Do Clothes Make The Band?

Music and fashion have always gone hand in hand. Rock stars and models date each other. One minute it’s cool to wear spandex the next minute it’s shorts and combat boots. It’s a case of do you want you want to look like your rock star heroes or do you want your rock stars to look like you?

Music in almost all forms, is at its core, about individualism and rebellion. The way we can do that outwardly is with our appearance and what we wear. Grow your hair long, cut it short, shave it off, dye it pink, and or make it big. Get a sleeve of tattoos and or multiple piercings. In a lot of ways music leads the way for fashion trends.

To me its funny that a bunch of broke and hungry musicians can be at the forefront of a billion dollar industry. Somewhere there was a guitar player too destitute to buy a new pair of jeans, so he wore them every day. He tripped on a cable tearing a hole in the knee. Somebody somewhere saw that and said to themselves, that’s cool and edgy. The result became that designers now sell their jeans pre-ripped or "distressed", often for more money than new jeans.

Rock went from went from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones. Two of the Mount Rushmores of rock bands. Most people can agree with that. Now picture in your mind The Beatles. Do you see mop tops and suits, or Sgt. Peppers? Picture The Rolling Stones now. What do you see? The iconic Jagger lips logo or Keith Richards and his jeans playing his guitar on the neck?

Fast forward to the 80’s hard rock bands of the MTV era. Loud guitars, vocals, bass, and drums. Close your eyes again. What do you picture? Big hair, leather, spandex, black, and bright colors? Grunge was the answer to “hair metal” But where does grunges sound come from? Loud guitars vocals, bass, and drums. Sound familiar? But what do you see? Flannels shirts, shorts and combat boots. Same core different fashion. So was grunge a musical revolution or a fashion one?

It used to be if you saw, say, Nikki Sixx walking down the street you’d know. He looked different from everyone else. Same could be said for Eddie Vedder. Now a days if you saw the lead singer from Breaking Benjamin, (a band I really really like) could you even recognize him? I couldn’t. I’m a fan of my rock stars looking like rock stars. But that’s just me.

Don’t think clothes have anything to do with music? Last week my Facebook feed was littered with pictures and articles from a band that is dressing like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons!! When it’s all said and done, the music ultimately wins out. If David Bowie’s music sucked then he would be remembered the same way we remember the band Dead or Alive. “Oh yeah that weird looking cross dressing dude, so what’s for lunch.” Instead, Bowie is an icon who pushed the envelope both sonically and visually.

So if you want to be rock stars go find something to make you stand out from the crowd, but also spend more time working on your craft.