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Your Band's IMAGE. What works, what does'nt?


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My band played a gig last weekend with a punk band that we've had open for us a few times. While talking to their guitarist, we got on the subject of images after he said how cool we looked w/ out matching black pants, white shirts, and everyone but me wearing black ties, i wore a red one. He said the singer of his band told the drummer not to wear cargo shorts at gigs anymore because it made him look like a preppie student and felt that even though he sits behind the set it could take anyone out of the mood/vibe they're trying to put out w/ the music, the band included. So after a long argument he agreed to not wear them but some old Vision Street Wear shorts he was wearing that night at the gig. Has anyone told a band member they had to fix, change, lose, get anything to help with the band's image?

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Looking like every other band in jeans and t-shirt ain't working.

 

Any band uniform look is better than the lack of.

 

I've had this discussion with several bands, and it always comes down to "we all got day jobs/ just doing it for fun / our MUSIC speaks for us / Image is stupid / etc.. barf out 10 more excuses..

 

Yet at the end of the day, people only remember patterns and participation.

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Lol.. I don't know what I'd ever do at a gig because my shirt is ALWAYS off during practice and I'm a skinny pale kid. I'd have to at least get some more tattoos to pull it off successfully ahah.

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Looking like every other band in jeans and t-shirt ain't working.


Any band uniform look is better than the lack of.


I've had this discussion with several bands, and it always comes down to "we all got day jobs/ just doing it for fun / our MUSIC speaks for us / Image is stupid / etc.. barf out 10 more excuses..


Yet at the end of the day, people only remember patterns and participation.

 

 

Agree.

 

The whole "The music will speak for us" thing, and what I think someone here referred to as the "I just got done mowing my lawn look" really annoy me too.

 

It is not hard to co-ordinate a look. Even a subtle thing, like *type* of clothing, not necessarily a whole damn cultivated "look". Just as the OP says, the other band trying to get their drummer to not wear cargo pants is a sensible request IMO. I get that it may be more comfortable to drum in cargo shorts though.

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I think the band coordinating their outfits definitely looks more professional.

 

And it doesn't have to be everyone wearing the same thing, for instance the bass player and the drummer could wear black shirts with white ties and white pants while the singer and guitarist could wear white shirts with black ties and black pants.

 

Just be creative like your music.

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well it all started back with grunge, the *lack* of style as a statement of non-conformity- and given the spandex of the 80's, it wasn't necessarily unwelcomed lol.. but it's been time to move on for almost 15 years.

 

The blistering irony is that they (rock bands in general) all look alike now.

 

I'd laugh if it weren't so pathetic.

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My Has anyone told a band member they had to fix, change, lose, get anything to help with the band's image?

 

 

Everytime we bring on a new band member into my wedding/private party act we explain that we are regularly do "tux gigs" - and that we expect they'll be ready. We don't do a "tux gig" for less than $250 a player - and there's a place nearby where you can get a tux (including shirt and tie) for less than $150 - so you'll cover the cost of the tux the first time you wear it.

 

We don't wear tuxes all the time - but when the gig calls for one - they're the band uniform of the day and ALL the male band members are expected to be dressed in one.

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My band never got far beyond the jeans/t-shirt image, but at least we all tried to wear the same color t-shirt..

 

As for the bands that look like they just got done golfing, washing the car, going to Psych 101 or what have you, I say let 'em...just makes the rest of us look that much better!

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It always sucks when the whole band is trying to look like "a band" and the bass player looks like he's about to go golfing. The contrast makes everybody look like an idiot.


The reverse is true as well.

 

 

Funny you should mention that. When our band first started our bass player would always wear these LOUD Hawaiian shirts and we're a goth/alternative band!

 

Yeah, that looked really professional. And it took quite a bit of persuasion (including threatening to get another bass player) before he caved.

 

And the thing is, is that he hates Jimmy Buffet. He's a Prog rock guy (Gentle Giant, early Genesis, Jethro Tull, etc.) why the hell he insisted wearing those Hawaiian shirts for a while is something I'll never understand.

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If a band is attempting to project a certain cohesive image, then stage duds are important. However, there have been many successful bands that seemed to dismiss stage costumes completely. Fashion trends often seek nonconformity but after these same trends are accepted by a large audience, they become the norm. It is sometimes difficult to get "the look" correct without the members appearing to wear uniforms. Show the offending band member photographs of the band and how his clothing looks out of place with the rest of the band. Unless, you are in a tribute band for The Village People, etc., an odd mix of clothing rarely works.

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We had a problem with, when leaving everyone to their own devices, a couple of members usually showing up to gigs wearing stuff that was way too casual and didn't fit with what the rest of the band was wearing. And then, when we tried to institute specific dress, everyone looking too dressy and matchy-matchy.

 

We've reached a pretty good compromise in that our dress now consists of everyone wearing neutrals (black, grey, white) of their choice with a splash of common color. If it's 'red' night, everyone has to have at least one red item on whether it's a shirt, jacket, hat, tie etc. If it's a more casual gig, then black jeans and similar 'casual' wear is acceptible. If it's a formal gig, than it's black suits with the splash of color.

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I absolutely REFUSE to play in a {censored}ing monkey suit.

 

Hatdammit, if I wanted to do that, I'd {censored}ing sell insurance.

 

There is no difference in trying to get attention with your look and wearing a suit to work.

 

Not hacking on anyone who sells insurance or dresses up in a "LOOK AT ME" outfit on stage. Been there done that. And it works. But I'm {censored}ing 46 years old....if I want to play dress up I'll join a theater group.

 

To me...imaging is corporate. And I ain't doing the corporate thing...it just looks ridiculous to me.

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We all wear jeans and black collared shirts. I like it because it's simple, cheap and effective. It also makes our instruments stand out a bit and makes us easily identifiable.

 

Had a massive problem with the drummer though. He refused to wear a proper shirt and would show up in rough looking second-hand black polo shirts. Took months to convince him that he was ruining the whole vibe of our look. His argument was that he didn't want to get too hot. Ugh! We're all too hot when we're playing and sweating all over the place, asshole! Not sure why he had to get the shirts from a thrift store though. He was paying like $2 for a shirt and we were making anywhere from $125 - $300 each per gig.

 

When we play formal events, we wear ties. Of course, the drummer insisted on wearing a bow tie instead of a regular long tie because he wanted to "look different" and "stand out". The problem is that he does look different and he does stand out - but not for any of the good reasons. He just looks like a complete dick. I've let that one slide now because he's mostly hidden anyway and it's not worth the stress.

 

During breaks, the drummer would sit at his kit and go to sleep or eat some cream buns or something. It looked really unprofessional and I had to tell him to cut it out. FFS!

 

Great guy, great drummer, just a completely {censored}ing clueless asshole when it comes to image and / or what is socially acceptable.

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To me...imaging is corporate. And I ain't doing the corporate thing...it just looks ridiculous to me.

 

 

To each his own, but unless you're only playing in front of a mirror, what look 'ridiculous' to you really isn't the issue. A band's stage appearance (whether that be monkey suits or shorts-and-flannel shirts) is as important as their sound. Otherwise, the client is better off hiring a DJ.

 

 

How a band dresses should be in line with the type of music they play and the audiences and venues they are playing to, but it SHOULD be taken seriously. How that makes a band "corporate" doesn't really connect with me.

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Looking like every other band in jeans and t-shirt ain't working.


Any band uniform look is better than the lack of.


I've had this discussion with several bands, and it always comes down to "we all got day jobs/ just doing it for fun / our MUSIC speaks for us / Image is stupid / etc.. barf out 10 more excuses..


Yet at the end of the day, people only remember patterns and participation.

Play oldies and blues in front of older crowds, and you won't have to worry too much about this. :lol:

 

Hawaiian shirt CHEEZ for the win.

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I absolutely REFUSE to play in a {censored}ing monkey suit.


Hatdammit, if I wanted to do that, I'd {censored}ing sell insurance.


There is no difference in trying to get attention with your look and wearing a suit to work.


Not hacking on anyone who sells insurance or dresses up in a "LOOK AT ME" outfit on stage. Been there done that. And it works. But I'm {censored}ing 46 years old....if I want to play dress up I'll join a theater group.


To me...imaging is corporate. And I ain't doing the corporate thing...it just looks ridiculous to me.

:thu:

Yeah, there's that too.

 

Bands that make their bones and grow their fan base on the strength of their musicality.

 

I've heard you play and I have no doubt that you fit into this category.

 

There's this argument about "playing for the crowd" or "playing for ourselves". I've always felt that this was a naive view. Why? Because it assumes that a crowd just "shows up" to watch your band, and that they have a certain expectation ahead of time that doesn't match what your band delivers. Nobody showed up to see Miles and expected him to play Steve Miller tunes (LOL).

 

So if people are showing up to your Jazz Fusion gig and expecting Rick Springfield, then why should the "obvious" answer be: "Well, you're not playing for the CROWD"?

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The Miles Davis' of the world are few and far between. And I doubt very many of them are hanging out at this forum giving and/or looking for advice.

 

Dressing like you don't give a {censored} isn't going to make your band any better musicians or give the band any more "cred". It's simply going to make you look like you don't give a {censored} about yourself. And if the band doesn't give a {censored} about themselves, then why should the crowd?

 

Word up...even most of the musicians you admire who you think aren't dressing for the gig are. Often the ones who are the best at it are the ones who make you think that's just the way they always dress and it just "happens" to match their music and onstage persona.

 

Even Miles Davis showed up to gigs dressed like he was going to a gig.

 

But then again, I guess maybe he was just a "corporate sellout"?

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So if people are showing up to your Jazz Fusion gig and expecting Rick Springfield, then why should the "obvious" answer be: "Well, you're not playing for the CROWD"?

 

 

What kind of idiot books a Jazz Fusion band for a club that fills up regularly with Rick Springfield fans? Or why would a bunch of Rick Springfield fans walk into a Jazz Fusion club and demand to hear something other than Jazz Fusion? Sorry, but the "play for the crowd" debate doesn't lie in extreme situations that likely NEVER occur.

 

It lies in the everyday world of bands who are in the business of "getting the crowd going" and working at clubs who are in the business of selling drinks and keeping crowds. It lies in the discussion about those bands and musicians who want to be good at this job but draw the line at playing songs THEY think are "beneath" them, regardless of what would best work for the gig they were hired to play.

 

It lies in the discussion of musicians who would rather dress like slobs than in "monkey suits" because they feel that doing so detracts from their credibility as a 'real' musician. (And also because, on some level, they actually believe they look better dressed as they are.)

 

Miles could get away with believing he was smarter than the people who showed up to his shows if that's what he chose to believe and how he chose to conduct his shows. I venture that very few, if any, people hanging out at this forum have afforded themselves that luxury.

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I absolutely REFUSE to play in a {censored}ing monkey suit.


Hatdammit, if I wanted to do that, I'd {censored}ing sell insurance.


There is no difference in trying to get attention with your look and wearing a suit to work.


Not hacking on anyone who sells insurance or dresses up in a "LOOK AT ME" outfit on stage. Been there done that. And it works. But I'm {censored}ing 46 years old....if I want to play dress up I'll join a theater group.


To me...imaging is corporate. And I ain't doing the corporate thing...it just looks ridiculous to me.

 

 

 

Just curious .... what do you do for a day gig?

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We play trop rock , country and older rock. Its pretty well anything goes. even a shirt with fish on it with a cowboy hat. A confused bunch we are.

 

the worst i ever had to wear in a band was silk shirt with puffy sleeves and fuzzy beatle boots , with black pants. after that get up .... nothing phases me.

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We play trop rock , country and older rock. Its pretty well anything goes. even a shirt with fish on it with a cowboy hat. A confused bunch we are.


 

 

If you don't already, there's no reason you can't put a little thought into it and be a better band for it. There's nothing wrong with a shirt with a fish on it and a cowboy hat if it's a pretty good looking shirt with a fish on it and a cowboy hat and the look fits your band's style and image.

 

Most musicians have dedicated clothing for wearing on stage that projects the image they want to project. I don't know very many (although I've known a few) who care so little about how they look that they whatever junky t-shirt they were lounging around the house in during the day to the gig that night.

 

The problem ISN'T that musicians don't care about their image--MOST do--INCLUDING those who claim they don't. In that case it's usually their "anti-image" that is their image.

 

The problem IS that most musicians (like most people in general) don't know how to dress. They wear ill-fitting clothing that doesn't accentuate their positives and de-emphasize their negatives and because dressing well doesn't come easily or naturally to them, they take a "I don't care how I look and I think people who DO care are a-holes" attitude.

 

These same musicians often claim to not care about how THEY look, and claim that caring about how one looks is some sort of "sellout", yet they go overboard in how their guitars look. And spend ridiculous amounts of money having pretty guitars. Why? Because taking care of their gear and making sure it's pretty comes easy to them and they feel they can confidently have a better looking guitar than the next guy. They don't have that same level-of-confidence about their personal appearance, so they don't even try.

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