“After a lifetime in the club, we are still there…and still arriving via bike, and flying home, in and out of dimensions,” Misha Hollenbach, P.A.M. co-founder, teases in the press release announcing his Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary brand’s Psy Life collaborative capsule with Boiler Room. Building on shared lives spent on sweaty dancefloors and a recent reconnection with nature, the exclusive collection presents essentials intended for everything and anything from clubbing to festival-going, hiking to trail riding, and feeling to dreaming, With carefree silhouettes, layered with hyperreal graphics, and activity-ready accessories such as a sweat towel, socks, a water bottle and bag, this is the party merch you actually need.
As it finally launches with LN-CC as exclusive retail partner, the collaboration has already been sonically brought to life inside Boiler Room HQ with a legendary party that saw Dinamarca, Mechatok, Toxe and Vegyn amplify the energy of Boiler Room x P.A.M. If you missed it, stream it. To explore the synergy and symbiosis that powers this collaboration, LN-CC sits down with Mischa and Simeon Merivale, Boiler Room’s head of apparel. From derailed plans because of the Queen’s death, to the power of club classic lyrics, keeping life souvenirs to Mechatok-soundtracked trail bike rides, this conversation takes you on a trip…
LN-CC: This collaboration makes so much sense. Misha has described P.A.M as a vessel to amplify communal energy and, from its inception, Boiler Room has done just that. When did the discussions first start about working on this together?
Simeon: We connected this time last year. Instantly, it made a lot of sense. I have followed P.A.M. for a long time, so it was exciting to work with them. I actually lived in Australia for quite a while and Misha’s record collection is legendary…
Misha: I've given most of it away.
Simeon: Okay, cut that.
Misha: Even that act reinforces what brought us together. It's the sharing of information, the sharing of energy. I used to think that we're a conduit for energy, but actually we're all just letting energy flow through, adding to it when we can. With my record collection, if it sits on the shelf stagnant, why shouldn't someone else have it?
LN-CC: That’s generosity of spirit.
Misha: It’s not about me, or my brand. It’s always about something bigger. This collaboration is about club culture; it's about energy, it's about nature, it's about community. I'm optimistic because of what people can do when they join together. We're just sharing what we can, in our own little way, from here in Australia. But rather than giving, I think most fashion and big brands take when it's all about profits.
LN-CC: This industry is dominated by making creativity and culture transactional. They'll take what you do and feed it into profits.
Misha: Boiler Room is free to anyone that wants to watch it. There is a business behind it, but essentially, it is a platform for sharing energy, sharing music and sharing experience. That's so powerful.
LN-CC: Club culture has always been about celebrating the moment and Boiler Room manages to do that, while also capturing that energy, amplifying it and allowing it to live on…
Misha: I was fortunate enough to buy Mr. Fingers' Can You Feel It when it first came out. It has that Martin Luther King Jr line, "You may be black, you may be white, you may be Jew or Gentile, it don't make a difference in our house." Everything comes back to that record. As a kid when I heard it, I was like, "Fuck, this is just what it is’, It’s not about them, there’s only us! For me, that's the synergy between Boiler Room and P.A.M.
Simeon: Exactly. Everything we do is rooted in celebrating club culture.
LN-CC: Is this the first collaboration between the two brands? Misha, I tried to research whether you've DJ'd on Boiler Room at all.
Misha: Rohan Bell-Towers and I had a club night in Melbourne that lasted for almost 10 years and it would only really happen when we had friends touring and they'd come and do a secret gig. So we would quickly organise this thing in the same basement. We played at a Boiler Room off the back of that, but like 10 years ago or something.
LN-CC: I knew that there must have been an earlier connection.
Misha: That party was great. And again, it was just about the spirit of club music as a celebration of being alive on that night. Here and now is so important! Which is why when you run or ride, for example, it's fucking immediate. It’s about being present in that moment. Nothing else matters.
LN-CC: This feeds in nicely to the capsule collection itself. The press release positions it as "essentials intended for both high performance activity and moments of regeneration as well." What was the starting point and how much of your own experience informed it?
Misha: We're making merch for a party, essentially. But that merch had to be functional. You've got a little bag to put your wallet and keys in, a water bottle, a sweat towel. As we built the capsule, we asked ourselves ‘what do you actually need for that experience?’. For me, you need a bit of gear when you do the type of cycling or hiking that I do. If you don't have the gear, it can be pretty shitfull.
LN-CC: Love the idea of functional, meaningful merch.
Misha: And merch as a souvenir. My life's full of souvenirs; bits of rock or a sweat towel from somewhere or something. They just remind you that you have lived.
LN-CC: How did you work together? I can imagine it's lots of lots of WhatsApps and quite free flowing…
Simeon: As Boiler Rooms is a platform, we invited P.A.M to bring their design approach to the collaboration, while our role was to amplify it through the event and beyond. There's a genuine value exchange.
Misha: It’s that thing where you receive a task and you'd respond to it, but for me, it is always organic. Even the event line-up was organic, an exchange. If you look at my Whatsapp, our conversation is a series of smiles and thumbs up. When things like that happen, it's just so nice. Of course, we had a few hiccups along the way. The party was going to happen last year but then the Queen died.
LN-CC: Of course! That rescheduling can only make you feel more excited about Thursday’s party?
Simeon: From our side, we’re really sad that the P.A.M. guys couldn't make it but everybody's super excited about the event. It's a great moment for the clothing part of Boiler Room. Also, internally, everybody's really hyped about the line-up because it includes artists we've wanted to broadcast for a long time.
Misha: I listen to mixes when I ride at night. We have up to four UE Booms paired, and lately Mechatok mixes have been getting good airplay. He's great and so is Toxe and Dinamarca. This is a dream line-up for us as well.
Simeon: Yeah, it's great and I'm super happy about that aspect.
Misha: Do you know that Vegyn's playing?
Simeon: Weirdly, we were just chatting and as those questions about the line-up happened, I was like, 'Hey, can you do this?' He was always going to come but it's amazing that he'll actually do something as well.
LN-CC: Finally, in addition to the Boiler Room x P.A.M. product, what do you hope people take away from the collaboration?
Misha: The capsule, the imagery, the evening, the party, LN-CC coming in, It's all just adding up to be exactly what it should be; a celebration. I'm sure the music will be crazy and the party will be great. I love the idea that we've got to this organically. The Queen died, we got Mechatok! People should take all of these things away. The clothes are great too. Whether they are souvenirs or functional, there's a reason for them being there.
Simeon: Yes, that’s really important to us. There's a reason for everything we've created here.
Misha: You need tools. We've just done a P.A.M T-shirt, which is from the Whole Earth Catalog – the internet before the internet for hippies – and their slogan was "access to tools", which is such a great concept. If we give people access to tools then they can... build castles in the sky or whatever, ha!
LN-CC: Boiler Room x P.A.M is one beautiful castle in the sky.
Photography: Raphael Bliss, @Raphaelbliss Talent: Dylan at Anti-Agency, @Dylanayadi. James Dunn, @Jamesdunn.Xyz Hair & Make-Up: Keia Morrison, @Keiatamsin