Let’s be completely honest: mainstream rock music hasn’t been about the music for almost twenty years now. Apart from some talented bands (some of which will also appear in this list), most rock music is about the attitude and the look. Of course this is because rock musicians picked their looks to complement their music, yet in the modern days of rock ‘n roll it really seems to be the other way around.
And of course in two years’ time, that look will need updating. Arguably the best musician to ever walk the face of this Earth, David Bowie, seems to be the biggest example of this. Although his looks were never considered to be “hip” or “fashionable”, ranging more from “weird” to “Dave needs to cut down on the LSD”.
But without further ado, let’s take a look at some iconic rock stars and the looks they’ve donned over the years.
Matt Bellamy (Muse)
Let’s just conclude he looks better now. The early 2000s “red hair because I can” look wasn’t working for him. Easily one of the most original musicians out there today.
James Hetfield (Metallica)
James has had some different looks over the years, but he’s always looked badass. Although he aged really quick after the St. Anger days, but who wouldn’t after making that album?
Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)
Let’s be frank: Chester Bennington has reinvented his haircut about as much as Linkin Park has reinvented their sound. Let’s hope he’s found both now.
Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Anthony has never quit looked “normal”, but he’s never actually seemed like a normal person on stage either. I can live with that. At least he’s not dyeing his hair in all kinds of weird colors like Flea.
Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit)
Freddy went from “I’m too old to be making this kind of music” to “I’m still too old to be making this kind of music, but now I look like Santa Claus”. I can appreciate him for that. Sidenote: it’s incredibly difficult to find a picture of this man without him wearing a hat of some sorts.
Ayup. Y’know how I mentioned the whole “style before substance” thing in my intro? These were the guys I was thinking of. I guess these guys haven’t changed quite that much, apart from the obvious “a peacock died on my head” haircut the vocalist had when they started out. And they have facial hair now. We all turn into men one day. Well, sort of.
You knew this was coming. He’s pretty much always looked weird, but at least he changes it up once in a while. I guess that’s a good thing.
Jared Leto (30 Seconds To Mars)
Ol’ Jared loves to change his look. He’s done it a lot, especially considering he hasn’t been busy for very long, music-wise. I guess being the method actor he is, changing his look drastically isn’t a very big deal for him.
These guys pretty much make it a thing to change their face masks every album. The only member that doesn’t do it, is Mick Thomson. He’s looked like an angry psychopath Hannibal since pretty much whenever.
Axl Rose (Guns ‘n Roses)
In all fairness, the biggest thing that changed about his look was his body mass index. But he looks visibly different than he did back in the days when he and Slash pretty much determined what rock music was. Let’s hope their newfound friendship can once again elevate them to this status.