Importance of a Band Image and Band Dress Code - Most start up bands pay little attention to their image or dress code since they are all about the music. This is fine if your music appeals to the masses. There are some genres of music that fit a certain dress code. This is subjective, so of course it depends on the band. In general a rock or hard rock band may wear black clothes, leather pants, jeans. Country bands may wear jeans, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, or more conservative apparel. While a pop group may wear more flashy type clothing. Does your band fits one of these molds? Think about a few exceptions as well. Slash (Guns N Roses guitarist) typically wore a top hat w/ his jean jacket and black leather pants. This made him stand out from the many other great guitarists of that time period. Grunge musicians like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Soundgarden were known for wearing jeans or leather pants and flannel shirts. Metallica was known for their long hair and jean / leather jackets. When they cut their hair in the 1990’s people actually were upset with the band for messing with their image. Eighty’s bands like Poison and Motley Crue wore makeup on stage. David Bowie was known to cross dress and wear flamboyant outfits from time to time. Although you may not think image is that important, the examples above demonstrate that you may not realize how much image can be a part of the music.
While your band doesn’t have to have a certain visual image it can help in certain respects. Maybe your fan base likes this certain image or dress style. There is another visual band image aspect that deals with tribute bands (bands that tribute or mimic a certain band ex: Pink Floyd or Iron Maiden). It’s growing more popular to actually dress and look like the actual band you are paying tribute too. The easiest way to describe this is to talk about Beatles Tribute bands. The tribute band 1964 is an example of a band actually looking exactly like the Beatles at a certain period of time.
Many tribute bands even research and use the same equipment and instruments of the bands they tribute. For Example, a Pink Floyd Tribute band may use a Fender American Vintage Hot Rod '57 Stratocaster Electric Guitar Candy Apple Red similar to David Gilmour, or a Fender American Vintage '62 Precision Bass 3-Tone Sunburst to look like what Roger Waters used in the early 1960’s. A Metallica tribute band may use ESP guitars to be similar to that band. While an Iron Maiden tribute band may use Fender guitars with humbucker pickups to not only sound like the band but look like them as well. I once saw an Iron Maiden tribute band who had someone dress up like Eddie (the character on most of their album covers) and parade out on stage for a song or two. So the visual aspect of an image for tribute bands can be as important as the music itself. Think about your bands style of music and see if you need to portray a certain band image or let the music speak for itself. It is your choice as a band.