The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos


By Daniel Hill

Here at SOTC Music HQ we see literally one shitload of press photos every week. Many of them stick to a template: Gather all band members together, shoulder to shoulder. Make sure no one smiles, ever. Have the artists try to look thoughtful, but also like they are not trying to look like anything. The final product should be utterly boring and should look like every single other press photo in the history of time. And so it goes…

See Also: The Ten Worst Moments On Girl Talk’s All Day

Every now and again, however, a press photo comes along that is actually interesting… or awesome, or terrible, or all of these things. These are the ones that actually remain in our brains when the work day is done. Without further ado, here are the 15 most ridiculous press photos we’ve seen this year.

Number 15: Nicki Minaj
Ms. Minaj has had plenty of notable press photos in the past, but this one is funny because at the time that it was released (concurrent with her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded record), Minaj had been stating in interviews that she had made a conscious decision to “tone down the sexiness” in order to be a proper role model for young girls. Which clearly she achieved by, you know, donning a bikini and rolling around in a bunch of paint.

Number 14: Dark Funeral
Only a Swedish black metal band could get away with wearing these ridiculous get-ups, and I’d argue that even they cannot. File under “Dork Funeral.”

Number 13: Fiona Apple
This photo raises far more questions than it answers. Like, that octopus has to be dead, right? Don’t they need water to live? And Fiona, if you’re so unhappy to be wearing a dead sea creature on your head, why did you put it there?

Number 12: Raekwon
When I first saw this picture of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon the Chef holding an enormous, comically-sized bag of weed, I thought it was one of the most ridiculous drug-hedonism photos I’d ever seen. Then:


Number 11: Active Child
“Like, I know that the whole world is exploding just behind me, but I’m way too busy looking pensively in this direction to turn my head in even the slightest, soooo….”

Number 10: Fucked Up

Number 9: Lower Dens
It’s been months since I first saw this photo, and the creeper in the turtleneck still haunts me. I feel like his eyes follow everywhere I go. At night he slips into my dreams ….

Number 8: Norah Jones
Okay, maybe this isn’t the most ridiculous press photo ever, but Norah Jones is a ridiculously good lookin’ lady. Add to that the fact that uh….the uh….um….I’m sorry, what was I talking about again?

Number 7: ((Thorlock))
Covering yourself head to toe in thick black robes and playing drone-y, thick stoner metal does not exclude you from having fun on the merry-go-round, as proven here by ((Thorlock)).

Number 6: Radiohead
Okay, we’re in the woods, we’re looking at all sepia tones, and I can’t make out the faces of any of these band members. Is this Dark Funeral again? Where’s the costumes? OH WAIT NO, it’s Radiohead. Of course.

Number 5: Reptar
Yeah, there’s a Teletubbies costume and a giant stuffed fish, but those aren’t even what interested me….I want to know what the hell that guy on the left is looking at. And furthermore, I want to know why these people think they don’t have to mow their backyard. Shit’s looking haggard, dudes. Step your lawn game up.

Number 4: Swans
If the members of Swans want me to believe that they took this picture in deep space, I will, because truth be told I’m fucking terrified of Swans.

Number 3: Peelander-Z
File under

Number 2: Unknown Hinson
The vampiric King of Country Western Troubadors doesn’t go anywhere without his gun.

Number 1: Die Antwoord
It should have been obvious off the bat that Die Antwoord would top this list. Maybe it’s a culture-clash thing, but their press photos all strike me as….odd. This one is my favorite though, because of the sweet repeating alien head / pot leaf / yin-yang motif in the background, plus the weirdo face they’r eboth making. This photo below gets a well-deserved honorable mention, though……..Because it is downright goddamn disturbing.

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