HOW NOT TO BE A DOUCHEBAG -
I have noticed, in the hall of douchebags, that no matter what,
a band can not look cool to you. Please tell me what IS cool so
I don't end up there.
John O'Brian, Kansas City, MO”
John, as we’ve mentioned before, we’re not in the business
of teaching bands how to take good photos or how to “look
cool”. Nor are we interested in providing photographic cautionary
tales for dilettante municipal rock stars. To the contrary, we want
shitty bands to continue to take awful photographs. Stands to reason,
doesn’t it? No more Douchebags, no more RRC.
you are apparently incapable of recognizing the common traits among
the photos in our hallowed Hall or are simply too hopped up on Mountain
Dew to digest 400-plus Douchebag photos in one sitting, we’ll
endeavor to point out the two main traits all Douchebag photos share.
Photography - As you wander the Hall, one of the first
common denominators you’ll recognize is that the photos are
almost universally lacking in quality. Bands tend not to spend money
on professional photographers. Bands, being creatures of immediate
gratification, tend to spend money on marijuana and expensive but
necessary STD treatments. As a result, band portraits are usually
taken by all manner of girlfriends, managers and various hangers-on.
these free faux-tographers may be skilled at selling automobiles,
donating plasma or seating patrons of a restaurant, they are rarely
skilled at the art of photography. The resultant photos are usually
out of focus, poorly framed, dimly lit and tend to showcase power
lines, household appliances, derelict cars and vast tracts of aluminum
siding as much as the band itself.
complicate matters, drug-addled, often-syphilitic musicians are
usually delusional about how talented and invaluable they are as
artists. Couple this with the fact that they are rarely possessed
of the ability to recognize that these delusions are just that:
delusions, and you’ve got a recipe for photographic disaster.
the local “club-scene”, band dudes will often meet “artists”
in other disciplines who share these delusions of grandeur. While
these seemingly simpatico parties are glad-handing and backslapping
each other and telling each other how much they “dig”
each other’s “stuff”, they ignore or miss completely
how much the other actually sucks. As a result, you get millions
of terrible bands being photographed by millions of terrible photographers.
It ends up like a sort of Mobius Strip of Douchebaggerie.
other words: A Douchebag Comedy Bonanza!
Subjects – Let’s pretend for a moment
that a band is actually intelligent and financially solvent enough
to procure the services of a bona-fide professional photographer.
Hey, it could happen. Said professional will usually employ tasteful
and interesting backdrops or a unique location for the photo session.
They will use an array of expensive cameras, filters and film formats
to shoot the band. The photographer will work to elicit a certain
emotion in the viewer using all of his or her techniques, artistic
vision and equipment.
its part, the band will do everything it can to sabotage the work
of the photographer. They’ll primp for hours, slathering themselves
They’ll arrive sporting ill-advised hairstyles in the most
and colors. They’ll wear ridiculously
trendy clothing. They won’t wear enough
clothing. They’ll insist that whatever they are wearing
and bristle at any opinion to the contrary. They’ll wear sunglasses
indoors. They’ll wear matching
outfits. They’ll wear tank-tops,
shirts or custom-made Vikings-From-Space costumes.
They’ll wear giant
briefs or nothing
shooting commences, they’ll jockey for position in front of
the camera. The singer will insist on being featured most prominently.
The others will sulk.
in their cheeks. They’ll jostle to make sure their tattoos
are displayed properly. They’ll grimace
They’ll hang on each other like lovers.
They’ll take off their shirts.
their biceps and suck in their guts.
They’ll lower their heads and glower
at the camera through furrowed brows. They’ll stare dreamily
in different directions. They’ll pose naked.
In short, they’ll do anything and everything they never do
in real life. They’ll try to create an image that exists only
in their own fantasy land of KickAss Kool.
short, they’ll look like Douchebags.
some “photographer” will link this article on their
site under the heading “What NOT to do when taking band photos!
Haw haw haw!” in an effort to say “Hey, I’M not
a douchebag photographer!” Don’t be fooled, they are
accomplished in the capture of Douchebags.
band dudes will read this in order to educate themselves on the
fine art of band photography. Maybe they’re just starting
out and are making a concerted effort to do the right thing the
first time around, to avoid some of the innumerable pitfalls that
await a fledgling rock group on its way to the top. To those dudes,
we say this:
script: The guy who wrote the letter obviously wasn't the least
bit serious about learning as he turned out to be one
of the biggest Douchebags we've ever featured. Yep, that's him
doing the "Big Jesus."