Presented by Levi's
Levis jeans and rock 'n roll are, without question, two of Americas great gifts to the rest of the world. With a pair of Levis and an electric guitar, any kid on earth can suddenly be (or at least look like) a star. When it comes to the truly iconic rock musicians, however, style is never just a matter of appearances. A great groups look is always an extension of its sound, and oftentimes weaves back into its message, portraying a worldview behind which fans can rally.
The history of rock music is filled passing fads, and more than a few bands that flashed in the pan and then disappeared, so it should be no surprise that Levis jeans, which are the embodiment of staying power, have been a staple of great rock artists for generations.
For a little inside perspective on where Levis and rock 'n roll intersect, we sat down with Simon Rix, bassist for the band Kaiser Chiefs. Originally from Leeds, England, the Kaiser Chiefs are known not just for their new wave and punk-inspired indie rock sound, but also for showcasing a singular, current, and always effortless style.
As a kid growing up in England, Rix took most of early style inspiration from English rockers, noting that "Bowie, the Clash [and] Mods in general were pretty arresting." Interestingly, while he joined his first band at age 11, and cites the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses as influences on that particular group, he also says he was big into rap music (it was the 90s, after all).
Then, eventually, Rix came to be a member of the Kaiser Chiefs, and he began that process of evolving his style along with the groups aesthetic. Says Rix, "I suppose if we were still wearing the same thing after 11 years that would be a little bizarre. One of the things I like about being in a band is that it galvanizes you as a group, which I guess extends to clothing. What people choose to wear seems to reflect what they are making, listening to, or doing at that time."
Regarding denim, Rix said, "I dont think I know a single person who doesnt own a pair of jeans, apart from my Grandpa. But he wears a shirt and tie every day and has done so forever a real gent!" But the Kaiser Chiefs are not just any band, and they dont wear just any jeans. Says Rix: "I'm pretty confident that you'll find Levis in all our wardrobe cases. I wear 520s most days." When asked what makes a pair of Levis the perfect jeans for a rocker aside from its iconic status in the history of the medium, of course Rix told us, "It doesnt shrink when you wash it on tour!"