You might not know who Jeff Meilander is, but you’re likely aware of his work. As the owner, founder, and jack of all trades at Redwall Screen Printing, Meilander’s company has made merchandise for professional sports franchises, multinational corporations, as well as countless bands and brands from all over the country. Currently, Redwall calls a 100,000 square foot building in Oak Creek, Wisconsin its home. However, Meilander’s super successful screen printing business actually started in the basement of his then-apartment on Milwaukee’s East Side…and his personal musical history has a lot to do with the life-changing venture.

A couple months ago, My First Band host Tyler Maas went to Redwall to catch up with Meilander. While there, the two talked about what the business has been up to the past few years, working together on Milwaukee Record apparel, and other exciting aspects of his ever-evolving operation. Along the way, Meilander talked about how his time in punk and hardcore bands like Linoleum and Seven Days Of Samsara incited his printing passion, how the money-saving measure unexpectedly morphed into a legitimate business, and how he balanced the growing endeavor while playing with Bosio and Spitalfield. Oh, and Maas talked about working at Redwall for a couple of years and his own printing experience he learned from Meilander!

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Seven Days Of Samsara (“New Anthem For The T-Shirt Revolution”).