I first spotted pictures of these Evian Christ boxers on Instagram a few months back, not realizing I was lusting after a tongue-in-cheek prototype rather than actual merch. The pictures Christ posted of a birthday gift from his girlfriend blew up, and he decided to invest in the joke: accidentally ordering way too many pairs of '90s era Calvin-esque boxers via China. He's planning to unload them at his third annual Trance Party with Total Freedom, Dubbel Dutch, and Nguzunguzu at London's Corsica Studios this Halloween, so we called Christ to find out the story behind the pants, and how we could get our hands on a pair from across the ocean.
So what was the idea behind the boxers? I kind of lucked out really; my girlfriend made me a couple of pairs as a joke for my birthday. And people started asking me how to buy them. And I was like, maybe I should make some—then, when I posted the photo on Twitter, The Guardian wrote an article about it, and it just kind of blew up for some reason. So yeah, it just kind of rolled from there and now I'm set with 500 pairs of boxer shorts in my studio with my name on them.
How does it make you feel to know that there's going to be tons of people rolling around in underwear with your name on it? I'm not sure, trying not to think about it too much. It would be kind of overwhelming to try and process that.
What was the process for getting them made? The boxers were made in China; it was the most insane process because the guy barely spoke English. And I didn't really intend to make 500 but that's sort of what I ended up with. Ideally I would have got 100. And then they got held up in customs in the UK, I didn't realize you had to pay a huge customs charge, I had these boxers just like trapped. I had to declare that there were 500 boxer shorts with "Evian Christ" on them. It's been a real journey.
Do you think you'll go through it all again and do the matching sports bra? The sports bra stuff I need to look into. I want to sell these off first because, I mean, the main reason you would do merch is to make money but I probably won't make much money of this stuff, I'm just doing it for fun. But I need to make sure I'm not going to bang up myself with the sports bra. I need to figure out how many girls actually listen to my music.
Are you interested in design? I'm very interested in the idea of playing with merch and seeing what you can do that's a little bit out of the ordinary. The best thing I've seen this year is the Oneohtrix Point Never logo t-shirt that's like a deconstruction of the Korn logo. Shit like that that's just funny. I've never been the type of person to wear like a t-shirt with an artist's name or whatever. And at the same time I'm not trying to be a fucking designer or whatever. So it is just humor—humor has to play a bit part in it and as long as the product is good quality I think you're good.
I feel like there's always a tension between thinking something's really funny and deciding how much money you want to actually spend on a joke. Yeah, that's kind of my daily existence really. We were trying to get a Z-list celebrity to host Trance Party for ages. And when it came down to it we could book another really good DJ or we could get some stupid celebrity and it would be funny, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I recently had all these plans to do a proper retouched advertisement for the boxers, a classic underwear ad on a beach with a professional model. But it was just too expensive.
And you're selling them at Trance Party? Yeah I'm going to sell them, sell 'em in packs of three to try to get fucking rid of all of them.
Is Trance Party III Halloween-themed? We didn't even realize until a couple weeks ago that it was Halloween. I hate Halloween. This is one thing about me that separates me from the rest of the western world; I've never worn fancy dress for any occasion in my entire life. Not even as a kid, and I still maintain that philosophy.
So you are Evian Christ all the time? Yeah, I never change role. So I won't be in costume but people are welcome to. They'll just get dirty looks from me.