Ask The Rocker

The Rocker is in

Reglar Wiglar #20, 2004

Every once in awhile we like to introduce a new feature to delight and amuse our readership. This time it's in the form of an advice column for all you would be rockers out there, whoever you are. You are now free to ask the Rocker, cuz the Rocker is in!

Do you have a question for the Rocker? Ask the Rocker. Send us an e-mail with "Dear Rocker" in the subject line and we'll be sure he get's it 'cause The Rocker always 'gets it'.

Promo No-Nos

Dear Rocker,

My band has been practicing for over six months, and we feel now it is time to have are promotional photo taken. We play hard rock with a classic rock feel and a modern edge. Sometimes we like to get a little funkey, but we try not to overdo it. We know who are audience are, and we know when to say 'when'! Our biggest influences are Godsmack, Five Pointe O, Fun Loving Criminals, Infectious Grooves, Aerosmith, and of course, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. We need to have this picture so we can play concerts in Tulsa and OKC, and get are music out to the people, because we play are music for the fans.

My big question is should we pose in the photo with are guitars? Should we let are drummer hold his drum sticks in the picture (he really wants to, but are singer says no he shouldn't)? Should we smile in the photo? What are the importent things to consider when a young band who is hungry to rock is having it's picture taken? Please help us with you're wisdom!

Tyler, Psychic Mind Plane
Cattoosa, OK


First let me say, stay in school. Jesus, your spelling and grammatical skills are atrocious. Ok, I'll address the drummer question first but let me preface my answer by saying that drummers should be dealt with a firm hand. As for the photo, your drummer does not need to be holding drum sticks for people to recognize him as the drummer. This is usually quite obvious. I don't know if it's the extra chromosome thing or the general look of confused concentration usually present on a drummer's ugly mug, but the tell-tale signs are already there, the sticks should not be. Tell Ringo that under no circumstances will he be allowed to hold his sticks during the photo shoot. After all, you wouldn't pose for a picture with just a guitar pick would you? Of course not. You'd be proudly holding your instrument. Tell him that he can pose with his drum kit if he wishes, but only if he can hoist it over his head for the duration of the shoot.

Having said that, let me settle the holding-of-guitars-in-the-photo-shoot question. Don't do it. Please. Unless you are an indie rock band being ironic (and there is no ambiguity in your intended ironic statement), or if you are a cover band, DO NOT pose with your guitars. I don't know how it plays in Catoosa 'cause I never heard of that town and I think you made it up, but here in the big city at least, that shit don't fly. Not with an originals band anyway. If you want to be taken seriously, just assume that people will understand that even though the instruments aren't pictured, they are somewhere nearby and can be gathered together quickly in the event that someone should book you guys into a club. Same goes for smiling. Don't do it. This is not the family photo at Sears. This is "hard rock with a classic rock feel and a modern edge." This is serious business. Again, unless you are a cover band or your ironic intentions are very clear, DO NOT turn that frown upside down. As far as the shoot itself, I would recommend a dirty, garbage-strewn, graffiti-covered alley as a back drop. If there are no alleys like this in Catoosa, a corn field should suffice.

You're welcome.

The Rocker.


Dear Rocker,

I am in a band called Crying for April. We are a four piece group that plays moody, atmospheric pop music with a hard edge. Fans of Shins and Dashboard Confessional would find us to be similar artists. We're still working out what our exact audience is, but we think we know who our target audience is. We're looking for a label that will nurture us through our career (probably about three full-length releases before the inevitable breakup and announcements for solo projects), promote us as an "aggressive development artis," and respect our creative input throughout the recording process. I guess my question is, we've only been together a few months, how do we get a show?

Sebastian Newhouse, Crying for April
Schaumburg, IL

Dear Sebastian,

Call 1-336-226-1488. If no one answers, let it keep ringing. Someone will eventually pick up the phone.

You're welcome.

The Rocker


Dear Rocker,

I need you to settle a bet I have with my little brother. Who would win in a no-holds barred, UFC style, three-way fight: Henry Rollins, The Misfit's Jerry Only, or Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse?

Keep it real.

Pete in Alsip


I always keep it real, brother. Wow, now that's a tickle fight I wanna see. Why don't you throw Arnold Horshack or Manute Boll in there too, just for yucks. But seriously, I don't know what UFC-style is but if it's back biting and hair pulling with the occasional eye jab, then I'd bet my money on Violent J. I bet he fights like a girl. In a clean fight, however, I might stick with Rollins on this one. Jerry's no slouch, don't get me wrong, but the guy's forty-five years old. Not that Old Man Rollins is any spring chicken at forty-three, but when you get up there in age like that, every year counts. Besides, Jerry's "devil lock" might hinder his vision and allow Hank to get a couple quick jabs in there. Rollins in nine rounds.

You're welcome.

The Rocker



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