As I read the newest issue of AP the other night, a certain recurring idea kept coming into my head: what's the deal with all these modern rockers looking like how Nikki Sixx has looked for the past twelve years? I'm talking black, feathery/spiked hair with tattoos all over the place and torn-up black clothing (example). You're seeing this more and more with bands like Papa Roach, Escape the Fate and Eighteen Visions. I'm getting the feeling this is becoming the look of '80s hair metal's spawn now and we're just getting a taste of this. Hold onto your seats folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
Especially in the case of Papa Roach, the latest promo pic says it all. A nu-metal tablescrap that should have gone away like Coal Chamber and Puddle of Mudd, how this band still has a large audience is beyond me. Instead of looking like the normal dudes they were at the height of their fame (example pic), now they look like clowns, especially frontman Jacoby Shaddix. I can't say these guys were ever "themselves" when nu-metal was all over the mainstream charts, but I'm finding humor with them trying to look like they're still relevant.
I must say, Nikki Sixx has aged pretty well despite all the drugs he's taken over the years. He's still a tough guy with a heart and has never struck me as fake. His image since the Motley Crue self-titled record has been pretty consistent since 1994, but now all these lemmings are copping his look. This is a look destined for lampooning as it's popping up everywhere.
I doubt we're in for bands that looked like Poison, Cinderella, Europe and Whitesnake (ie, long, coifed hair with tight leather outfits), but this is the same kind of impact. These guys don't want to dress nice -- they want to look over-the-top, dangerous and sexy all at once. The deal is, they look stupid in my eyes. However, there is a desire for rock stars to look this way.
My generation has seen the cycle come and go, but this younger generation has not. The cyclical nature of the music industry is rearing more and more a look that owes way more to '80s hair metal rather than '90s grunge. There has to be a puffing up of sorts in order for something new and stripped down to come and kick that over. For those waiting for rock music with a mainstream appeal to "mean something" again, you're gonna have to wait a few more years. We have some more shenanigans to be thrown our way.