New Lambgoat writer Shay ponders the increasingly popular trend of using nude photos to promote bands.
Sex and nudity have always been a part of the music scene from groupies to album art. Now that we're in this age of technology, there are websites like Is Anyone Up? and Burning Angel that meld music and well, porn. Aside from my personal vendetta against IAU and Hunter Moore, this n00dz epidemic is ridiculous and it seems to be geared towards people in music. Nudity isn't shocking anymore; Courtney Love runs around with her tits out, sex tapes make you a celebrity, and strip clubs are more of a hobby than ever. Is nudity helping music, or hurting it?
Record labels and bands have been placing ads all over Is Anyone Up? lately; an educated business move considering 1.6 million unique visitors per month is a lot of publicity. Placing ads is one thing, self-submitting a naked picture of yourself is a whole other ball game. Chances are, having your prized family jewels posted all over the Internet isn't going to help you, unless you're the late Peter Steele and in Playgirl, but it probably won't hurt you either. Signed bands have been doing interviews on actual porn sites like Burning Angel that are full of tattooed girls, geared toward "punk," "metal," and "hardcore" kids. How often do you find yourself looking at porn and get sidetracked by an interview with Fear Factory? Yes, the audience with the porno memberships is probably more "mature" and still buys CD's, but it's doubtful that they'll end up at one of your shows and buy your merch.
These sites haven't just put more than a face to the name in some cases. Both Is Anyone Up? and Burning Angel have recently sponsored metal and hardcore tours featuring bands such as: Endwell, Molotov Solution, Betrayal and Deez Nuts. While the sponsorship of a tour might not encourage you to pull your pants up and leave your computer screen for the pit, these sites are at least giving back to the scenes that they are exploiting.
For better or worse, having your band's name appear on any nude site might not trade in your beater van for a tour bus, but it might encourage some to actually take the time to listen to your music. We are at an unfortunate point in trends where less is more is a long-forgotten term. More strings, over-production, auto-tuned vocals, a guest spot on every track and every now and then, Kiss-esque makeup. Image dominates music when the most promising demographic is anyone with access to the Internet.
It's all just a gimmick. Most of these sites don't even know how to properly label a band, let alone launch it to super stardom. It's all about the image that you already portray. If you're known for partying, it's just going to solidify that. If you're a religious band who preaches about purity, you should probably hit the confession booth and come up with a really great apology. Don't expect your unknown local band to be on the next cover of AP just because you posted your own dick on the Internet. Unless there are pictures of you banging Scarlett Johansson, no one cares; you are just another band wiener or a pair of tits in a band shirt. Hopefully your music is better than your nudes.