“I really wanted to be that bridge to the idea of hope,” said Oliver Bierman, lead singer of local pop-punk outfit Broadside, who described his own issues with depression and anxiety when he was growing up.
He remembered honing in on bands as a teenager and how their music helped him deal with his own emotional issues. Taking inspiration from these memories, Bierman hopes his work with Damaged Kids, his fledgling clothing line, will allow for more personal and direct communication with his fans.
“I am living proof that you can push through anything that you put your mind to,” said Bierman. Bierman is using Kickstarter to begin his new clothing line, Damaged Kids. The line will bring awareness and raise money for the causes of teen depression and anxiety.
The Kickstarter, which began a few weeks ago, is asking for $1200 to help begin the line. Designs are mocked up on the crowdfunding page and stickers have been ordered. Bierman said he turned to Kickstarter because he couldn’t get the money himself.
“Being someone who just works a daytime pizza job, I couldn’t just pull it out of pocket. I couldn’t make it really come alive,” said Bierman. “But if you stand behind something like Kickstarter, it really gives you the opportunity to reach out to people so that they can have a piece of something so they can build it with you.”
He also said he has looked into other ways of getting the money needed to begin the line if the Kickstarter fails to meet its goal. He also stressed that the line isn’t a front for anything.
“Every penny of the $1200 I ask will be used for the initial costs. This isn’t me being a broke band dude saying ‘give me money’!” Bierman laughed. “I just can’t do it all myself, it’s something I need a crowd to help me out in the best way that they can.”
Bierman is in contact with various charity groups to donate some of the money from the Kickstarer fund raising. But he said Kickstarter’s rules were unclear as to what he could list on the crowdfunding page.
Bierman said the concept behind Damaged Kids comes from the idea that those suffering aren’t totally broken, and can still get help. He believes those he reaches with his music can relate to the message and will hopefully throw some money behind his cause.
“I just really wanted to take the idea of [how] right now it feels like the end, but it’s not. You’re just damaged, not broken,” he said.
Bierman said that even when he is traveling the country on tour, the line won’t be neglected, because he is building a staff here of people he trusts.
He said he would keep up with the line’s social media, and that he balances his many projects because can’t sit still for very long. Bierman said that “if there was a way I could just open up my head and pour coffee in, I would.”
His central motivation here, however, is to give back: “I really wanted to take that word ‘damaged’ and say we are damaged and we are hurt and we are bruised and we are isolated and afraid and anxious but that’s what we as a collective are. I wanted to take that word and shine light on it.”