Merchandise is a band with tours scheduled for the U.S. Canada and Europe. The band has a bright future ahead, and in the member’s journey of self expression, they will no doubt make the Tampa Bay area proud.

By Mark Wright

Merchandise, a band that has roots all over the Tampa Bay Area, is going on tour in the U.S., Canada and Europe to promote their new album Children of Desire.

Merchandise began as an in-house project in 2008 with three members: Carson Cox (vocalist), David Vassalotti (guitarist) and Patrick Brady (bassist).

“We all come from different parts of Valrico, Plant City, and Tampa proper, but ended up becoming friends through years of attending, playing and volunteering at local punk shows in Brandon and Tampa,” said Vassalotti.

People generally ask one thing when they want to find out about a band: what genre is it? When asked what genre Merchandise subscribes to, Vassalotti said, “We’re somewhere in the grey area of punk, noise and pop music. I’ll probably never have a good answer for that question.”

Don’t view this ambiguity negatively; on the contrary, the band believes that not being confined to a musical category allows them to be more true to themselves. In listening to their music, you get to know the artists in a very personal way that can’t be limited to any one genre. The music reflects what they’re feeling and what message they’re trying to convey. Furthermore, Children of Desire conveys themes like depression, meaning and authenticity, messages too complex to be distilled into one genre.

Merchandise’s message is largely one that everyone can relate too: be true to yourself. This mantra doesn’t stop at the songs they create, but extends to every facet of how the band operates.

They abide very much by a “Do It Yourself” mentality, and they record all of their music at home with their own equipment. They also chose to release their music with Katorga Works, a label run by friends of the band, so as to keep the process as pure as possible.

“We prefer to do everything ourselves or ‘within the family’ so to speak,” said Vassalotti.

For more information on Merchandise, visit or

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