[Originally blogged 7/2/08]
|I was reading a thread on VF.com regarding Angelspit and it was mentioned several times that their fashion and image was better than the actual music. While I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, the whole thread more or less enforced my opinion on image vs. music and how they either work together or completely miss the mark with a band.
For instance, the “new” trend of steampunk (which is like 20+ years old in actuality:)). I’ve seen bands (or picture/vids of bands) where it worked amazingly to enhance their image (Abney Park, for instance), but I’ve also seen it where I couldn’t understand how the image and the music fit together, like with The Strand, as they didn’t correlate. Sure, The Strand looked great AND sounded great when we saw them live, but it was apples and oranges in terms of balance to me and distracted me from the true awesome of their charisma live (and DEFINITELY catch them if you ever can, as I mean absolutely no disrespect in my criticisms of them).
While I loves me some big, stupid glam rock, I hate seeing the same attitudes on fashion coming forth in the genres of music I make my home in, mainly because I like to think this crowd is deeper than, say, Poison. It’s totally cool to play dress up and help add a certain atmosphere with the music, but when the music is put by the wayside for the theatrics (and that includes everything from fake blood and horror movie make-up to, um, duct taping a mic to your head) and the THEATRICS run the show instead of you, then I personally feel pretty let down. Putting on a show is all well and good, but YOU put on the show, not the make-up and New Rocks and Lip Service clothes.
If your passion is for the clothes and make-up, fine, but stay off the stage if that’s all you care about, or help an image-challenged band who LOVE performing look cooler. If dressing up and posing for a crowd is your thing, be another internet model (and more power to you, I’m certainly not appearing on any sites lookin’ all fine anytime soon). Don’t just get on stage with all your props and your goggles and your hair extensions and olde timey gasmaske and expect any respect for your music. That’s just shitty performance art.
Good music is about good music. That comes first, regardless if you’re some goofy-lookin’ fuck or a total hottie. Costumes can add, but they can also take if the focus is more on the look than the sound.
Be better than that.