Band "Look"

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by WisconsinStrings, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    How many of your bands have a specific "look"? We are just starting a cover band and the singer really wants us to have a look. One of the popular bands in the area does. They all dress up geeky (taped glasses, bright colors, pocket protectors). It's fun because then fans come to the show dressed the same.

    That works for them, but unless we have a really good idea, I'm not sure it will work for us. Plus, I want to be careful coping them.

    What are you guys doing?
     
  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My band is riding the yacht wave this summer w/ matching shorts and island-y shirts. It's very silly. Somebody suggested suits and ties.

    Watch Letterman, et al. for some good band uniforms in some cases.
     
  3. Cooper Black

    Cooper Black Tele-Afflicted

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    Covering what style? Once you know that, think of popular trends/movies/looks from that set. 50's Rock Band looks different than 90's Rock Band.

    Playing restaurants, being well dressed is a requirement. Beyond that, I like everyone to dress like a band member, to wear clothing that wants to be seen on stage.
     
  4. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    We have some really good vintage stores around here. I've got a half dozen western suits, Christina has found some great dresses and skirts. The bass player likes steam punk but she'll mix it with some cowboy stuff and it works. And the drummer de jour sits in the back.

    We try to dress better than the crowd. But when in doubt, wear black.
     
  5. Stratburst

    Stratburst Friend of Leo's

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    See my sig.
     
  6. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    I think "dressing up" or "alike" or any other idea is ridiculous...it reminds me of Kiss or Devo. (When I think of Kiss I think of those Evil Clown type movies and shake my head).

    However, on the other side, if I walk into a venue, and the band is in cargo shorts, "wife-beater" T's, and sandals, I walk out. IMO they don't care enough to dress properly, surely they don't care what others think, why bother spending your money on them?

    My band was off work one night, went out to hear some bands, and we walked into a bar and listened to the band (they were missing their drummer who got hospitalized right before gig). On a break, their leader walked up to our table and said, "Which one of you is the drummer?" (he knew from looking at us we were a band). I said "That would be me" he said, "Can you fill in the rest of the night?".....sure. I got paid well too. Played with them off/on for a long time.

    It pays to look like a band member!
     
  7. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There's a lot of real estate between dressing up alike, and KISS

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Carlsson

    Carlsson Tele-Holic

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    Sure looks can mirror the bands musical style, but it can be done in other ways too. Could be kinda' cool to wear 3 piece suits while playing really dirty, messy rock 'n roll for example.

    Whatever you do though, do not under any circumstances copy the style of another band... Unless you want to be a tribute act for a cover band :)
     
  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    What is the political structure of your band? If you make decisions by consensus then everyone will have to agree. If one of you is the band leader, then you can set some standards. Those standards could range from "wear whatever you want except no flip-flops, Crocs, cargo shorts, or ripped up shirts", to "wear Barney the Dinosaur suits". (You laugh, but I have a friend in a band that dresses up as plush animals, just like the Flaming Lips sometimes do).

    I agree with previous posters that looks and style do matter. Some guys refuse to care, claiming that they are rebels, that music is one place in their life where they want to just wear whatever they feel like. If you have one of those guys in your band and you operate as a democracy, then good luck getting rid of the nasty torn up t-shirts and flip-flops. Maybe if you can connect the dots and convince the rebel, "if we dress like this, then we get gigs like this, which leads to $$ like this", so there is a clear incentive.

    Be careful what you ask for, though-- a lot of guys wear stuff that I think is downright ridiculous, but they think it's cool. They get all cleaned up and spiffy (in their minds) and I'm wishing they were back in the skanky t-shirt and flip flops.
     
  10. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    This is an interesting discussion. I personally believe that being on stage is an opportunity for me to venture into dress styles that I usually wouldn't. I don't go over the top with anything, but as an example a year or two ago I decided that I wanted some type of hat/headwear for onstage, so I bought a couple of fedoras. I wear them out sometimes, even while not playing music, but I have a feeling I wouldn't have tried this if I didn't have the excuse in my head that it was my "stage look."

    My personal experience aside, I like to at least wear a shirt with a collar, and not my crappy work polos. If I'm playing with the band I lead, I encourage them to do the same. Uniforms can be nice if done right. I saw a surf band about a month ago that had matching customized bowling shirts. That, and each member wore some type of black pants. I remember at the time thinking that something relatively simple like that really went a long way in creating a cool look for the band.
     
  11. christhee68

    christhee68 Friend of Leo's

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    I watch bands play every night. These are professional bands and one thing they all have in common is that each band has a "look." Some wear matching bowling shirts, some wear matching tuxedos, others wear individual "outfits" with a unifying color that ties them all together. Some bands wear whatever they want as long as it's nice jeans, dressier type shoes or boots, and a button down shirt.

    In other words, if you want better gigs--go for a "look."

    P.S. You definitely don't want to be like KISS. That would suck to be still playing huge arenas for millions of people all over the world after 40 years.:rolleyes:
     
  12. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for all the great feedback.

    Our style is pop/rock. Mostly from the 80s and 90s, but we venture outside of that as well. Our mission statement is fun songs everyone can sing and dance to.

    Political structure: We have a band leader (the singer), but we are very open and make decisions as a group. He's good about only pulling the band leader card when we get stuck as a group.

    Personally, I like the idea of simply looking professional, but the singer is looking for something a little more specific.

    I pitched the bowling shirt idea, but it was pointed out to me... that may not be the most flattering to the 3 female members of the band. No sense in hiding them behind a baggy shirt. :)
     
  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think the days of identical dress have long gone. Unless you're a Motown cover band and can "step" like the Temps' the '70s kind of took care of that. But there's good and proper stage dress and then again there's not. Something that fits musical genre and consider the ladies appearance is probably the direction to head in.

    I'm all for causal and comfortable but I also agree with those who say that when people walk in the door they should be able to tell you're in the band so make it something different than they're wearing. Of course for those playing country music in honkytonks that may be a bit more challenging. The crowd there tends to dress their part too.
     
  14. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Something like this discussion has come up before, in the Bad Dog Cafe, if memory serves. But you're right, Justin, it is an interesting topic.

    Chris m, I don't know if in your eyes I would be seen as one of those "refuse to care" guys, or as a "rebel," but I refuse to dress differently on stage than I do any place else any other day of the week. And just to give you a picture (or three) of what that means in my case...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the way I dress every single day of the week, even Sundays: T-shirt, jeans and roper boots. (On Sundays, I wear my Sunday-go-to-meetin' Tees, jeans and roper boots. ;))

    For me, this consistent look has little to do with rebellion. I just like casual and comfortable, and so I don't want to dress like somebody I'm not onstage. I think my boots, jeans and tees attire (as well as my straw hats and ball caps) works well with my hair and beard.

    And christhee68, I do think it's a "look" that works for me in performance. And I use that. Onstage I'll introduce my duo partner by saying something like...

    "Ladies and gentlemen, to my right is the lovely and talented Jodie Alley, and I'm an escapee from the set of Duck Dynasty. I'm the long lost Robertson brother that Phil and Si don't like to talk about." ;) :rolleyes:
     
  15. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    LGOberean,
    I think you have your look all wrapped up with the beard. I do love the Cowboys tshirt!
     
  16. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    We have always worn Black.

    We will continue to do so until something darker comes along.
     
  17. Frank52387

    Frank52387 Tele-Meister

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    Nice! I like that

    Honestly, it all depends what type of band you are and what your looking to do...and what stage of life your in

    If your a cover band looking to please a crowd and be professional then yeah professional clothes would look nice, if people are in their 40s wearing Hawaiian shirts to summer gigs that's cool...

    I just hate when people wear those designer jeans and cheesey button up shirts, thinking they're rock and roll but look fake and pretentious

    My band is an original band...and the music we write calls for us to just be whatever, no real gimmicks...kinda like grunge, basically cargo shorts and Metallica tee-shirts...we're mid 20s don't give a crap, get drunk, have fun, melt faces...

    I know I judge people off the guitar they play or gear they have rather than what they're wearing...

    Strat and fender amp...wearing rags, You got my attention,

    line 6 and some funky ibanez wearing a suit... Not so much

    Most Mainstream bands don't/didn't wear dress clothes in their prime... They wore ripped jeans and were shirtless, ect.


    I say just be what you are and be it well...
     
  18. ryguy79

    ryguy79 Tele-Meister

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    We never went for a look, it just so happened we all usually wear snap shirts or rock t-shirts anyway. Personally, I'm a fan of non-cowboy/non-baseball hats and jean jackets as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. dman

    dman Tele-Afflicted

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    Larry G, you get my vote. Comfort is king. I'll wear whatever the heck I like, thank you very much.
     
  20. sequencepro

    sequencepro Tele-Meister

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    The truth is, though, lots of people "hear with their eyes", especially promoters, agents, venue owners, etc.
    If you're happy making $100-150 a night, keep "wearing what (you) want", but the "good gigs" consistently require a little more attention to detail, IMHE...
     
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