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


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From Wikipedia:




Not that I'm dying to break into this argument, but this is different from adopting a uniform look of "a red shirt with slacks" how?





Near as I can tell from the long discussion I had, the only difference is that one band is "corporate" and the other is not.
:idk:

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Near as I can tell from the long discussion I had, the only difference is that one band is "corporate" and the other is not.

:idk:



Dude, the Ramones were SO corporate. I remember watching a documentary of them back in the late 80's and Joey was still trying to figure out how to make it "huge". He was frustrated that they never got the commercial appeal of other bands. Hell, they went so far as to hire Phil Spector for an album or two to try to give them a more commercially appealing sound.

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Mostly because they are advertising for their favorite band or gear manufacturer, or if they're a bit on the pretentious side, they want to appear hip with either a graphic of an iconic musician, or some sort of ironic slogan, or goofy pun. They may wear a shirt that is identifiable with a certain era...usually one that relates to the kind of music their band plays.


But seriously, we wear t's with graphics, because we like they way they look, and whatever is on the shirt probably means something, to us.

 

 

But do you really want people to be focused on the gear mfg, chosen heros, clever slogan, etc. that you're displaying on your chest? (probably mostly obscured by your axe or too small to read or identify.) Photographers refer to distracting elements in a composition, ie something that draws the eye away from the intended focal point. High contrast lettering is seldom included in a photograph . . . unless it's an integral part of the the subject.

 

I've considered painting out the brand/model on the back of my keyboard and am sympathetic to complains by all the Nord owners who know that their axe gets more attention than it should.

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Dude, the Ramones were SO corporate. I remember watching a documentary of them back in the late 80's and Joey was still trying to figure out how to make it "huge". He was frustrated that they never got the commercial appeal of other bands. Hell, they went so far as to hire Phil Spector for an album or two to try to give them a more commercially appealing sound.



I know, I know. Don't get me wrong--they were a GREAT band and groundbreaking in their style and influence, but the whole image and schtick and marketing was as corporate as all get out.

But because you and I are able to see the bigger picture of how their whole schtick worked and didn't fall for the "we're the ANTI-corporate punk band with the ANTI-corporate sound!" marketing hook, line and sinker, supposedly WE'RE the ones who "just don't get it"...

:facepalm:

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Leaving the Ramones for a second and getting back to the OP. IMO this thread, like many of the threads on this board really highlight the two "camps" of cover bands that post here (I'm omitting original bands because they are a very different animal in this respect).

The first camp are what I'll call "paid hobbyists". These people/bands look at this as a release which also has a benefit that you can make some money.

The second camp is the "semi-pro's", people who approach this as more of a second job and are looking at this as a significant income stream.

People in the first camp will tend to base their decisions on what they want to do. They'll play what they want, wear what they want, etc. etc. People from the second camp will tend to base their decisions on what the audience wants. They will tend to analyze every aspect of their show, from sound system, to lights, to song selection to image, and try to use each to maximize their appeal to the audience and in the end maximize the value of the band.

Neither camp is right or wrong. But you'll see these arguments all the time, whether talking about song selection, or image or the importance of lights, etc. etc. etc. I think a lot of times we need to think about BOTH camps when answering the OP.

For example, IMO, if you're a content $500 bar band, image is of little importance. If however you strive for higher paying gigs, you must be cognisant of the visual image of your band. This doesn't mean wearing a monkey suit, it simply means (as SeniorBlues pointed out earlier) portraying the image that you want the crowd to perceive you as. YMMV

Complete aside (and music unrelated). People make their first impression of you in the first 2 seconds of meeting, and the single characteristic that has the most influence on that impression: Hair.

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I know, I know. Don't get me wrong--they were a GREAT band and groundbreaking in their style and influence, but the whole image and schtick and marketing was as corporate as all get out.


But because you and I are able to see the bigger picture of how their whole schtick worked and didn't fall for the "we're the ANTI-corporate punk band with the ANTI-corporate sound!" marketing hook, line and sinker, supposedly WE'RE the ones who "just don't get it"...


:facepalm:




I dont see them as anything new ,,, in fact they were basically just a rehash of the bands like the shadows of night and early rock bands.

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Neither camp is right or wrong. But you'll see these arguments all the time, whether talking about song selection, or image or the importance of lights, etc. etc. etc. I think a lot of times we need to think about BOTH camps when answering the OP.

 

 

As someone who is often in the center of these debates, I think this argument between the two camps is getting really old. I'm sure it must be getting REALLY old for those who don't participate in them.

 

I think it would be best if everyone would just take a step back and realize the differences and try to have a mutual respect for each other. And understand that if, for example, the "semi-pros" are talking about which "party" songs work and don't work for us, that doesn't mean that we're preaching to the "paid-hobbyists" that they have to do "party" songs at all. Conversely, if the "paid-hobbyists" are talking about how best to pull off a blues-jam, it doesn't mean they are preaching to the "semi-pros" that they need to do blues-jams.

 

It would be great if everyone could understand that conversations among these sub-groups are not meant as affronts to other sub-groups.

 

I think it's a reasonable assumption that anyone concerned enough about "Your Band's IMAGE: What Works And What Doesn't" is someone who is at least aspiring to be in the "semi-pro" catagory. So while everyone is entitled to express their opinion, I don't really see what value there is for the "paid-hobbyists" to chime in that they think the entire concept of image or dress is not important. It only fuels the long-running and increasingly-boring debate going on here.

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But do you really want people to be focused on the gear mfg, chosen heros, clever slogan, etc. that you're displaying on your chest? (probably mostly obscured by your axe or too small to read or identify.) Photographers refer to distracting elements in a composition, ie something that draws the eye away from the intended focal point. High contrast lettering is seldom included in a photograph . . . unless it's an integral part of the the subject.

 

 

Unless you're getting paid to wear it, I've never understood why anyone would want to wear a "Fender" shirt in a photo shoot or even on stage. I certainly agree with you that such logos are a distraction to a photo composition.

 

But I've never really understood the whole draw of such merchandising, even though it's obviously a HUGE business. I've never really understood why someone would want to pay $200 for, say, a Hard Rock Cafe jacket. They should be paying ME to advertise for them, not the other way around!

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The first camp are what I'll call "paid hobbyists". These people/bands look at this as a release which also has a benefit that you can make some money.


The second camp is the "semi-pro's", people who approach this as more of a second job and are looking at this as a significant income stream.


People in the first camp will tend to base their decisions on what
they
want to do. They'll play what they want, wear what they want, etc. etc. People from the second camp will tend to base their decisions on what the
audience
wants.

 

 

I really don't see this as an either or situation, but maybe it's because I used to belong to a third camp - full time pro. Now I'm in the hobby camp, but because I've been a pro and also am the sole proprietor of a business, I'm happy to give clients a lot of things because it's the professional thing to do when you're being paid and hope to get more paying jobs in a difficult market, but also because if you meet them half way, they'll be more receptive to your particular brand of music.

 

I suppose you could flip it and give them the standard music set list and dress the way you want, but for me it's about the music first. I'll give them the lights, dress, presentation, mix, etc. if it will help the music go over.

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for me it's about the music first. I'll give them the lights, dress, presentation, mix, etc. if it will help the music go over.

 

 

All that other stuff exists only to enhance the music. Unless you're KISS, I think that's true for every band.

 

Obviously to what degree a band wants to or needs to rely on that other stuff varies from band to band. But I really believe it is an unequivicoble fact that every band benefits from that stuff. Even Pat Metheny tours with a full light show instead of just turning on the white stage lights.

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I really don't see this as an either or situation, but maybe it's because I used to belong to a third camp - full time pro. Now I'm in the hobby camp, but because I've been a pro and also am the sole proprietor of a business, I'm happy to give clients a lot of things because it's the professional thing to do when you're being paid and hope to get more paying jobs in a difficult market, but also because if you meet them half way, they'll be more receptive to your particular brand of music.


I suppose you could flip it and give them the standard music set list and dress the way you want, but for me it's about the music first. I'll give them the lights, dress, presentation, mix, etc. if it will help the music go over.

 

 

It was totally a sweeping generalization that I was making. Of course there's lots of shades of gray in there. However, hang out for a while and you'll see these two "camps" define themselves over and over again.

 

And I agree, in the final analysis, you've got to be good musically. To me, that's a given. Everything else is window dressing. However, I do also think that the window dressing can often provide huge differentiation between bands when musically, they are very similar.

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hang out for a while and you'll see these two "camps" define themselves over and over again.



Been here for a while, actually. Changed my keyboard avatar and name to keep this off the front page of google searches.

You didn't recognize my writing style? ;)

Carl

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I know, I know. Don't get me wrong--they were a GREAT band and groundbreaking in their style and influence, but the whole image and schtick and marketing was as corporate as all get out.


But because you and I are able to see the bigger picture of how their whole schtick worked and didn't fall for the "we're the ANTI-corporate punk band with the ANTI-corporate sound!" marketing hook, line and sinker, supposedly WE'RE the ones who "just don't get it"...


:facepalm:



What you don't seem to get is the difference between legendary pop cultural icons and a bunch of guys in matching dockers and polo shirts playing covers in a dive bar.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. :o

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What you don't seem to get is the difference between legendary pop cultural icons and a bunch of guys in matching dockers and polo shirts playing covers in a dive bar.

 

 

No, I get the difference. The problem here is that this difference is irrelevant to the topic here.

 

Why do you think that only aspiring "legendary pop cultural icons" should try to dress in a manner that will further the success of their band or take how their band dresses seriously?

 

That's a completely ludicrious argument to make.

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No, I get the difference. The problem here is that this difference is irrelevant to the topic here.


Why do you think that only aspiring "legendary pop cultural icons" should try to dress in a manner that will further the success of their band or take how their band dresses seriously?


That's a completely ludicrious argument to make.



If it's irrelevant, then why did you bring it up in the first place? I'm just responding to your smarmy personal attacks about of all things my avatar. :rolleyes:

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What you don't seem to get is the difference between legendary pop cultural icons and a bunch of guys in matching dockers and polo shirts playing covers in a dive bar.


Not that there's anything wrong with that.
:o




Timing was everyting for the ramones. as a band they were acutally pretty marginal in ability when compared to bands that came before them. The leather jacket look is as old as The Wild Ones,,, With Marlon Brando

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If it's irrelevant, then why did you bring it up in the first place? I'm just responding to your smarmy personal attacks about of all things my avatar.
:rolleyes:



Ummmmm..... YOU were the one who brought up the supposed "difference" and insisted it was relevant. Not me.

I brought up The Ramones and your avatar of them as evidence that how a band dresses DOES matter.

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Timing was everyting for the ramones. as a band they were acutally pretty marginal in ability when compared to bands that came before them. The leather jacket look is as old as The Wild Ones,,, With Marlon Brando

 

 

They took something from the culture and recontextualized it to make it new. That's called postmodernism. Saying everyone in the band has to wear dockers so the douche at TGIF or wherever will give you a gig is a completely different mentality. Pretty much the opposite mentality, in fact (in my opinion).

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Timing was everyting for the ramones. as a band they were acutally pretty marginal in ability when compared to bands that came before them. The leather jacket look is as old as The Wild Ones,,, With Marlon Brando

 

 

50's retro was very hip in the early/mid 70s. Think "Happy Days", "Crocodile Rock" and a million other things. (Whatever took place 20 years ago is ALWAYS very hip it seems.)

 

The Ramones were basically ripping off Fonzie.

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Ummmmm..... YOU were the one who brought up the supposed "difference" and insisted it was relevant. Not me.


I brought up The Ramones and your avatar of them as evidence that how a band dresses DOES matter.



That's kind of a bogus argument, since I wouldn't have had to mention anything about it at all if you hadn't chimed in with your smarmy "isn't it ironic" comment. :rolleyes:

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They took something from the culture and recontextualized it to make it new. That's called postmodernism. Saying everyone in the band has to wear dockers so the douche at TGIF or wherever will give you a gig is a completely different mentality. Pretty much the opposite mentality, in fact (in my opinion).

 

 

 

whatever ,, the ramones were pretty much a band of hacks. They got lucky and hit. Musically they kinda sucked from my point of view. It was garage rock for the most part. It caught on because you didnt have to be very good to cover it.

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whatever ,, the ramones were pretty much a band of hacks. They got lucky and hit. Musically they kinda sucked from my point of view. It was garage rock for the most part. It caught on because you didnt have to be very good to cover it.



No, it caught on because people were sick of self-indulgent country crap rock like hotel california. Way to have some insight into the culture, though. :rolleyes: "punk only caught on because you didn't have to be good to cover it." Like the idea of starting a punk band was to cover other punk bands. That would be the surest way not to be punk.

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They took something from the culture and recontextualized it to make it new. That's called postmodernism. Saying everyone in the band has to wear dockers so the douche at TGIF or wherever will give you a gig is a completely different mentality. Pretty much the opposite mentality, in fact (in my opinion).

 

 

 

Sorry, but I don't see how saying everyone in the band has to wear tight jeans and leather jackets so the douche at CBGBs will give you a gig has any significant difference at all.

 

The only difference at all that I can detect is that YOU think there is one because of the "level" the bands are striving towards.

 

But that's silly and and misses the point. That's like saying that only McDonalds should worry about the quality of the condiments going on their hamburgers and not the local burger joint.

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Sorry, but I don't see how saying everyone in the band has to wear tight jeans and leather jackets so the douche at CBGBs will give you a gig has any significant difference at all.

 

 

I know you don't. That's been apparent pretty much from the beginning.

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