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ROCK FASHION: Does style equal sales?


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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 02:30 am Reply with quote Back to top

What if Kurt Cobain didn’t wear all those cool green sweaters, smash the fuck out of his guitars and dye his hair purple back in the 90’s? Would Nirvana have been as popular as they were? What if Axl Rose never wore bandanas, kilts, spandex shorts or mesh jerseys while shrieking like a bitch and dancing like a retarded cobra? Would GNR have been the wildly successful rock n’ roll band they became? And WHAT IF Marilyn Manson never played the part of Paul on the hit comedy-drama TV show “The Wonder Years” back in 1988? Fred Savage needed a goofy, nerdy (yet secretly satanic) sidekick, and our young Marilyn was just the man for the job! Thank Hades the show was cancelled in '93 though, or we may never have heard the deliciously dark industrial metal masterpiece “Antichrist Superstar”!

You see, when ABC pulled the plug on “The Wonder Years”, Manson was so freaking upset that he changed his name from Josh Saviano to Brian Warner and THEN AGAIN to Marilyn Manson!!! He started worshipping the devil, doing drugs, banging dudes in the rear and wearing makeup. He then formed THE MARILYN MANSON BAND and they released their first album “Portrait of Kevin Arnold’s Family” in 1994. The rest my friends is rock n’ roll history!

Imagine if Manson was never fired from TV. He wouldn’t have changed his name twice, become a cross dressing Satanist, removed ribs so he could blow himself or adopted the spooky gothic look that made him famous and gave good Christian mums and dads all over the globe nightmares for years to come! Oh please Marilyn NO! NOT THE HIGH HEELS!!

Take a look at the nefarious nu metal rockers Slipcrotch. Do you really think their self-titled debut album would have gone DOUBLE PLATINUM had it not been for the kooky, clowny, crap filled costumes they wear? Sure the music was loud and intense and made you wanna beat the Pampers off yer good ol’ grandad, but if the band members all looked like the fags from Ben Folds Five, it wouldn’t have had the same impact right? Style equals sales I tell you! Shock sells and shit smells! Gross!

What about the many artists that have no style or gimmick but still make good music? Here are a few bands who possess some sort of talent, but failed to gain worldwide recognition due to their lack of pizazz or charm or something. To put it bluntly, they sing a good song but look like a bag of smashed assholes. Yick!

PEARL JAM

Let’s face it, these guys are pretty boring to watch. Sure ‘Ten’ and ‘Vs.’ were great 90’s rock albums and I have listened to them both a jillion times, but there is nothing visually exciting about the band and that’s why they never really achieved legendary worldwide rock star status. The whole band could probably walk through the busy streets of London or Tokyo and nobody would notice.

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TOOL

I'll admit that I’ve never been a fan of Tool or understood their music. Actually to be completely honest I can’t fucking stand them and I think aside from his work with Green Jelly, Maynard sucks at life and is a total douche! I suppose they DO have some kind of musical talent though, and a rather large Tool/Perfect Circle fan base out there. But even if you are a HARDCORE Tool fan (a dude who likes other dudes), you can’t deny that they look like the most boring bunch of bastards on the planet. Just look at this picture:

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Would you even recognize these guys if they walked by you on the street? Probably not. They have no style, no charisma, no appeal. They look just like a hundred million other TOOLS walking around out there. Also, I think they make long-drawn-out pointless music. There is no good reason to take a 4 minute song and then add an 11 minute slow dull boring-as-shit part in the middle! No wonder all of their music videos were just claymation and puppets, if you recorded the ACTUAL band it would have put everyone to sleep! To be fair, “Prison Sex” was a pretty good tune though.

WEEZER

Does Weezer even have any musical talent? Yeah, they did at one time. The first album and ‘Pinkerton’ were pretty much the only good things they put out. But what about style? What about the way they present themselves to the world? The Weezers look like a bunch of wannabe dorks to me. Just a bunch of bland, aging imposters with their non-prescription glasses they bought at the mall:

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So you see kiddies, If you REALLY wanna make a name for yourself in the wild and crazy world of rock n’ roll, you gotta have style! Style equals SALES, and sales equal sex in the champagne room (or in the back of a limo). And always remember to wear a jimmy hat yo, because you neva eva know what dat skanky-ass hoe be infested with!!!!
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@om*d
Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 09:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

I appreciate your activity on the forums in helping drum up some discussion around here but you keep posting articles from your blog all over the place and they really should be in the OPP forum.

Other than that, it was a good read.


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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 09:57 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks! Your right though, I'll keep blog stuff on blog and just post forum-exclusive thoughts.
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Cattivo
Joined: Apr 14 2006
Location: Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 11:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

Everyone knows Eddie Vedder and he was a big face of the Grunge movement in the early 90s, wearing open plaid shirts.

The whole point of Tool is to identify with just the music, not the image of the band members. That's why all their videos did not include them, but stop-motion animation instead. What they look like is irrelevant.

All three of those bands were huge.
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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 11:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

Cattivo wrote:
Everyone knows Eddie Vedder and he was a big face of the Grunge movement in the early 90s, wearing open plaid shirts.

The whole point of Tool is to identify with just the music, not the image of the band members. That's why all their videos did not include them, but stop-motion animation instead. What they look like is irrelevant.

All three of those bands were huge.


Yeah but not AS huge. If Nirvana, GNR & old crazy 90's Manson were touring together and Pearl Jam, Tools, & The Weezers were touring together, who do you think would have bigger crowds? Which tour would be more popular? C'mon, you know the answer. Besides, the point of the article was: Does the way a band looks make them more popular?
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Cattivo
Joined: Apr 14 2006
Location: Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 11:51 am Reply with quote Back to top

I would argue that Pearl Jam was as huge and had a distinct Grunge style. Weezer & Tool were almost as popular, while Tool's non-image was their whole point as I said, Weezer had/has a weird nerd style. For all of these bands, their style or non-style was a part of their fandom.
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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 11:53 am Reply with quote Back to top

Also, I don't think the music of TOOL is soooo complex and deep, that seeing the band members perform wouldn't be necessary. That's just the kind of douche-baggery I hate about them. They think they are super important and don't even need to try to entertain people.
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@om*d
Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 02:52 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Unfortunately image does matter when it comes to music sales when you consider the largest buying group is probably teenagers, who could care less if you sound like a piece of shit as long as you look cool and are autotuned enough. Back in the day image mattered a little less but was still quite important. Marilyn Manson was very smart to realize that and capitalize on creating a strange image to sell his mostly mediocre music.


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krislexia
Title: Now with a hint of lime
Joined: Jan 21 2007
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 03:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

@om*d wrote:
Unfortunately image does matter when it comes to music sales when you consider the largest buying group is probably teenagers, who could care less if you sound like a piece of shit as long as you look cool and are autotuned enough. Back in the day image mattered a little less but was still quite important. Marilyn Manson was very smart to realize that and capitalize on creating a strange image to sell his mostly mediocre music.


As much as I really love Marilyn Manson, I have to agree. I got interested in him for the shock value. As a teenager, I was immediately more interested in musicians who wore makeup and looked dirty, and would excuse less than spectacular musicianship for that reason. I still kinda do dig that aesthetic, but I won't listen to crap just because I dig the image.
Take for example From First to Last, the birthplace of the creature we now call Skrillex; their music is SHIT. They had the perfect emo kid wardrobe but Sonny Moore was not a good singer. Never liked them then and don't understand why anyone ever did.


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JRA
Joined: Sep 17 2007
Location: The Opium Trail
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 06:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Having a visual aesthetic certainly helps you stick out from the crowd. But they didn't have to be wildly different. You look at a band photo of Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and the Who and you can tell they're different bands with different sounds.

Nowadays its practically impossible to tell one artist from another, and I don't just mean rock in that regard.

Kris, is that gif of you?


There are a lot of what if's in life Donny. What if I hit you really hard in the face, knocked yo shit to the back of yo skull? What if I....had you girl gargle my nuts? The fact remains, you are a fuckin mutant.
 
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Bob Dylan`s Blues
Title: Worlds Strongest Man
Joined: Jun 08 2011
Location: Your nightmares
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 06:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The Sex Pistols are another great example. They were built to sell merchandise entirely based on their look. The concept was literally created in a board room. And it worked. So you can definitely make money on look and attitude. And I would go so far as to say that a very talented artist needs a certain look to be considered interesting enough to make it.
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Syd Lexia
Site Admin
Title: Pop Culture Junkie
Joined: Jul 30 2005
Location: Wakefield, MA
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 07:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

-1000 for GNR bashing.

Also, style only goes so far. If style sold records, Taylor Momsen would being a billionaire right now. Speaking of which, The Pretty Reckless are criminally underrated.
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Ross Rifle
Title: Rock N Roll God
Joined: Oct 29 2006
Location: Chilliwack, BC
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 08:04 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The Pretty Reckless are very underrated Syd, I agree. I also disagree with the GNR bashing (though that's simply opinion). I do disagree with you stating Pearl Jam, Tool, and Weezer not having worldwide popularity. I'm perplexed actually. I mean sure, they may not have quite the household name strength of Nirvana or Guns N Roses, but they're still some of the hugest bands on the planet.


Does anybody here have a Ross Rifle?
www.thetwowordsmusic.com
www.myspace.com/rossrifle
 
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Cameron
Title: :O � O:
Joined: Feb 01 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 09:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I read an interview not too long ago with one of my favorite indie artists, Chelsea Wolfe; she didn't outright say it (for reasons I'm about to mention), but from the way she mentioned that she had a specific visual aesthetic in what she wore at concerts because "that is what is required of (her)", it sounds to me that even the smallest of indie labels make bands wear certain kinds of clothes in promotional materials and tours. It would certainly explain why 90% of dudes in indie bands seem to wear nothing but black slim fit jeans. In the case of Chelsea Wolfe (and many others), the band's clothes' don't really affect my enjoyment of their music one way or the other, so I've never really paid much attention to it.


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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 05 2015 11:27 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Syd Lexia wrote:
-1000 for GNR bashing.

Also, style only goes so far. If style sold records, Taylor Momsen would being a billionaire right now. Speaking of which, The Pretty Reckless are criminally underrated.


Oh don't get me wrong, I fucking LOVE GNR. The real GNR though, not that new thing with those kids that Axl has been doing once in awhile when he gets bored. I was just pokin' a little fun at Axl's wacky wardrobe during the Use Your Illusion days. If anything, I was making fun of Shitknot, Weezer and Manson. Although I think "Mechanical Animals" is an amazing record (probably just because I'm a big Bowie fan), I think most of Manson's discography sucks grapes. I am interested to see what he does on his upcoming album "The Pale Emperor" though.
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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 06 2015 12:38 am Reply with quote Back to top

Bob Dylan`s Blues wrote:
The Sex Pistols are another great example. They were built to sell merchandise entirely based on their look. The concept was literally created in a board room. And it worked. So you can definitely make money on look and attitude. And I would go so far as to say that a very talented artist needs a certain look to be considered interesting enough to make it.


Yep. Good music alone just doesn't cut it. You gotta have a whole thing going on.
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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Jan 06 2015 03:55 am Reply with quote Back to top

Or take Nirvana; There were so many factors (besides the music) involved in their success. It boggles my mind.

1. The band name 'Nirvana'. Sounds cool, is cool, even the font looks cool.

2. The album cover of 'Nevermind'. It was just something that grabbed you as soon as you saw it. At this time everyone was going out and buying music, and when you saw this on the shelf, you almost wanted to buy it based on the cover.

3. Kurt with his dyed hair all in his face, beat up Jaguar guitar, second-hand granny sweaters, bizarre stage antics (smashing everything to pieces, diving into the drum kit, bashing his head into amplifiers).

4. Great music videos. Without videos for "Teen Spirit", "Come As You Are" and "Lithium" constantly playing on MTV, they wouldn't have been as big, they had AMAZING promotion. Also, the videos themselves were really perfect; The pep rally vibe of 'Teen Spirit', the chaos and destruction going on in 'Lithium' and the overall creepy, underwater vibe in 'Come As You Are'.

The band was just exciting to watch. When I saw them on TV as a kid (and live in concert before the end), they just had something really punk about the way they played, like they could care less. They had a cool style and a 'don't-give-2-fucks' attitude that made them seem so much cooler than other alternative rock bands. If you take all this stuff away, even with the same exact music, I don't think they would have been so big. Weird how so many things contribute to the success of a band.
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Cattivo
Joined: Apr 14 2006
Location: Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Jan 06 2015 11:37 am Reply with quote Back to top

Ya gotta have a gimmick. Age old truth right there.
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krislexia
Title: Now with a hint of lime
Joined: Jan 21 2007
PostPosted: Jan 06 2015 04:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

JRA wrote:
Kris, is that gif of you?


...Yes.


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