Open Fields! Alleys! The Five Most Overused Backdrops for Band Promo Photos

Inspiration: Canadian reggae-ska band Bedouin Soundclash
Inspiration: Canadian reggae-ska band Bedouin Soundclash
Jena Ardell

Ah, the band promo photo; the ultimate cliched publicist tool. Though band photos have survived into the digital age, they remain remarkably un-inventive. Sure, not every group can afford expensive props or exotic locations, but all it takes is the tiniest bit of imagination to do something unique and memorable (like, say, Green Day's duct-taping themselves together). But if they're going to do it, we're going to mock them for it, so here are the five most overused band photo backdrops.

5. Railroad Tracks (above)

This location serves not only traveling hobos, but country singers and pseudo-goth emo bands, who apparently think it makes them look mysterious. Unfortunately, it just makes them look lost.

Our inspiration: Hate Your Guts, a hardcore band from New Haven, Connecticut
Our inspiration: Hate Your Guts, a hardcore band from New Haven, Connecticut
Jena Ardell

4. The Shady Alley.

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Nothing says "we are badass" or "we are hardcore" like a band in an alley. Add some tough-looking graffiti and folks might find you so scary they won't listen to your music ever.

 

Inspiration: Dum Dum Girls
Inspiration: Dum Dum Girls
Jena Ardell

3. An Open Field

Often, girl groups will be put into a field, wearing dark, layered clothing, strategically placed in proximity to the camera in order of most important to ugliest. But doesn't anybody consider the potential problems from allergies?

 

Inspiration: Chicago's The Daymakers
Inspiration: Chicago's The Daymakers
Jena Ardell

2. Under an Overpass (or Bridge)

There are three things you're likely to find under overpasses and bridges: Trolls, homeless men and indie bands. Only two of them are any fun to hang out with; we'll let you guess.

 

Inspiration: Cue the Violins, an alt rock pop band from Milwaukeel
Inspiration: Cue the Violins, an alt rock pop band from Milwaukeel
Jena Ardell

1. Brick Walls

Unless you happen to be The Ramones, let's avoid the brick wall, shall we? Like the alley or the bridge, it's supposed to look rugged, but comes off about as edgy as one of those expensive exposed-brick lofts they're overcharging urban pioneers for in decaying rust-belt cities around the country. Word!

Honorable mentions: Rooftops, abandoned buildings and old couches.

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