You are on page 1of 7

ARCTIC MONKEYS

In this image of Arctic Monkeys, the background is primarily a blank wall, with instructions onto the stage pointing in the direction of where the band are standing, with one of the band members even facing the indicated direction. This insinuates how focused the artists are on the music they play, and is also indicative of their eagerness to play it to their fans – thus gaining them favour with fans of new and old. It also alludes to their edgy status, with the blank white wall emphasising their body language, positioning, and dark clothing. The repeated use of denim and dark clothing emphasises them as a typical indie rock band, as these are clothes that are so often associated with the genre, though the carefully selected look suggests that they focus just as much on image and projection as they do on the music they play. Coinciding with this point, the lead singers (Alex Turner) is slicked and styled into a noticeable quiff, which perfectly matches the current hairstyle trends. Ultimately, this consolidates the band as a well-known, mainstream indie rock band, what with the conformation to clothing and trends, and the lack of any real posing showing that the public will recognise them immediately, without need for any gestures or signs. The style of indie rock is also hinted at in their appearance. Generally, the hair of the band members mainly remains short and styled, with no fringes or unkempt straggles, so their faces are emphasised in greater clarity. Because of this, one can assume that the style of music is quite ‘clean’ in the sense that it is radio-friendly, and more traditionally indie than rock, and this is also emphasised by the bright, ambient lighting which highlights them in great detail, with no shadows. Proceeding on from this, the body language is also quite non-aggressive and held back, with arms being held behind backs in a gesture of recessive harmlessness – but may also be suggesting that they are hiding something, adding an edge to a seemingly simplistic image, and the blank facial expressions mirror this viewpoint. Moreover, the fact that Turner is central to the picture epitomises that he is the band leader, and he also possesses the only prop in the image in the form of a vinyl, and this is presumably a promotion for their new album, AM. However, the fact that Turner chooses to advertise it on vinyl as opposed to CD or MP3 download indicates that he wants the audience to buy actual physical copies of the album, as opposed to downloading it, and this will appeal to many older fans and also younger ones with values in ‘hipster’ ideology. The fact that he is holding it up tells the audience to buy it.

Queens of the Stone Age
This image captures the essence of QOTSA’s style as a band and the type of music that they play. The background shown is a cobbled wall with a darkened entrance located just behind the band members, and the positioning of the band members makes it appear as though they are about to enter the darkness. Subsequently, this already is indicative of the band being centred around the more rock-orientated aspects of the genre, and it can indeed be said that they actually fall more into the category of rock despite featuring on several issues of NME. Furthermore, the natural lighting allows for clear definition of facial features but also casts some of the band members into slight shadow, which hints that the music itself is natural but also contains elements of complexity, embodied in the ‘shadow’ cast by the light. Contrasting to the Arctic Monkeys image, the overall body language displayed here is more aggressive, coinciding with the fact that they are more of a rock-orientated band. Homme (the lead singer) appears to be rolling up his sleeves, in preparation for conflict, and other band members appear reserved in their blank expressions, or intimidating in their folding of arms and side profile. The mixture of styles shown here shows how QOTSA incorporate a variety of music influences into their music, and this consequently expands their fanbase substantially. Similarly, the mixture of styles is also reflected in the clothing of the band, with some members appearing casually smart and others appearing very smart and formal, in full suits and ties. Homme himself stands out as he is the only one wearing a bold, bright red colour amongst the black and grey of his fellow bandmates, and this epitomises him as the lead singer as well as his central positioning in the image. Also, the colour scheme used in their clothing is reflective of the colour scheme they advocate on the majority of their bands and the logo of their band, ensuring that it will stick in the memory of the observer. The hair of the band members is generally unkempt and dark, but with Homme it is styled and ginger, and this again singles him out as the dominant figure. The fact that tattoos are also visible secures their position as a rock band and expresses their rebellious nature, as this is commonly associated with receiving tattoos. Likewise, the absence of any props allows the observer to deduce that it is all about the music, with no need for gimmickry or distractions or poses of any kind, and this in itself also manages to insinuate that the band are already well-established, with no need to prove themselves in any shape or form.

Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire’s image incorporates numerous styles and band members into one image. In terms of the background, a huge white canvas lies behind them, and it appears to be emanating a significant amount of ambient lighting which is providing backlight for the band members – while natural lighting highlights their front side to a lesser extent. This could suggest that the band are leaving the traditional expectations of mainstream indie rock behind them – in the form of the ‘light’ – and embracing the darker, more varied aspects of the genre, seen in the fact that they are facing their own shadows. Accordingly, this is further justified by the costume of the band members, which is hugely varied and appears to suggest a number of different styles gathered from different musical influences. For example, Win Butler (the lead singer) wears a two tone, vintage shirt with braces, with Will Butler (at the back) wearing a patterned denim shirt and Regine Chassagne (far left) advocating a black dress with a vivid red belt/ribbon. Generally, this displays how they are not a part of mainstream indie rock and are attempting to promote their music by incorporating the many different elements of it into their clothing. Moving on to the placement of the band members, the positioning is scattered and random, although it is easy to tell that Butler is the lead singer by the fact that he is central to the image, closest to the camera, and facing it directly, as opposed to the body positions of the other members majoritively facing different directions. In doing this, it almost seems like all other band members are anchored to Butler, illustrating him as the dominant figure. The body language shown is non-aggressive and passively confrontational, with hands being held on hips and members standing straight and staring rigidly into the camera. Butler himself has his hand on his heart, which acts as a perfect summarisation of the music that the band plays; despite the range of different influences, it all comes from the heart, and this significantly increases its appeal to current and potential fans. Minimal makeup is used on the female members, with eyeliner being the primary use, and this merely reflekts the darker edge that can be found in their music. Moreover, the hair of the band members is varied substantially, with Butler displaying very uniquely styled hair and other band members having unstyled, messy hair. The prominence of Butler is highlighted again in his unique style, whereas the rest indicate that they do not care – it’s all about the music.