Coming of age skateboarding and headbangin’ to bands like Type O Negative, Mercyful Fate, Earth Crisis, and The Sisters of Mercy led Tommy Gawellek straight into the welcoming arms of the sneaker community. Tommy grew up in an era when graffiti writers were adopting styles like the Air Max 90s as their own, and hardcore scene misfits were pitting in their Air Maxes, Jordans, and New Balances.
After getting into the music scene in 1997, Tommy has spent the last two decades travelling and playing both bass and guitar in hardcore bands, all the while rocking his favourite adidas ZX series sneakers on stage. In this latest installment of our Collector Spotlight series, read about an affliction with technical running sneakers from the late-80s and early-90s…
What was it like being a sneakerhead that’s into hardcore music?
Growing up, there were so many bands and musicians who influenced my collecting. Most people in the hardcore scene collected Nike. But there were still plenty collecting Saucony, adidas, New Balance and ASICS.
What drew you to the adidas ZX line?
The historical and football aspects of the 4-Digit ZX series, Torsion and EQT range. The shape, comfort, and colourways tied it all together. The ZX and Torsion line are deep-rooted in football culture, whether you’re a hooligan or a casual. The ZX 8000 ‘Aqua’ is a timeless classic, if you ask me, and shouldn’t be missing in any collection.
What are some of the highlights in your collection, and which Grails are you missing?
The Packer x ZX 9000 ‘Meadow Violet’, the Consortium-tier mint ZX 7000, and the Overkill ‘No Walls Needed’ ZX 8000 double pack are the rarest pairs I own. But there are also a lot of older general releases which I’d say are noteworthy. I’m still missing the Crooked Tongues ZX 9000, the Wood Woods too, and the pink oki-ni ZX 8000. If anyone has them, hit me up!
What do you think about the current state of ZX releases? Anything you’d like to see come back?
There are so many amazing ZX releases, and some pairs I completely don’t understand. I would like to see more of the older Torsion range. The Strider and Advance come to mind.