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#1
Now... My band has decided to adopt a costumed look wherein we don irregular clothing for performances. The Drummer snags a Dracula cape and some fangs, the Bassist wears a viking helmet and a pelt, and I wear a 60s style motorcycle fringe vest (think Peter Fonda in Easy Rider) and a lot of bandannas.

Would this serve to only perpetuate our music under a gimmick and a mockery, or would the gimmick be passable enough to allow the music to speak for itself where the image would be for us to differentiate ourselves from other rock bands?
#2
I'd say gimmick

EDIT: especially right now where even sounding like a band is enough to pass as a gimmick that will polarise opinion
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#4
Sounds like two of them are jut ripped from Adam D of Killswitch. He's worn both the cape and the helmet at one point. In his case it works because he's already made it. But, in a less known band, I'd imagine it just look off-putting.
#5
I wear a poncho on stage, people laugh at me when i walk on, but we soon wipe the smirks of their faces hahaha

I think its good, as long as you can pass it off as a gimmick. It shouldn't draw attention away from the music really, unless the costume is so spectacularly amazing they just stand and stare at it for hours, like a sparkley rainbow manhammock etc

Also, since people have crap memory, they are not likely to remeber much of a song they have heard once while half-drunk, so even if they remember you as "that band who wore awesome costumes", at least they remember you.

Just, don't over do it
#6
Quote by uk.mace
Personally I think costumes and all that stuff can distract the listener from the music, and I don't like it. I don't see how bands that do so can take themselves seriously.
Also, poll?


gwar does the costume thing, but they started as a joke, just liten to there first cd. they do keep getting better and better, and write amazing music.
#7
If there's one thing I personally cannot stand, it's how bands now a days just wear their street clothes when they play.
I think that looks super unprofessional, not to mention, extremely boring.
The dracula cape and all that in the original post is lame, but I like bands to at least put some thought into how they look.
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#8
Quote by metalmlitiachaz
gwar does the costume thing, but they started as a joke, just liten to there first cd. they do keep getting better and better, and write amazing music.

But I think a lot of people still see them as a joke, the same with Lordi - the only people have heard of them is because of the costumes they're wearing, not because of their music. Similar with some black metal bands, such as Dimmu Borgir and Immortal.
IMO at least
#9
Quote by Sleaze Disease
If there's one thing I personally cannot stand, it's how bands now a days just wear their street clothes when they play.
I think that looks super unprofessional, not to mention, extremely boring.
The dracula cape and all that in the original post is lame, but I like bands to at least put some thought into how they look.


depends on the genre of music, you should look the part of the music you are trying to play in my opinion, im in a blues southern rock type band and i mainly wear jeans and a nice shirt and baseball cap goin for the blue collar look that my fans will relate too, this is what all bands should do. street clothes isnt necessarily a bad thing its just all about relating to your fans
#10
Do what you want!

If the music is actually good it doesn't matter what you look like, and indeed wearing crazy **** on stage may actually help get your name out there.

But you shouldn't always wear the same **** I think. Change it up, wear whatever crazy **** you can find! Men's clothes, womens clothes, costumes, hardly anything, way too much, anythng you can think of! I'm fond of masks personally, I've got a couple of funny masks I've made, like one made out of duct tape.
#11
Quote by Wonthefu
Do what you want!

If the music is actually good it doesn't matter what you look like, and indeed wearing crazy **** on stage may actually help get your name out there.

But you shouldn't always wear the same **** I think. Change it up, wear whatever crazy **** you can find! Men's clothes, womens clothes, costumes, hardly anything, way too much, anythng you can think of! I'm fond of masks personally, I've got a couple of funny masks I've made, like one made out of duct tape.


to an extent i agree but a jazz band doesnt exactly need to come out on stage wearing corpse paint do they?
#12
Well, look at just about any of the most famous players--they all have a recognizable image that people know right when they see it.
Some bands are like that too; KISS for example.

I also think there's a fine line when it comes to dressing up to play.
It's very easy to look cheesy (that rhymed).
That could very easily be the one thing that seals your fate and nobody will take you serious.
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#13
Well, it all depends. Like someone said - in a blues band, you're not gonna come out in leather pants and face-paint.

If I got a band to the gigging stage, I probably would make as much effort as I would for a date or w/e - look decent, clean clothes, but not much more than my everyday outfit. Because costumes are either retarded (viking clothes) or imitating something else (leather pants, a top hat).
#15
I don't believe physical appearance should have a damn thing to do with an artist's music. If your really worried, learn to play in the dark and turn off all the light's near the stage, then no one will have a damn clue what you look like and it'll no longer matter.
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#16
Quote by Highwaytohell
Now... My band has decided to adopt a costumed look wherein we don irregular clothing for performances. The Drummer snags a Dracula cape and some fangs, the Bassist wears a viking helmet and a pelt, and I wear a 60s style motorcycle fringe vest (think Peter Fonda in Easy Rider) and a lot of bandannas.

Would this serve to only perpetuate our music under a gimmick and a mockery, or would the gimmick be passable enough to allow the music to speak for itself where the image would be for us to differentiate ourselves from other rock bands?


What kind of music do you play / sound like? Unless you're a gimmicky pop band I dont think the dracula cape and viking helmet will go over well.

If you rock hard, there is only one word: Leather.
#17
I wear I pirate hat, but Adam D from Killswitch Engage wears stuff like that all the time.

I write songs.
YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THEM
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#18
Quote by WyvernOmega
I wear I pirate hat, but Adam D from Killswitch Engage wears stuff like that all the time.

But he's already made a name for himself.
I seriously doubt he wore **** like that when they were playing clubs and trying to get a label interested.
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#19
Hmmm
For the record we play Prog/Psychadelic Metal music. or so it would be termed
I personally just feel like too many bands don't have that recognizable image to them. it becomes very hard to find something that will work....
Last edited by Highwaytohell at Feb 19, 2009,
#20
Quote by dmiwshicldply
depends on the genre of music, you should look the part of the music you are trying to play in my opinion, im in a blues southern rock type band and i mainly wear jeans and a nice shirt and baseball cap goin for the blue collar look that my fans will relate too, this is what all bands should do. street clothes isnt necessarily a bad thing its just all about relating to your fans


Yeah, but you still acknowledge that at least you go with nice shirt.

The best rule of thumb is to take the fan base into consideration then dress just one notch nicer than they do. Kind of the same thing as if you were giving a speech. (that is if you're not going for a gimmick of course like the TS suggests).

It's tricky TS, people get all worked up over how "authentic" a band seems, and if you over do it you might lose street cred even as you gain notoriety.
#21
TBH we don't even have street cred or notoriety. despite being together for a year, we really haven't played too many shows (we've played like 5) due to an excruciating amount of time spent on writing our massive collective of original tunes. We put our first demos on myspace only a month ago

Thats really the main thing i'm worried about mike, I don't want people to think its trying to hard, but I want people to say ahh thats funny/cool or something of that nature. I want it to stand out whilst simultaneously being awesome.
#23
Quote by Sleaze Disease
If there's one thing I personally cannot stand, it's how bands now a days just wear their street clothes when they play.
I think that looks super unprofessional, not to mention, extremely boring.
The dracula cape and all that in the original post is lame, but I like bands to at least put some thought into how they look.


I don't get you at all, how is wearing your own clothes a bad idea?
Should we all dress differently onstage to make ourselves look cooler? Please....

Anyways, this weekend the Carnaval holiday/tradition/whateveryawannacallit coming up here in Ye Aulde Netherlands.
It's basically an excuse to dress like an idiot and drink beer until it comes out your rear (is that possible? )
Funny about this is that everyone from the metalheads to the cool kids to the elderly act along, so for an occasion like this I'd definitely go dressed up. Otherwise, I'd just go in my normal clothes.
#24
Quote by MarauderNL
I don't get you at all, how is wearing your own clothes a bad idea?
Should we all dress differently onstage to make ourselves look cooler? Please....

Anyways, this weekend the Carnaval holiday/tradition/whateveryawannacallit coming up here in Ye Aulde Netherlands.
It's basically an excuse to dress like an idiot and drink beer until it comes out your rear (is that possible? )
Funny about this is that everyone from the metalheads to the cool kids to the elderly act along, so for an occasion like this I'd definitely go dressed up. Otherwise, I'd just go in my normal clothes.


Wearing your own clothes is by no means a bad idea, however, it becomes easier for one to be branded and assoicated with if said band has a definitive image - especially when everybody goes up in a jeans and a t-shirt. Its not about cooler really, its about branding
#25
If you wanna do it, then do it.
Anyone who says it can distract the listener from the music obviously has attention-deficit problems.
#26
Quote by SlackerBabbath
If you wanna do it, then do it.
Anyone who says it can distract the listener from the music obviously has attention-deficit problems.



The only issue I see is that some of the snooty fans that pride themselves on being "the first to find it" are usually obsessed with how sincere and "real" a band is and they might turn up their noses a bit at something that comes blatently off as a costume.

The only reason it's worth caring about is that those type of snobs actually do a really good job of promoting new bands that they've heard. they thoroughly spread the word and encourage people to come to shows (otherwise the band would never get popular enough that the fan could stop liking them and get to say "I knew about them before they sold out")

I'm using some cynical stereotypes here, but I think there's a little truth in it. Maybe not quite enough to base your branding strategy around, but it's something to consider.
#27
Quote by dullsilver_mike
The only issue I see is that some of the snooty fans that pride themselves on being "the first to find it" are usually obsessed with how sincere and "real" a band is and they might turn up their noses a bit at something that comes blatently off as a costume.

The only reason it's worth caring about is that those type of snobs actually do a really good job of promoting new bands that they've heard. they thoroughly spread the word and encourage people to come to shows (otherwise the band would never get popular enough that the fan could stop liking them and get to say "I knew about them before they sold out")

I'm using some cynical stereotypes here, but I think there's a little truth in it. Maybe not quite enough to base your branding strategy around, but it's something to consider.


Well we don't actually have a fanbase or a functioning street team. Our only fans are basically other bands we've played with and some of our friends. So in reality those snobs would think that the whole outfit thing might be us anyways
#28
Quote by MarauderNL
I don't get you at all, how is wearing your own clothes a bad idea?
Should we all dress differently onstage to make ourselves look cooler? Please....

All I said what that I find people just wearing dirty, baggy jeans and a t-shirt boring as ****.
I paid to see people put on a show and to be entertained, not a bunch of guys that looked like they walked in off the street and started playing.
Bands should at least make an effort as to how they look.
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#29
All I know is that if I saw a band dressed like trick-or-treaters, I would find it hard to give them credit, especially if they're playing a genre that's "hard" to get into.
#30
Quote by Highwaytohell
Hmmm
For the record we play Prog/Psychadelic Metal music. or so it would be termed
I personally just feel like too many bands don't have that recognizable image to them. it becomes very hard to find something that will work....


Prog metal? Like Queensryche kinda stuff? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhNFeRzs7io

Idk, if it's kinda that mood you could try the 80s rocker kinda outfits. Just stay away from the leopard skin and hairspray, that looks super cheesey

I take it by your avatar that you're a Alice Cooper fan? Why don't you check out what his band did as far as a stage image. Like dont copy him *cough* Marylin Manson *cough* but see how being pretty out there is awesome. He pretty much invented glam/shock rock and it was all thanks to his idea of being rock and roll's villan.

Think of iconic people that you can instantly recognize at a glance. Some examples might be Buckethead or Ozzy Osbourne. What do they have in common? They did something different. IMO your viking hat and vampire cape would look kinda stupid but then again I will probably never see you guys play until you make it big ahaha.
#31
Quote by Superstrat101
Prog metal? Like Queensryche kinda stuff? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhNFeRzs7io

Idk, if it's kinda that mood you could try the 80s rocker kinda outfits. Just stay away from the leopard skin and hairspray, that looks super cheesey

I take it by your avatar that you're a Alice Cooper fan? Why don't you check out what his band did as far as a stage image. Like dont copy him *cough* Marylin Manson *cough* but see how being pretty out there is awesome. He pretty much invented glam/shock rock and it was all thanks to his idea of being rock and roll's villan.

Think of iconic people that you can instantly recognize at a glance. Some examples might be Buckethead or Ozzy Osbourne. What do they have in common? They did something different. IMO your viking hat and vampire cape would look kinda stupid but then again I will probably never see you guys play until you make it big ahaha.


You know my music is in my signature?
lol

Drummer decided to dress as a wizard instead and the bassist is just going to be a barbarian. I'm still going with some crazy psychadelia Tommy-themed thing i suppose.
#32
Quote by Highwaytohell
You know my music is in my signature?
lol

Drummer decided to dress as a wizard instead and the bassist is just going to be a barbarian. I'm still going with some crazy psychadelia Tommy-themed thing i suppose.


AHHH ic lmao. My bad, should pay more attention.

IDK, a wizard + barbarian seems a little gimmicky even with your music
#33
Quote by dullsilver_mike
The only issue I see is that some of the snooty fans that pride themselves on being "the first to find it" are usually obsessed with how sincere and "real" a band is and they might turn up their noses a bit at something that comes blatently off as a costume.

The only reason it's worth caring about is that those type of snobs actually do a really good job of promoting new bands that they've heard. they thoroughly spread the word and encourage people to come to shows (otherwise the band would never get popular enough that the fan could stop liking them and get to say "I knew about them before they sold out")

I'm using some cynical stereotypes here, but I think there's a little truth in it. Maybe not quite enough to base your branding strategy around, but it's something to consider.


Possibly, but then, what's one cynical fan fan compared to three or four fanatical fans? Because that's what happens when bands dress up and introduce a spot of theatre to their gigs. Look at Kiss for example and the 'Kiss Army'
I can guarrantee that a fanatical fan will do a damn sight more promotion for his/her favourite band than a cynical one.

At the end of the day, dressing up is simply a way of turning a gig into a 'show.'
It makes the gig more of a spectacle, and especialy when added to a decent stage set and lights makes for a more entertaining gig and provides value for the money it cost for the ticket.
Get two bands of equal musical and playing ability and have only one of them making some sort of an effort to make their gigs look good as well as sound good and they will soon surpass the band that makes no effort at all and plays gigs in their street clothes with a minimum of thought towards presenting the band in any way at all, which they then laughingly claim is cooler or has more 'street cred' to cover up the fact that they simply cannot be bothered to do anything with the band apart from become a production line of writing songs and playing them with minimum effort, thought and finance going into their performance, if you could call it a performance.
#34
i think it sounds like a bad idea.
i was watching a bloc party video the other day, and they all wore different coloured construction hats. im not sure if one of the village people wore a construction hat, but thats what it reminded me off, so it was a bad thing.

good luck with it, but yeah, i (and everyone else) predict fail.
#35
Well, I agree with Slacker, but at the same time, I feel there's a limit. Dressing up as a wizard/viking doesn't make the show more entertaining, perhaps more funny for the crowd.
#36
Little recap. Your idea istrikes me as lame but at least you put thought in your bands other then just music music music.

You need to take a few steps back and see how you can "dress up" in a slightly more... "over-gimmicky" way I guess. Perhaps just a cowboy hat, extreme fake jewelry. But a whole outfit is overdoing it.
#37
When I went to see the Arctic Monkeys, the drummer came out dressed as Spiderman and it wasn't over the top.
#38
Last night I saw Parliment Funkadelic... holy crap if you wanna see stage outfits go see them!
Of course Mr. Clinton had his signature dreads and crazy jacket, the backup singers were all dressed up, one girl they had dressed like tina turner. One of thier guitarists was dressed in nothing but a diaper made out of a sweatshirt- man and they had one guy come out dressed in a fuzzy white hat pants and cape with a huge fake plastic nose...

But none of this detracted from the music, if anything it made it more fun
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#40
At the end of the day, dressing up is simply a way of turning a gig into a 'show.'
It makes the gig more of a spectacle, and especialy when added to a decent stage set and lights makes for a more entertaining gig and provides value for the money it cost for the ticket.


I would agree with this...but only if you have a decent stage presence, a unified 'look' and good lighting.

With only the costumes, you're going to look like 'we decided to dress stupidly for this show'. Which isn't entirely the idea you want to put in people's heads if you want to communicate serious ideas or thoughts with your lyrics. (Just thought that was worth putting out there).

I would have said that it also makes you look a bit unprofessional, so your music will have to have that extra layer of skill and tightness to make up for the look (others might disagree with me, mind).

I wouldn't go as far as costumes - clothing pushing a particular style to the extreme, yes, but not dressing as Vikings. Inevitably, unless you put a *lot* of money into it you'll look like you're going to a ****ty Halloween party, and again that looks unprofessional.

The reason KISS, Alice Cooper, and so on get away with fancy costumes is that they are just that - fancy, and really worth looking at. The KISS makeup looks a nightmare to put on and get right, and the stagemanship required to get Alice Cooper's whole show, with snakes and guillotines and psychopathic nurses to actually look good needs a massive backstage crew.

Some kid, in a pub, wearing a plastic Viking helmet and painted on chainmail...well, you'll look like a tool.

But that's just my opinion.
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