film poster. I don’t mean just its layout; I wanted it to look like it was an actual printed poster, not a digital image. Does that make sense?

It does. And it does. Tell us more about film. Do you have favourite directors?

Christopher Nolan was the first filmmaker that I became properly obsessed with.

More recently, I like Denis Villeneuve, with such blockbusters as Dune [2021] and Arrival [2016]. Wes Anderson is another.

What do you like about them? Are we talking ideas or visual style?

Elements of both. What I really like about them, and try to replicate in my work, is the way they’re so good at subtext. They’ll have a story on the surface, but it’s not the only story. There are other stories and meanings beneath, but it all still feels consistent and whole.

This idea of multiple meanings coming together to make a satisfying whole was the inspiration for incorporating a Möbius pattern on my tee. The final design isn't strictly speaking a Möbius strip, but it represents this idea of elements uniting to make something new and rewarding, like the creative process itself.

You’ve alluded to it already, but why Semantics?

Of all the tracks I’ve written, 'Semantics' is the one I’m most proud of. You could say it’s the most holistically Will song in The Ariston catalogue. 

It’s also a song that explores subtext and double meanings. On the surface it’s a love song - a kind of angry love song - but it’s also a song about false personas. It’s telling more than one story, hopefully in a coherent and satisfying way.

Please tell us about the quote at the top of the poster: 'The only thing better than making someone laugh or cry ... is making them sing.'

I don’t know if I came up with it or if it’s from something I’ve heard; either way, it’s a quote that’s important to me. It makes me think about the emotional effect art can have on us. It doesn’t matter if it’s a song or a film, the effect can be powerful and beautiful.

Your tee features extensive movie credits. Tell us about the names.

They all have significance for me. They have all helped me and the band. I wanted to include them as a way of saying thank you. Appreciation is a massive thing for me.

Daniel Murton-Taylor is our roadie, our guitar tech, our driver. We even stay at his house when we’re in London. Dan does everything for us. He puts hours of time and masses of energy into helping us, with no promise of reward.

He’s Luca's best mate - they were at school together - and now he’s a best mate for all of us. Whenever we’re discussing anything to do with the band, Dan’s always with us.

The Ariston bassist Will Parsonson @dontakesaphoto

He's the fifth Beatle. Who's next?

Barny Barnicott is an incredible producer and a great, great guy. He's been so supportive of The Ariston. Yeah, he's the real deal. He’s worked with Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, The 1975, Sam Fender. He runs Blue Bell Hill Studios.

Who’s next in the spotlight?

Joss Trimming is is my best friend and a very talented filmmaker in his own right. He videos our gigs and he filmed the documentary about us you can find on YouTube. That’s why he’s Director of Photography on the t-shirt.

Joss has been a massive influence on me. He actually taught me my first couple of songs on guitar. In fact, he got me into guitar. You really cannot overestimate what Joss has done for me and the band.

Nice one, Joss. Who’s next?

Colin Murton-Taylor is Dan’s dad. On the poster he’s head of catering. Anyone who knows the band intimately will immediately get that reference. When we stay at Dan’s, Colin cooks us breakfast. It’s a bit of a tradition. Colin’s breakfasts are incredible! Bacon, sausages, beans, the lot.

Next we have Joanne [Bunce] and Roger [Parsonson] as Production Designers. Jo is Finn's mum. She's an artist and designed the cover of 'Yellow Lines' for us. Roger is my dad. He's also a graphic designer. He designed The Ariston logo, with help from us of course.

It's a family affair. Any more?

Next we have Simone [Nash] and Fiona [Murton-Taylor]. Simone is Luca’s mum and deals with our finances and our website. Fiona’s in marketing and has helped us out massively with planning and stuff. They’ve both earned their places in the credits.

Isabel Wannell is the OG Aristan. That’s what we call our fans: Aristans. Izzy is Finn's partner. She’s done loads for us, helped us and given us endless amounts of advice. She's also an incredible singer. At gigs, Izzy looks after all the fans. She definitely deserves this little nod.

The Ariston bassist Will Parsonson 1024px @connorfinchphoto

She definitely does. And then?

Elen Hâf is one of our biggest fans. It was important for me to somehow include the fans in the design. I originally thought about including loads of fan names in these credits, but you can’t include everyone, which means you have to leave people out. That didn’t feel right.

Elen's there to represent all the fans. She was the obvious choice because she loves ‘Semantics’. It’s her favourite song.

And last and least, our Skev. What was it like working with him on this tee? Dish the dirt!

No, I don’t have a bad thing to say. It was a pleasure working with Skev. We had a couple of video calls to discuss ideas and we exchanged a lot of emails.

Skev helped me get my ideas out. He was like a third arm. No, that sounds dodgy! He was like a bionic arm - that’s better - because he was able to amalgamate my ideas into a complete design. It was like putting my prompts into a machine, then seeing what came out.

The Ariston - Semantics Tee band tshirt

What came out is a very cool tee. Thanks for talking us through it.

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you all so much for your patience through the design process. Special thanks to Skev.

I think this Semantics Tee is sick. I can’t wait to wear it. It’s going to be so cool seeing others wearing it too. Thanks guys.

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▶︎ The Ariston - Semantics Tee is available for pre-order now exclusively from our online shop.

📸 Gig photos by Dan Brock and Connor Finch respectively.

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