theatrical attire onstage

ChrisCirino

Senior Member
You're right, we are not cool, but from what I saw on burntheskies.com neither are you guys. I did like your music though, hope you find that singer.

Bottomline: Image is important, but ultimately it's the music that matters. Every band mentioned in this thread has great songs and players, the theatrics are just icing on the cake. As for the signs of the Zodiac thing, just watch the scene in Spinal Tap where David St Hubbins girlfriend becomes manager of the band and wants them to go in a new direction.
 
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wy yung

Guest
I once went on stage in my jocks. That got a bit of attention.

I wouldn't do it now. People would drop dead at the site! Or go blind.

Imagine a naked Alfred Hitchcock.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
Men's cheongsam Kung-fu coat for me, African Kaftan for George, Guayabera Shirt for Luis, Rabbi vestments for Doug, Irish Kilt for Justin. I think it would just make a lasting visual impression to go along with the lasting musical impression...

My band just totally dismissed the idea. What do you think?
I agree with the band. You'll end up looking like the village people.
 

diosdude

Silver Member
I agree with the band. You'll end up looking like the village people.
Hmmm, the village people? There was the cop, the indian, the biker, the construstion worker. One of the biggest disco bands in history and one of the biggest selling touring acts of the 70's. Why in the world would we want to repeat that level of success?
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I dunno...I guess I'm indifferent to how the band *looks* and would rather hear a killer show. Sure it seems obvious but I do think it's the most important thing. I went to a Clutch show in town a couple of months ago and they were dressed like any average shmuck in the crowd...but they tore the freakin' roof off...and the energy in the room was palpable.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Dressing like a schlub is fine for lots of bands. It depends on the audience's expectations. I like to dress well and I like playing with people who dress well. The audience usually wants to believe the performers are special people and dress adds to the experience.

Diosdude, if you are playing the kinds of venues where it would add to the audience's experience to dress in some unusual or stylish way, then do it. If you can't get your bandmates to go with the idea of stepping up the dress in some way, they're either lazy or self-conscious, which are not good qualities. So, how much do you enjoy playing with them? That's the bottom line.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
Hmmm, the village people? There was the cop, the indian, the biker, the construstion worker. One of the biggest disco bands in history and one of the biggest selling touring acts of the 70's. Why in the world would we want to repeat that level of success?
LOL! You're right......you may have something there!
 

diosdude

Silver Member
I dunno...I guess I'm indifferent to how the band *looks* and would rather hear a killer show. Sure it seems obvious but I do think it's the most important thing. I went to a Clutch show in town a couple of months ago and they were dressed like any average shmuck in the crowd...but they tore the freakin' roof off...and the energy in the room was palpable.
That's the point, Z. We already have a killer live show/ sound and we're at the point where we're asking ourselves "what can we do to stand out from the crowd?"

Dressing like a schlub is fine for lots of bands. It depends on the audience's expectations. I like to dress well and I like playing with people who dress well. The audience usually wants to believe the performers are special people and dress adds to the experience.

Diosdude, if you are playing the kinds of venues where it would add to the audience's experience to dress in some unusual or stylish way, then do it. If you can't get your bandmates to go with the idea of stepping up the dress in some way, they're either lazy or self-conscious, which are not good qualities. So, how much do you enjoy playing with them? That's the bottom line.
We play the South Florida circuit for heavy metal, mainly. There's about 5-6 clubs/ venues that are on the "A" list of places to play and another 20 or so places that are on the "B" list/ typical metal bar. There is a sea of thrash bands, death-core bands, metal bands, Post hardcore power-pop bands and Screamo's, but if you put them all in a lineup, only 10-20% of the population actually stands out musically, 10% have really pro, polished stage acts, and only 1% stands out visually. I still have not seen the local band that does all three, My band is one of the few that is 2/3 of the way there. There are a few bands around that dress up but then they end up sucking on stage so it kind of hurts them that the audience is expecting them to be "special people" but then they end up being a garage band that likes to play dress up.

Again, this is not an attempt to substitute talent and stage presence with appearance, it's rather an attempt to enhance it.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Again, this is not an attempt to substitute talent and stage presence with appearance, it's rather an attempt to enhance it.
That is the right way to approach it. Your dress, stage presence and other things will either support your music or detract from it. I think you should try to get your bandmates to stop dressing like lazy, self-conscious schlubs, if you can. You have the license to look different than everyone else, and you are expected to, so step up to it. Good music touches on other aspects of people, including clothing, and you should dress to match what you play.

If you "turned up the volume" on your dress, you might get other band people to turn up their volume as well. Nothing wrong with a little competition when they see you getting positive attention for looking like a stylish pro entertainer. Get some catalogs, Web links and magazines with the kids of clothing you are talking about and show them to your band mates.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I think you are on the right track by considering your band's appearance on stage. The way I see it, when you are performing live, you are putting on a show that is both aural and visual. If you don't exploit the visual side of things, you are really missing an opportunity to make a bigger impact and a better show.

As for your idea, I don't like it so much. Being clownish about ethnicity may be a turnoff for some people. Even if being clownish is not your intent, it may well be perceived that way. People can already see your band is ethnically diverse. Wouldn't it be better to treat it like it's really no big deal?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I dunno...I guess I'm indifferent to how the band *looks* and would rather hear a killer show. Sure it seems obvious but I do think it's the most important thing. I went to a Clutch show in town a couple of months ago and they were dressed like any average shmuck in the crowd...but they tore the freakin' roof off...and the energy in the room was palpable.
But see, that is their image.

Every band has an image. It might be simple, or complex, but it's still there.

You can say a band looked like the audience, they they attracted that audience that has the same look as the band does.

A country band may look like their audience too, but it's not the same look as a modern rock band that looks just like everyone in their respective audience.

You wouldn't wear a tux to your underground rock show, and you wouldn't wear an old pair of jeans to a wedding casual, but in each case, a decision about the bands look was taken in account.

The Beatles were considered outrageous looking when they 1st became big, and they wore suits like everyone else!
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
But see, that is their image.

Every band has an image. It might be simple, or complex, but it's still there.

You can say a band looked like the audience, they they attracted that audience that has the same look as the band does.

A country band may look like their audience too, but it's not the same look as a modern rock band that looks just like everyone in their respective audience.

You wouldn't wear a tux to your underground rock show, and you wouldn't wear an old pair of jeans to a wedding casual, but in each case, a decision about the bands look was taken in account.

The Beatles were considered outrageous looking when they 1st became big, and they wore suits like everyone else!
You're right, that is their image. I guess what I meant is; they put no effort into their image. They're a bunch of guys in jeans and t-shirts. No wigs...neon jock straps...nipple clamps, etc. Pretty much as minimalist as you get in rock 'n roll.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You're right, that is their image. I guess what I meant is; they put no effort into their image. They're a bunch of guys in jeans and t-shirts. No wigs...neon jock straps...nipple clamps, etc. Pretty much as minimalist as you get in rock 'n roll.
Well, jeans and t-shirts is kind of the "in" thing right now.

The Beatles wore suits with slightly long hair, it was radical. Then everyone did it. So tye-dye and really long hair became the new thing. Then everyone did it. Which gave way to more leather, until that got old.
When bands 1st started wearing spandex in the 80's, it was radical. And then after 10 years, everyone did it to the point is was boring. Then Nirvana came out with jeans and old flannel. It was a radical look for a rock band at the time, because it wasn't expected, and then everyone did it. Flannel gave way to plain t-shirts to avoid looking too stuck in the 90's.

Now plain jeans and t-shirts is the expected look. Other than Slipknot and a few others, almost every rock band from alt to punk to metal and everywhere in between has the jeans and t-shirt look nowadays.

So some might think this particular band had not much of an image, but if you look at the history of rock-n-roll, it could be argued they're following the latest trend (although I'm not saying that is in fact what they're doing...just pointing it out).
 
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