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


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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.

 

 

 

In a trop/country band typically only one guys gets the hat....the front man. the band has to balence out the by having a bigger fish on their shirt. Yea you got the hat big deal ,, my fish is bigger than yours ,, neener neener neener.

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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"?

 

Dude just said he wouldn't wear a monkey suit.

 

Nothing wrong with that.

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Can a well honed band image help? Yes. Can you be equally successful without one? Absolutely.

Also, there's a big difference between "Dressing for a gig" and "Wearing a monkey suit". Down here three of the biggest cover bands "wear monkey suits" IMO. Over the top costumes. Because of this lots of lesser bands try to pull the same thing off, which to be honest, I think looks doubly ridiculous. It's one thing if you're playing to 500 people in a packed theater to be onstage dressed like Pee Wee Herman. It's another thing to be dressed like that in a smokey bar with 20 people watching.

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Dude just said he wouldn't wear a monkey suit.


Nothing wrong with that.

 

 

Yeah, I think there is something wrong with it. If your band is hired for a gig and the client requests the band dresses in what they consider to be an appropriate fashion, I would say that it is completely unprofessional for a member of the band to say "sorry, I won't dress like that. I'm coming as I am". Just as unprofessional as it would be for a musician to refuse to play more quietly if that's what the client requested.

 

Of course, the band could turn the gig down saying "we don't do gigs where we can't play in casual clothing" or "we don't do gigs where we can't play really loud". But I'm not sure what the value would be in such a band either, and I certainly don't see the value in giving such advice in a thread asking about what to do with a band member who won't get with the program when it comes to band attire.

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It's one thing if you're playing to 500 people in a packed theater to be onstage dressed like Pee Wee Herman. It's another thing to be dressed like that in a smokey bar with 20 people watching.

 

 

#1 is you've got to dress appropriately for the gig. What my band will wear for a formal wedding on Saturday night will be completely different than what we would wear for a beach gig the next afternoon.

 

If your band has a particularly gimmicky image you're trying to convey that works best in 500 seat theaters, it might be best to avoid those 20-person smokey bar gigs in the first place. I'm guessing those top-tier monkey-suit bands you speak of don't play those sort of gigs.

 

At a certain level, playing low-dollar, small-audience venues hurts a band more than helps them. If you're trying to build a reputation as a top-tier, high-dollar band than at some point you have to start turning down those gigs. (even IF you like the gig, need the money, need the practice, etc.) Nobody's going to believe your band is worth $5K if they saw you play last week for $500. (Not that people generally know what a band gets paid specifically, but often the venue itself will create the impression of "low dollar band".)

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That's just it.

I'm not worried about "tiers" - top, bottom, sideways....fuk that.

I've got a career already, and I've dealt with corporate politics and ladder climbing for the majority of my adult life.

When I go to play a gig, it's just a gig: I'm not treating any band I'm in like a career. The minute that someone does start to treat it that way, that's the minute they'll need to find a new bass and keyboard player.

I can make far more money as an independent I.T. contractor than pretty much anybody could playing in a band. So that corporate bull{censored} needs to stay far away from any band I'm a part of.

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Our name pretty much dictates what we wear on stage (Red Shirt Riot! ... Hmm). In general, though, we all just wear black jeans/pants (or dark jeans/pants) and a red t-shirt. Lately, we've all been wearing shirts that say "Riot!" in various different typefaces.

 

If we play more upscale places, we'll take it more upscale, and wear red collared shirts, or black collared shirts with a red one underneath, etc. As long as there's a red shirt on there somewhere, goddamnit.

 

We had one guy for about two gigs who wouldn't do it... wouldn't wear a red shirt. It's not hard to do. I don't know if he just didn't own one, or if he was flat out against the idea. Either way, that problem solved itself.

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That's just it.


I'm not worried about "tiers" - top, bottom, sideways....fuk that.


 

 

Good for you.

 

But why do you think anybody cares? Sounding off in a thread about how bands members dress (started by somebody for whom it is obviously an issue) about how you think dressing up at ALL is stoooopid is completely irrelevant and only creates unneeded tension around here.

 

It would be like me posting in the thread about how best to handle blues jams that I think the whole idea of blues jams are nothing but a waste-of-time wankerfest. A) doing so would accomplish absolutely nothing except to needlessly piss off those here who DO play blues jams and B) the blues-jammers don't give a {censored} what some guy who doesn't even participate in them thinks. Why should they?

 

Why not leaves discussions about how to dress at a gig to those who DO care about it?

 

Why not leave discussions about 'tiers' to those who DO care about them?

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Good for you.


But why do you think anybody cares? Sounding off in a thread about how bands members dress (started by somebody for whom it is obviously an issue) about how you think dressing up at ALL is stoooopid is completely irrelevant and only creates unneeded tension around here.


It would be like me posting in the thread about how best to handle blues jams that I think the whole idea of blues jams are nothing but a waste-of-time wankerfest. A) doing so would accomplish absolutely nothing except to needlessly piss off those here who DO play blues jams and B) the blues-jammers don't give a {censored} what some guy who doesn't even participate in them thinks. Why should they?


Why not leaves discussions about how to dress at a gig to those who DO care about it?


Why not leave discussions about 'tiers' to those who DO care about them?

 

Hey man, I'm not dissing any of you guys.

 

Do what you want: it's a big world, and there are a lot of options.

 

It's just that your option is not the only option; besides, you've been putting words in my mouth but you know I don't have time for all the back and forth so I'll just let it be what it is.

 

If you want to wear a monkey suit on stage - go for it.

 

If someone else doesn't, well, that should be cool too.

 

Maybe trioShift's audience is primarily musicians? UH OH - here comes the derisive comments from the cover band guys: "You can't do THAT - you're not playing for the AUDIENCE"

 

Well {censored}, who's to say that playing for musicians is a bad thing?

 

You'd have to shut down every jazz and jazz fusion gig if that is your only criteria.

 

It just irks me when you all slam on guys that do their own thing: if it's working, then it's working. So what if it isn't a populist approach, or if only appeals to musicians?

 

I'd go see trioshift a thousand times before I would plunk down any money or time on the vast majority of cover bands.

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That's just it.


I'm not worried about "tiers" - top, bottom, sideways....fuk that.


I've got a career already, and I've dealt with corporate politics and ladder climbing for the majority of my adult life.


When I go to play a gig, it's just a gig: I'm not treating any band I'm in like a career. The minute that someone does start to treat it that way, that's the minute they'll need to find a new bass and keyboard player.


I can make far more money as an independent I.T. contractor than pretty much anybody could playing in a band. So that corporate bull{censored} needs to stay far away from any band I'm a part of.

 

 

 

Pretty much ,, when music and a band fails to be fun ,, its time to pull the plug and move on. Especially when it has older guys in it that even at the top tier level fail to figure out that they are just weekend warriors. You have to take the music serious , but you also have to realize that its even at the top tier its not really a career. Its somthing you do because you enjoy doing it.

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Pretty much ,, when music and a band fails to be fun ,, its time to pull the plug and move on. Especially when it has older guys in it that even at the top tier level fail to figure out that they are just weekend warriors. You have to take the music serious , but you also have to realize that its even at the top tier its not really a career. Its somthing you do because you enjoy doing it.

 

THe other thing is that when it becomes like a career - that means that one or more people are RELYING on the band income.

 

So if I need to have a personal day that just so happens to be on a day that someone wants to give us a gig, now I'll have to deal with "taking money out of someone's pocket".

 

I never want to get to the point where myself or anyone else in the band NEEDS the money.

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Good for you.


But why do you think anybody cares? Sounding off in a thread about how bands members dress (started by somebody for whom it is obviously an issue) about how you think dressing up at ALL is stoooopid is completely irrelevant and only creates unneeded tension around here.


I never said anything of the sort.

I'm not sure how you get from me defending a guy that won't wear a "monkey suit" to me saying that dressing up at all is stupid. :facepalm:

I know there's a majority opinion on here like there is everywhere. That's cool.

But don't try and shout down other dudes that don't fit your mold.

THat's a circle jerk, and there's enough of that cliqueishness on other HC forums: this place should be more open minded and mature than that.

The fact is, 3shiftgtr has his thing - it ain't your thing, it doesn't involve monkey suits, and it doesn't involve playing top 40 material.

But it's his thing, and if you'd take the time to listen to his outfit you'd realize that musically they kick the {censored} out of 99% of all cover bands.

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THe other thing is that when it becomes like a career - that means that one or more people are RELYING on the band income.


So if I need to have a personal day that just so happens to be on a day that someone wants to give us a gig, now I'll have to deal with "taking money out of someone's pocket".


I never want to get to the point where myself or anyone else in the band NEEDS the money.

 

 

 

Yup typically that ends up as a pretty drama filled band.. because we all pretty well know that a band isnt ever going to provide these guys enough money to live on. Today about the only way a musican can make a good living is to be a solo act. I like playing for a guy like that because he doesnt need a full band to do a gig and he appreciates it when he has a full band backing him up. It a good way to play with top talent and not be chained to a band or some guy who is always hurting for money. Those guys remind me of my ex wife.. always broke and always pissed off about somthing.

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At a certain level, playing low-dollar, small-audience venues hurts a band more than helps them. If you're trying to build a reputation as a top-tier, high-dollar band than at some point you have to start turning down those gigs. (even IF you like the gig, need the money, need the practice, etc.) Nobody's going to believe your band is worth $5K if they saw you play last week for $500. (Not that people generally know what a band gets paid specifically, but often the venue itself will create the impression of "low dollar band".)

 

 

+1

 

***Disclaimer - The following opinion pertains to bands who play in bars/clubs. YMMV***

 

We're certainly not a $5K band yet, but we're a $1,000 -$1,200 band. Because of this, and because we've gotten into the regular rotation of higher end rooms that pay $1K-$2K, we've eliminated all the lower level rooms from our rotation.

 

To me, a bands image has very little to do with what they are wearing and has much more to do with how good of time everyone that comes to see you has. If every time you play, you play in a top room to 200+ people and it's a crazy party atmosphere, that will be the image that people have of your band. No need to risk that image by taking $500 gigs playing for 40 people.

 

IMO, this is infinitely more important than wearing matching pants.

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Hey man, I'm not dissing any of you guys.


Do what you want: it's a big world, and there are a lot of options.


It's just that your option is not the only option; besides, you've been putting words in my mouth but you know I don't have time for all the back and forth so I'll just let it be what it is.


 

 

Well, no. In a discussion among musicians talking about how to get a non-compliant member on board with the dress code, "I would never wear a monkey suit" isn't an "option" -- it's a distraction.

 

It's like going into a thread among iPhone owners discussing how to program the new iPhone and declaring that iPhones suck. It's just irrelevant and nobody actually interested in the topic cares that I non iPhone user thinks iPhones suck.

 

This is a wide-reaching forum wear the only real common thread is we all gig. Beyond that we've got pros, semi-pros, just-do-it-for-fun guys, original bands, cover bands, party band, blues-jam bands and on and on. Nobody is better than anybody else. No single band is the be-all-end-all. But not all topics are relevant to everyone. Everyone is free to express their opinion, but it's MY opinion that if the opinion expressed is nothing but a broad dismissmal of a subject matter that a person doesn't even take part it, then it just leads to dis-harmony.

 

Again, just my opinion. I'm not a forum moderator or anything.

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To me, a bands image has very little to do with what they are wearing and has much more to do with how good of time everyone that comes to see you has.

.

 

Agreed, but I think what you wear IS important, nonetheless. If The Trickie Dickies showed up to one of your hot club gigs all wearing tuxedos, you'd probably look stupid. It might not hurt your image, but I don't see how it would help. Additionally, if only one member wore a suit, he'd probably look even more ridiculous. You guys generally wear what is suitable for your audience and venues.

 

Would tightening up for a more cohesive look help you in the club gigs you do? Probably wouldn't matter. Would it help if you were looking to market the band to more corporate-type gigs? Yes, I think it would.

 

I think it all ties in together: your sound, your songlist, your look, your energy, your attitude--these are all part of what define your band.

 

Looks are important. Which is why the better venues put bands up on stages and under colored lighting.

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Well {censored}, who's to say that playing for musicians is a bad thing?


You'd have to shut down every jazz and jazz fusion gig if that is your only criteria.


It just irks me when you all slam on guys that do their own thing: if it's working, then it's working. So what if it isn't a populist approach, or if only appeals to musicians?


 

 

I don't believe anyone here has ever slammed anyone for doing their own thing. The only time I ever heard anyone slam the "playing for musicians" approach is when it comes up in terms of making money and musicians who WANT to make more money and have more gigs but let their personal ego's get in the way of that.

 

When you can find the post where somebody criticized someone else's jazz fusion band for not playing Rick Springfield, then get back to me. Otherwise, you're just stirring up dust where none need be stirred.

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That's just it.


I'm not worried about "tiers" - top, bottom, sideways....fuk that.


I've got a career already, and I've dealt with corporate politics and ladder climbing for the majority of my adult life.


When I go to play a gig, it's just a gig: I'm not treating any band I'm in like a career. The minute that someone does start to treat it that way, that's the minute they'll need to find a new bass and keyboard player.


I can make far more money as an independent I.T. contractor than pretty much anybody could playing in a band. So that corporate bull{censored} needs to stay far away from any band I'm a part of.

 

 

+1

 

Hate that corporate mentality {censored}. We get enough of that everywhere else in the culture. Can't we at least leave it out of the music?

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I'm not sure how you get from me defending a guy that won't wear a "monkey suit" to me saying that dressing up at all is stupid.

 

 

Why did he even need defending? Again, his comment was irrelevant and a distraction. Why defend it in a thread such as this unless it were to further make some point about how you don't like dressing up?

 


The fact is, 3shiftgtr has his thing - it ain't your thing, it doesn't involve monkey suits, and it doesn't involve playing top 40 material.


 

 

That's fine, but then why even comment in threads that involve monkey suits and top 40 material? Why not just stay out of conversations that aren't your thing? Why muck up stuff?

 

That's all well and good if you don't particularly care about making money with your band, but why do you have to slam those bands that do?

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+1


Hate that corporate mentality {censored}. We get enough of that everywhere else in the culture. Can't we at least leave it out of the music?

 

 

Sorry, but I have a hard time getting past the irony of someone deriding imaging and a band dressing to match that image who has a picture of The Ramones as his avatar....

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Sorry, but I have a hard time getting past the irony of someone deriding imaging and a band dressing to match that image who has a picture of The Ramones as his avatar....



Have a hard time getting past it all you want. The Ramones weren't doing that to be "corporate" with matching dockers and bow ties. If you're going for a unique look as part of your act that's one thing, but don't give me this "everyone wear something red with your slacks" bull{censored}. :rolleyes:

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Have a hard time getting past it all you want. The Ramones weren't doing that to be "corporate" with matching dockers and bow ties. If you're going for a unique look as part of your act that's one thing, but don't give me this "everyone wear something red with your slacks" bull{censored}.
:rolleyes:



LOL. Look at that picture of the Ramones. That's about as matchy-matchy as I've ever seen ANY band look. They might as well have been The Osmonds.

"Matching dockers and bow ties"=bad, but "matching tight jeans, sneakers and leather jackets"=good?

Whatever....

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LOL. Look at that picture of the Ramones. That's about as matchy-matchy as I've ever seen ANY band look. They might as well have been The Osmonds.


"Matching dockers and bow ties"=bad, but "matching tight jeans, sneakers and leather jackets"=good?


Whatever....

 

 

The point isn't the "what," the point is the "why." Two entirely different mentalities.

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The point isn't the "what," the point is the "why." Two entirely different mentalities.

 

 

It's the same exact mentality. The "why" of both is to project a particular image of a band to their target audiences and venues. Both with the expected result of being a more successful band as a result.

 

Something tells me that Joey Ramone and all his Ramone "brothers" would have been among the very foremost defenders of the idea of dressing properly for your gig.

 

The whole "anti-conformity" argument pretty much goes out the window once you all start dressing alike....

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