Heavy metal fans love their band T-shirts, but how much do they spend on average over the course of their lives to support the bands they love? That's one of the revelations in Custom Ink's latest study delving into the statistics surrounding music-related T-shirts and customer buying and searching habits.

A shirt from the Loudwire merch store with the design I 'Horns' Metal, showing a skeleton hand making the metal horns gesture

How Much Do Heavy Metal Fans Spend in Their Lifetime on Shirts?

According to the Custom Ink Study, heavy metal fans spend more on band T-shirts than any other genre. The average amount spent over the course of a metal fan's life is $500, which easily eclipses that of all other genres. In fact, the sum total was more than $100 more than the next closest genre.

It should also be noted that the survey found that metal fans also OWN the most band shirts out of all genres, with most fans owning an average of 10 shirts.

trends on band shirt buying
Custom Ink Survey

Which Band Is Most Popular in the U.S. for Selling T-Shirts?

The Custom Ink Survey managed to break down by state the most searched act when looking for band shirts, and Trivium and Testament were the most searched in five U.S. states. For Trivium, they were the most sought after in Washington, Nevada, Mississippi, Georgia and Oklahoma. Testament shirts were hot items in Alaska, Idaho, Colorado, New York and Virginia.

Like Moths to Flames led in four states (South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan).

READ MORE: Study Reveals Most Popular Band T-Shirt

A state-by-state finding of the most searched band shirts in each state can be found below. Below that, you will find the most searched shirts in the state's most populated cities.

heavy metal band shirt searches by state
Custom Ink Survey

What Other Findings Did the Survey Turn Up?

Sorry to tell you this "Name 3 Songs" guy, but according to the survey 30 percent of Americans think you don't need to know the artist's music to wear their merch.

Concerts and live events proved to be the most popular place to buy band shirts, with 57 percent doing so at live performances. But 34 percent taking the survey also said they had concert tees from a shirt they never attended.

This may not be a surprise, but 88 percent of those surveyed revealed they preferred the short sleeve concert T-shirt as opposed to other band garments.

The Custom Ink Study also broke down band shirt behavior for other genres as well as a combined look at the overall most popular band shirts by state.

overall band shirt searches by state
Custom Ink Survey

How Did Custom Ink Collect Their Data?

For the study, the band searched Google volume date for music artist T-shirts from January 2023 through December 2024. The analysis involved a difference-from-the-mean calculation, comparing search volume for each artist’s “shirts” and “tees” in all 50 states and the 50 most populated U.S. cities to the national average to find the artist most associated with each locale.

They also surveyed 1,000 Americans about their perceptions of musicians’ merchandise. The average age of respondents was 39; 50 percent were male and 50 percent were female. The generational representation was six percent baby boomers, 23 percent Gen X, 55 percent millennials, and 16 percent Gen Z.

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Gallery Credit: Various

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