Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Article by Paige Venturi
Time with Jameson is a local alternative rock band with a musical style referencing 80’s and 90’s punk mixed with raw and emotional lyrics. Just like the juxtaposition of hard rock and soft meaning in their music, the four members of the band have styles that are anything but similar.
Nick Newman. Frontman.
Nick Newman, lead singer and guitarist, bases his musical style on trying to capture raw emotion and molds his appearance from this as well. His clothing style varies with these emotions, but in one word he would describe his style as: “mysterious.” Nick wears a red and black striped ringer tee over green shorts and tan suede slip-on shoes. He has long, dark hair that flows just above his collar.
Noah Kankanala. Guitar.
Noah Kankanala, guitarist and game design major at IU, likes to play melodic rock rather than “just shredding,” and also produces solo music that is alternative country/folk based. While he doesn’t want to stand out with his fashion, when people do notice him, Noah wants them to admire his outfits. He wears mainly earth tones, with a denim chambray short-sleeved button up that he cuffed over green chinos and tan ankle boots. His curly black hair mops over his forehead and frames his dark eyes.
Julian Povinelli. Bass.
Julian Povinelli, bassist and fellow game design major, puts value on everyone being heard, in music and in everyday life. He views fashion, music, and visual arts as projection, “showcasing who you are and how you want to be seen.” He also likes taking inspiration from things around him and creating color schemes to match his outfits to. Julian wears an old, black O’Neills surf shirt with a blue and orange scene painted on the front, a long-sleeve chambray shirt over top, khaki joggers paired with bright turquoise Converse, and a red and white polka dot bandana hanging from his pocket.
Black McKean. Drums.
While Black McKean, Jameson’s drummer, couldn’t make it to the interview, his bandmates described his style as “unique” with a “certain kind of swagger” that no one else could really pull off. I like to call him a homeless vampire—in a good way, I swear—with very specific and pointed features. He has long blond hair that is typically kept off his face with a long bandana, scarf, or even necktie. His clothing ranges into a little bit of everything, from vintage Tommy Hilfiger to thrifted thermals and flannels, typically with some form of oversized layers.
We sat down over coffee to talk music, fashion, fedoras, and their personal take on it all. Here’s what went down.
How do you think your styles or just fashion relate to your music?
NN: “You don’t always get with musicians because they sometimes cop-out on visual aesthetics and follow trends, because they get really lazy because maybe they’re working too hard on the music. The more I play music, the more I realize the visual aspect is for the performance.”
NK: “We all have our distinct, unique outlooks on fashion and visual art, but it’s also good because we have very different perspectives on things, and I think the resolve is we come with things unique in a way because they come from different backgrounds and different aesthetics.”
NN: "If you have a more collaborative show or night, it feels bigger than yourself. And that’s the whole point because art is supposed to bring people together.”
JP: “I feel like a lot of clothing is just confidence. It’s about how you wear it. Everyone should be free to be what they want to be and express that.”
JP: What’s all of your favorite outfit you ever wore to a show? I know for sure what mine is.
NN: “I wanna say Noah’s is when when you wear that potato looking shirt, it’s very loose fitting and shows the muscle. He looks like a character in a sci-fi more where they’re all very impoverished and he’s the leader of the bunch.”
JP: “I like when you wear tank tops and your arm is just popping out of there.”
Me: “Gotta show off the assets!”
JP: “I feel like your music style and your clothing make a lot of sense together, because you’re intentionally minimalistic.”
NK: “Yes, that’s the perfect word for it, minimalistic. I think my favorite for Nick, he’s got the floral shirt, with the purple and red. It’s kinda trippy but it’s also kinda dark. We were together when he got that, we were at Macy’s buying Valentine's gifts for people.”
JP: “You two got Valentine’s gifts together????”
NN: “No it was Christmas, we were Christmas shopping!”
NK: “You’re right, we were Christmas shopping together and we went to the Bloomington mall and usually you can never find anything, but we were in Macy’s perusing around and there were these really nice floral shirts and they were pretty expensive and Nick was eyeing one and I was like ‘dude just try it on,’ and he did and I was like ‘you should just get it.’”
NN: “The thing is, then you start wanting more clothes. I didn’t even really care about clothes before I was in a band because I just hid in my room and I could wear the same sweatshirt forever. Just be on a computer and try to write music in a room, secluded from the world. Then you start playing shows and it’s like okay this is a representation of myself and it’s kinda artistic.”
NK: “Anyways, my favorite thing Julian wore, I have two actually. The last show we played, I fucked with his outfit really hard. He had these blue, really nice slim fit dress pants.”
JP: “Were they the reflective fish scale type ones?”
NK: “Yeah, those were awesome!”
Me: “Where did you get those?”
JP: “My mom buys me a lot of clothes. She gets me good stuff.”
NK: “They were nice! And then he was wearing this red satin shirt.”
NN: “Kind of like Lucifer.”
NK: “It was nice, there was a really nice contrast to it, with the colors. I felt like it fit your playing really well. But also, we played this Halloween show at the Rat House.”
JP: “Ahh that’s the one!”
NK: “Julian’s outfit was fucking dope as hell. I don’t remember a lot of it.”
JP: “Everything I had on was black and white stripes. And normally when you’re wearing a bunch of stripes, I feel like it’s really easy to look like an escaped prisoner and just look ridiculous. But I have this pair of jogger sweatpants that I really really like, they’re grey and black and they have these stripes down the side. I had black and white striped socks. I got makeup done for that one too, I had black and white eyes. It’s really fun to go all out. I don’t always think about fashion and what I’m wearing, but I have the capacity to. It’s just fun, it’s another form of expression. When I was growing up, my mom worked really long night shifts and I would see my dad every other weekend. Neither of them ever wanted to take me shopping, but I had an older sister and she was in theater and I would get all of her hand me down dress-up stuff, and I would have to figure out how to wear my clothing and hand me down women’s clothing and stuff I would take from my friends and I just started building this collection.”
So what are some of your favorite pieces to wear?
NK: “In the winter I love dressing up, because my favorite things to wear are coats and shoes, I love boots and shit. But then in the summer I always feel like a fried ass because I don’t know what to wear. I hate just wearing t-shirts and it’s too hot to wear pants but I always wear pants and I’m sweating my ass off. I wanted to get some jean shorts but then my sister made fun of me.”
ALL: NO [various mumblings about how cool jean shorts are]
NK: “I really like the shorts with Doc’s look too.”
JP: “I had an outfit I wore like two weeks ago that I was super proud of. It’s not really band related, but I was in California going out to Napa Valley and I was going to do wine tasting for a day. I was trying to be just as snobby as possible. And I wore a purplish-blue thermal top; I was gonna be a grape. So I wore brown shoes- those were my dirt- and then green joggers-that was my stem- and then my top was a grape.”
Me: “So did anyone get it? That you were a grape?”
JP: “Yeah a lot of people did actually!”
What about labels?
NK: “No, I don’t like labels really.”
JP: “I like symbolism and I like colors and patterns, but I don’t like to be that explicit. I think clothing and aesthetics are very interesting, like sometimes I choose to present myself a way but other times it’s more revealing that maybe it’s subconscious kind of thing.”
NN: “At the end of the day we’re being ourselves and having fun, and I wouldn’t be having fun if I wasn’t expressing myself, playing in a band and wearing crazy clothes, participating with the youth culture.”
JP: “There’s definitely a whole Bloomington style that’s just mismatched stuff that people wear with an ‘I don’t care’ attitude so that’s what makes it cool. It would be kind of cringe but it’s consciously so. Everything’s like how you wear it. I think visual aesthetics and music, it’s all expression and I think that you build off of what came before and you refine. Like I’m sure there are new styles and innovations. What’s the quote, it’s like ‘good artists create, great artists steals,’ it’s like you just innovate.”
NN: “For me, I’m big against materialism, which is something from being brought up in the suburbs. It’s just wasteful to me and I hate being wasteful. It just seems like a coping mechanism to hide from what you’re really supposed to do in life, so you just go buy something that you don’t give a fuck about and in 6 months throw it in a landfill… I think that there’s a misalignment in fashion in general. I got a bone to pick with that. Sometimes it feels like fuck fashion.
NK: “I was in New York City for spring break with some friends, and we were walking around down by Soho, for example, where all the Gucci and Bape is, and it’s almost funny we were all just like there’s this mentality, and maybe it’s presumptuous, but it was all very materialistic and we went in the stores and a lot of the workers were kind of assholes, and me personally I felt drawn away from it. There’s this conspicuous consumption, where it’s a status.”
JP: “It’s weird how fashion almost designates a clique. Like we’re kind of a clique. A clique with an activity. This is a vehicle for expression, we hang out together, we know the same people.”
NK: “I feel like it’s more a business.”
NN: “A business implies we’d be getting paid.”
NK: “A nonprofit.
NK: “It’s funny because with game design you can wear pretty much whatever you want to.”
JP: “It’s a lot of fedoras.”
NN: “I had a period of time where I was on the swim team, and we all got hazed and we had to shave our heads bald. And I felt really uncomfortable bald, if you look really ugly bald. So I wore this hat every day to school, I never took this hat off because I was ashamed that I was bald. It was a big Russian snow hat, I was like 14 I didn’t know.”
NK: “Was it a Catcher in the Rye hat?”
NN: “It just covered the baldness. It covered everything, some people probably didn’t even know I was bald because I wore that hat every day.”
NK: “That’s kinda cool though because it’s kind of outcast-ish. Like I don’t give a fuck.”
JP: “I’m sure it was not as cool as you think it was.”