Mar 30, 2011

Does this guitar make my ass look big?

Dear aap-
What's your take on bands wearing any kind of uniforms matching clothes and stuff? The band I want to join says that when we start playing out we'll all have to dress a certain way. I think that is automatically lame. What do you think? - No modeling.

Dear NM:
Well, it isn't automatically lame, but there is always that potential. As with all things fashion-related, if you're not committed and 100% confident in whatever you might be wearing, you run the risk of looking foolish.

It really varies from band to band. In some ways it is good that people in your band are thinking about the 'bigger picture' much as we want to think it is "all about the music" really isn't. Some effort and thought should go in to what message the band wants to send not just sonically but visually as well. Every band has to answer the "what are we going to wear?" question sooner or later - whether the guidelines stay kind of general or you all decide on a specific uniform. ...and deciding to NOT dress alike is a statement too.

Rock bands, punk or otherwise, have defined themselves by how they do (or don't) dress themselves since well before the dawn of feedback, and it hasn't changed much since. The Hives? The White Stripes? DEVO? Gwar? The Ramones? ... I could go on because the list is endless. All of them give you some idea of where they're coming from before you've heard even one note of their music. That isn't necessarily a bad thing especially when you're just starting out and trying to develop your audience and establish your sound/look/vibe.

You just have to be careful. You have to make sure that you're not spending more time and energy discussing the band's "look" than you're spending on getting tighter and better as a band. So many new bands, when they're trying to just get off the ground, have that one member who has .... a "vision" ...and that person gets tooooo wrapped up in what to wear and what the website should look like and "are we really sure we like this name for our band." ...etc etc and a million other things when everyone's top priorities should be: to make great songs and to get good at playing together... Nail that stuff down and then you can start worrying about how everyone should look on-stage etc. Nothing is worse than being in a band that looks great but sounds like crap... don't be those guys.

So basically I'm saying that you shouldn't base your "join or don't join" decision solely on the possibility that you might have to wear matching shirts... Base your decision on the music they're playing and on the dynamic of the personalities involved... because if either of those things don't work for you from the start, then you'll never get to the costuming part anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment