[[quoteright:302:[[Music/OzzyOsbourne http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ozzyosbourne.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:302: A kind man when you get to know him. The multiple crosses should have tipped you off.]]-]

->''"There's nothing safer than someone who tells you he's dangerous."''
-->-- '''Creator/PattonOswalt'''

In music (especially in Rock and Roll music) the image an artist puts forth is almost as important as their songs. Almost.

Musicians are expected to be larger than life, so it's no surprise at all that hardcore rockers might want to look... [[BuffySpeak well... hardcore]], if only to meet the expectations of their fans. Every once in a while, though, you come across a musician who looks as hardcore as they come. His ''music''? Not so much. This trope is all about when the tattoo-encrusted badass-wannabe puts out songs about love and puppies. Someone who's only familiar with the image might find all of their songs to be {{Surprisingly Gentle Song}}s.

Note that there's [[TropesAreNotBad absolutely nothing wrong]] with having a hardcore appearance and doing soft music. Different strokes for different folks. This trope is about the dichotomy of the image, not whether or not the music fits any individual's tastes. Also note that the extremes change over time: What was shockingly hardcore back in the day is tame now, and what's hardcore at present might be on par with Music/FrankSinatra once your great-grandchildren start forming their own garage rock bands.

Oddly, the inverse is equally or even more common -- many of the bands that play the heaviest and blackest of metal are laid-back, fun loving guys.

Related to RatedGForGangsta, MeanCharacterNiceActor ([[RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor the music section in particular]]) and DarkIsNotEvil. See also FreakyFashionMildMind, RuleAbidingRebel, and HiddenDepths. Contrast RottenRockAndRoll, where the musician (or the character with rock {{Leitmotif}}) is scary-looking ''and'' evil.


[[folder: Played Straight ]]

* Music/OzzyOsbourne has been calling himself the "Prince of Darkness" for decades, and his stage show is full of scary Halloween imagery. His music is vanilla heavy metal. Well-done vanilla, but vanilla nonetheless, because he's the TropeMaker, naturally (with Music/BlackSabbath, which used to describe their work as "horror films turned into music") -- he's victim along with Music/LedZeppelin of the [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny Ozzy Is Unheavy]] effect.
* Music/AliceCooper's act has always been built on horror-show elements and special effects. Like Ozzy, though, his music is pretty mainstream. He even had several hits in his 1970s heydey with [[BlackSheepHit rather soft ballads]] like "You and Me" and "I Never Cry". Sure, one could argue this to be an aversion, he did write "ILoveTheDead" and "Cold Ethyl", both about making love to corpses, or maybe an inversion, as he is now a golf-loving, born-again Christian, appeared regularly on a Phoenix kids show, has been a guest on the Creator/SoupySales show (he's friends with the host), and was pals with [[Creator/TheMarxBrothers Groucho Marx]], but we're talking musical content, not lyrical content.
* Music/LadyGaga is known for her outrageous fashion sense and intimidating public image, but her music is relatively harmless pop (albeit very well done and clearly the work of someone with a lot more upstairs than it might seem at first glance), and more than one music critic has remarked that, without the image, she'd be just another B-list girl pop singer. Similarly, in interviews she comes across as more "[[FreakyFashionMildMind eccentric but polite]]" than "AxCrazy."
* When Music/CyndiLauper debuted in the 1980s, she looked like a punk straight out of the East Village, with strange makeup and a checkerboard shaved into her pink hair. But her power ballads and pop anthems were accessible to music fans from all walks of life.
* 1990s [[OneHitWonder One-Hit Wonder]] Music/JaneChild had spiky hair and a chain that cut across her face, connecting her nose ring to one of her earrings. But her only successful song sounded like she found it in Music/{{Madonna}}'s discard bin.
* Music/DashboardConfessional's Chris Carrabba has teen idol good looks and tattoos up and down his arms. His music seems to fit more with his big Disney eyes than with his "badass" ink.
* UsefulNotes/CharlesManson is an iconic psychopath responsible for one of the most famous murder sprees in 20th century history, yet he played straightforward folk on the 1 end of the {{Mohs Scale|OfRockAndMetalHardness}}.
* In his time, Music/ElvisPresley [[TheNewRockAndRoll scared the daylights out of the United States' more conservative elements of the age]]. Today, his music is found quaint, and even in his day his songs included old gospel and soul numbers.
* Despite the makeup and the [[GreatBallsOfFire pyrotechnics]], Music/{{KISS}}'s music is just as vanilla as Ozzy's.
* Music/TwistedSister. A makeup encrusted Dee Snider might well be one of the scariest things on the planet, but he's still singing standard hair-metal tunes. (Although some of their songs, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv0b84Gm1zE Captain Howdy]] sound just as terrifying as Dee Snider looks.)
* Music/DimmuBorgir, full-blown Satanist wannabes whose most extreme song was about torturing and humiliating Christians, actually covered "Burn in Hell" (albeit in TS's traditional campy style).
* [[Music/{{Stryper}} S.T.R.Y.P.E.R.]] She's still one of the hottest ladies in hair metal.
* Most fictional musicians from TV and the movies fit this trope to some extent.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}} and the Holograms'' looked like they were supposed to be glam rockers who sang songs that sounded like (and in essence were) toy jingles, but their supposedly punk rivals the Misfits looked tougher and didn't sound it.
** The ''Series/{{Bones}}'' episode "Mayhem on a Cross" featured a so-called "black metal" group. The musicians in question mimed slitting their own throats onstage, hired people to shoot at them, and so on to show how tr00 they were to the music. The music itself, aside from the screaming, sounded like Music/DevilDriver-esque groove metal, rather than actual black metal.
** In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', Ember [=McLain=] looks pretty "hardcore". Her music is very, very smooth.
** Parodied in ''Series/MadTV'' with a skit about a pianist who looks like he came straight out of a noir movie who plays cheery (and vaguely gay) show tunes.
* For ElectronicMusic, Yoji Biomehanika may look like some industrial/hardcore techno producer, but in reality, his "Tech Dance" style is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wbCsFyb1A0 actually quite club-friendly]].
* Eclectic and ridiculously prolific breakcore artist Music/VenetianSnares normally makes music just as aggressive and unfriendly as he looks, but a few of his tracks (looking at you, ''I'm Sorry I Failed You'') are soft and melodic, often the ones built out of orchestra samples.
* Music/CultureClub, thanks to the androgynous GenderBender image of lead singer Boy George, came off looking like a band of sexual deviants. Their music was the kind of stuff you'd hear on adult contemporary stations.
* Actual goth music sounds nothing like most people assume. The best example is Music/TheCure, whose songs, though sometimes are sad or gloomy, are just as often poppy, bouncy or dreamy love-songs.
** Even darker bands like Music/TheSistersOfMercy are often really catchy and danceable.
** And Music/{{Bauhaus}}, while downright creepy and sometimes impossible to listen to, isn't the screaming, satanic heavy metal that "goth" is assumed to be. In fact, [[GenreRoulette they sometimes recorded dub reggae songs]].
* Music/MyChemicalRomance, known for their dramatic stagewear and make-up, once described their music as "violent dangerous pop", and this is pretty accurate considering their post-hardcore edge meets pop punk melodies sound.
* Music/KimyaDawson looks like she should be drumming for an all-female metal group, but most of her music sounds, well, cute.
* Music/BillyIdol, who looked like a leather clad teeth-kicking punk in his younger days, became famous as an only-slightly-edgy pop singer.
* Music/TheMisfits. The music's tuned-up pop, and the lyrics are horror-movie cheese. Their album "Project 1950" is very slightly punked-up covers of 1950s pop songs. If it's been a while since you've heard "This Magic Moment", their version is more likely to have you thinking "That's funny, I don't remember the power chords" than "Sacrilege!"
* Music/DemonHunter has a very hardcore image (their logo is a gnarly horned demon skull with a bullet-hole in the forehead), and a very hardcore metal sound, but the band is ''Christian'' metalcore, and the lyrics are quite the opposite of anything satanic.
* Creator/TaylorMomsen once dressed like [[http://i.imgur.com/6WZ2o9R.jpg this]] while performing with her band The Pretty Reckless. Black metal image for some pretty straightforward radio rock.
* [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.theboot.com/media/2008/04/big-kenny.jpg Big Kenny]] of Music/BigAndRich. He's really a gentle, friendly guy who loves doing charity work and often writes happy, upbeat songs.
* The Finnish band Music/{{Lordi}} dress in monstrous costumes, but the music is very straightforward and accessible HardRock. And despite their Satanic look, much of their music actually says that BeingEvilSucks and TheDevilIsALoser, including a song by that very name.
* This Music/MilesDavis [[http://upopjazz.music.coocan.jp/img/s-underar.jpg album]] contains covers of [[Music/MichaelJackson "Human Nature"]] and [[CyndiLauper "Time After Time"]] that are perfect fits for smooth jazz radio stations.
* Most {{Glam Rap}}pers are accused of this.
* The Break Up, despite their intimidating fashions, produce mostly upbeat nu-wave electro music.
* [[http://www.helalynflowers.com/ Helalyn Flowers]].
* Music/{{Ghost}} has built their fame on being anonymous Satan worshipers who sing about death and destruction. There are probably Music/JimiHendrix songs that sound heavier than them. Granted, it's well made rock, no doubt. However, it's the kind you can safely play at a family Halloween party.
* Music/HollywoodUndead wears creepy masks and look like thugs, but their music is ''nowhere near'' as threatening as their appearances would have you believe. Some have described them as "the BoyBand version of Music/{{Slipknot}}". One website even referred to one of their songs as a combination of "Music/AndrewWK, Music/KottonmouthKings, Music/{{Sum 41}}, and Music/{{Kesha}}".
* Speaking of Music/{{Slipknot}}, they themselves could be considered an example. They all wear scary costumes, and due to PublicMediumIgnorance are often thought of as the poster boys for extremity outside the alt rock community. Their music, while heavy by mainstream standards, is definitely ''not'' extreme, being an accessible type of rock that can safely be played on mainstream rock radio.
* Music/{{AbneyPark}} are named after one of London, England's historic cemeteries. The band take on the personas of [[http://www.abneypark.com/2015site/abneyparkgroup.png airship pirates]]. Their album "Wasteland" features a skull and a circular saw blade on the cover, and has songs themed around the world after the Apocalypse. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaVfk3RDyRI This is their frontman's introspection into the creative process of a song from a previous album]].


[[folder: Inversions (Harmless-Looking or Pretty Musician) ]]

* One review of Music/TheDillingerEscapePlan's first album noted that, while they looked like they bought all their clothes from the Gap, their image was MASSIVELY deceptive.
* Music/AkiraYamaoka, the pretty normal and harmless looking Japanese dude that frightened us in ''Franchise/SilentHill''.
* Music/{{Swans}}. [[http://www.swans.pair.com/GALLERY/1982-1987/82_10.html These guys]] made [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5883h_fcCA THIS]] kind of music.
** This trope was actually referenced in a 1986 review of one of their concerts.
--> ''They took the stage looking a little like Grand Funk Railroad, but the Swans present a torture of sound as radical as Einsturzende Neubauten's.''
* Music/{{Merzbow}}. The [[HarshNoise music]] this guy makes is a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbBBczzDeCA grinding]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGzrL8J0t-c heap]] of [[MindScrew mindfuck]], to say at least. Also falls under mild-mannered/nice musician, as he's a polite vegan who raises his own farm animals and generally tends to be OneOfUs.
* The Incapacitants. Two 40-something white collar workers (one bank employee, the other a government employee) make some of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSG3m5ujegA harshest]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da-SXNm6l3k music]] ever.
* [[http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=2169 The County Medical Examiners]]. They play gore-themed deathgrind InTheStyleOf Carcass.
* Spanish blues band Plonk Moist. [[http://s.pixogs.com/image/A-1785588-1315328949.jpeg This is what they look like.]] [[http://www.archive.org/details/PlonkMoist-ArmiBeter This is what they sound like.]]
* Music/{{Burzum}}'s Varg Vikernes does a better job averting (later inverting, [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/varg-vikernes depending on his look]]) this trope.
* Music/BringMeTheHorizon. Well, at least their earlier deathcore/metalcore stuff...''That's The Spirit'' brings them straight.
* Moths To Flames. They're your pretty average {{Metalcore}} band, it's pretty disconcerting it is to hear such big screams coming from their postively ''tiny'' lead singer.
* VisualKei. Riffs that sound like Music/{{Slayer}} or Music/{{Pantera}} played by guys who look like gothic Barbie dolls.
* iwrestledabearonce look like [[http://img.listal.com/image/1477442/600full-iwrestledabearonce.jpg pretty average hipsters]] with a girl singer. They sound like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrFTR9fucr8 this]].
* The Gerogerigegege. He only [[http://s.dsimg.com/image/A-78487-1232126820.jpeg looks]] like a psychedelic rock frontman. The bulk of his music is somewhere along [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iD_LQiv9wE&feature=related this]] vein.
* John Zorn. [[http://blog.peakness.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/untitled-2.jpg Look at this.]] Let it soak in. Alright, now [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76zB9ua-O-A keep in mind that he's arranged and played music along the lines of this.]] (Mind, his last name does mean "wrath", so...)
* "Terrifying" was an adjective frequently applied to early Music/KingCrimson music. The band was led by a bespectacled intellectual who played while sitting on a stool onstage.
* This is pretty much the rule for any grindcore or power violence band. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUuprvdgAg0 Here's one example.]] They look like some guys you'd expect to find skateboarding around a mall or something but musically... well just listen.
* This is [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_e5FlSy0LEqc/SkmsgRtuDyI/AAAAAAAADjQ/eYdzmofhWcc/s400/021.JPG Kristy Greene]] of Drunkdriver. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka2U-tkaziI This]] is what her band sounds like.
* [[http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/4423640/Light+This+City+l_61a8f5b364c471c92993def3b1b7.jpg Laura Nichol]] may be as cute as a box of baby rabbits but she served as the vocalist of the death metal band Light This City. In a bit of a subversion to this she now plays in a [[LighterAndSofter melodic pop punk band]].
* Screamo bands tend to have very bland images and rarely even look like they're part of the punk subculture, but the music is often very brutal and chaotic. Note this video of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGvNDdi8yh4 Ampere]] who look like a bunch of coffee shop intellectuals. Then they start playing.
* Music/RobDougan. Impossibly handsome MrFanservice looks, but sings like a grizzled old bluesman and writes songs full of violent imagery called things like "Speed Me Toward Death".
* Music/AnaalNathrakh. You'd hardly expect [[https://i.ytimg.com/vi/wUt123txS4g/maxresdefault.jpg your average co-workers Dave and Mick]] to make music sounding like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS3xmhxhKS8 the shredder with your co-workers halfway in them]].
* Flagitious Idiosyncrasy In The Dilapidation look like [[http://www.last.fm/music/Flagitious+Idiosyncrasy+in+the+Dilapidation/+images/2917248 this]] and sound like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv_opUvZmEw this]].
* Music/{{Meshuggah}} looks like it's made up of some pretty [[http://www.ritchies.de/gothicworld/cdreviews/09-2002/meshuggah.jpg nice guys]]. Well, wait until you hear their music.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKbhwiZ0QmY Welcome the Plague Year]].
* Music/{{Excision}} looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill DJ, but he plays what is regarded as the most extreme dubstep around, with heavy influences from [[DeathMetal brutal and slam death metal]], {{Industrial}} and HarshNoise. As a matter of fact most of his music easily ranks at an 11 in the MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness. Just listen to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8tzAJpT0vw "Deviance (with Datsik)"]].
* The guys from Music/{{Carcass}} look about [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/df/Carcass1993.jpg as far from scary as it gets]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMfjv86YI_A This]] is what they originally sounded like.
* Reversal of Man looked like a fairly [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtVp8QYSKk0 preppy looking bunch of guys]], but they were known for playing a style of HardcorePunk that was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4d4FHknGAs far more chaotic, screamy and abrasive]] than anything the genre had contributed before then.
* Tommy Rogers of Music/BetweenTheBuriedAndMe looks like [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/TommyRogers2010.JPG this]] and sounds like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a902FeTJ35w this]].
* On the reverse of Ozzy, his bandmates plus [[Music/RonnieJamesDio replacement]] at Music/BlackSabbath formed Heaven & Hell. They don't give much importance to looking scary as Ozzy does, but the music is intimidating. Even when Sabbath itself reformed with Ozzy and they recorded ''13'', the songs sound much spookier than what most metal bands in 2013 were making.
* Josh Middleton, singer and guitarist of Sylosis looks [[http://instagram.com/p/WkSDDlja5K/ looks like this.]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXdPoL1yQsA This is what Sylosis sounds like.]]
* Music/{{Big Black}}. Look at Steve Albini in the 80s. Now, listen to something like, for example, "Jordan, Minnesota."
* "Quorthon", [[IAmTheBand the man behind]] Music/{{Bathory}} and who was arguably the TropeMaker for BlackMetal was downright [[http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/attachments/f185/69741d1247505851-tomas-quorthon-forsberg-bathory3.jpg pretty]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsA0xeTBg9k This]] is what his music sounds like.
* Music/ThePixies: four normal-looking people from Boston, some pretty weird and occasionally nightmarish music.
* Music/TheHives are five fairly clean-cut and normal looking guys who dress in various matching black and white outfits that have included full tuxedos with top hats and tails, but they play almost exclusively loud, raw GarageRock with album titles that include ''Veni Vidi Vicious'' and ''Tyranosaurus Hives''.
* Project Pitchfork [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5XEDwT1ke8I/TK-9AWz6KpI/AAAAAAAACM8/nNPLmaJVgG8/s1600/Project+Pitchfork.jpg look like this]], but [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aJ85G81m70 their music]] is aggressive [[HarshVocals gravel-voiced]] darkwave/EBM.
* Music/{{Marmozets}} all look like normal people, with a cute frontwoman. Their music, more often then not, sounds like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8ZPrdAwg3M this]].
* Music/BandMaid, upon first glance, most would assume they're a Japanese pop idol group due to being an all girl band who dress as cute maids. Then they hear the dual-shredding guitars and fast paced metal music, and wonder what goes on in Japan.
* Music/KayoDot has been through a lot of members, but their lineups generally look something like [[http://www.last.fm/music/Kayo+Dot/+images/1a392c86bfde420e8924016113e4ba4a this]] or [[http://www.last.fm/music/Kayo+Dot/+images/0d8411ed0682401d8599845425caf8e1 this]]. Their music varies widely in sound, but at its heaviest, it sounds like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M5nfcaEHO8 this]].
* Music/LinkinPark are six [[http://imgur.com/a/OVGHX normal-looking guys]], but Chester Bennington could [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6eUCOFXuxo scream]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xyxtzD54rM like this]] and their songs often touched on alienation, depression, and emotional turmoil.
* When Code Orange started as Code Orange Kids, they looked like [[http://s0.limitedrun.com/images/1030102/7330849614_d489d195b2_o.jpg a typical bunch of nerdy high schoolers]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpVa-x7YndY Their music on the other hand...]]
* If Metal Archives is correct, [[https://www.metal-archives.com/artists/Hasjarl/716 this unassuming-looking Frenchman is Hasjarl]], guitarist of Music/DeathspellOmega. A typical song by his band sounds something like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5M78jWUuJ4 this]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX6h5RP3GNs this]], or [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMRPo-6MxnA this]], and their lyrical subject matter tends to be some of the most transgressive and blasphemous in BlackMetal, a genre that ''thrives'' on RefugeInAudacity. The band themselves are about as anonymous as possible in the Information Age, never listing credits in their albums and having given their last interview in 2004. As a result, no one is ''entirely'' sure who they are, which makes them one of the finest examples of CreepyAwesome in music.
* Akercocke is a British band whose members wear suits and look very pleasant. Their [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04boPlvCqWk music]], on the other hand, is blackened death metal with satanic lyrics.

[[folder: Inversions (Mild-Mannered/Nice Musician) ]]

* Music/MarilynManson, whose music and videos often end up being offensive and shocking, at least to average people (special mention goes to the overlooked-by-most music video for "Running To The Edge of the World", which half of which is a close up of Manson singing, the other half of which details him torturing and beating his ex-girlfriend Creator/EvanRachelWood to death, played by an impersonator for obvious reasons), and at times even targets the fandom itself, but as for Manson? The sheer number of fangirls should tip you off. He's actually extremely chill and laid-back, especially since Twiggy returned and converted him into TheStoner, until provoked. Then, [[TranquilFury still as calm as ever]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUdF2CbKIa8 he can win an argument with Bill O'Reilly]]. He also loves getting fan art, and if he loves the art itself enough, he asks to keep it. As Manson himself has said many times, he's never tried to be shocking, he's just being himself. Considering his father was a ShellShockedVeteran of Vietnam, who's surprised?
* One that doesn't directly involve music, but look at any picture of [[Music/TheWho Keith Moon]] and you wouldn't really think of him as someone who could put Keith Richards under the table twice without breaking a sweat. Not to mention a TropeCodifier of AllDrummersAreAnimals.
* Music/MyBloodyValentine are some bizarre cross between this and a subversion they're all mild people, and their music is mostly SillyLoveSongs. But they're legally obligated to give out earplugs at their concerts due to how loud they are, and their set finisher "You Made Me Realise" contains an incredibly long brutal noise-making middle (which [[FanNickname fans call]] "the Holocaust section") that can last up to 30 minutes.
* Several ExtremeMetal musicians as mentioned above. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher and Alex Webster of Music/CannibalCorpse, Fenriz of Music/{{Darkthrone}}, and Attila Csihar of Music/{{Mayhem}} are a few examples.
** Karl Sanders of Music/{{Nile}} write what is recognized as some of the heaviest death metal out there right now, with lyrics relating to [[{{Gorn}} people being ripped apart by being essentially raped to death by statues]] ([[TruthInTelevision which actually happened in antiquity]]), but in his interviews, he's fairly soft spoken, polite, and during concert tours, offers guitar lessons.
** Music/TheBlackDahliaMurder plays what is regarded in some circles the most brutalizing MelodicDeathMetal around, but the band members are polite and fun-lovers. This is even seen in their [[HilarityEnsues music]] [[ThrowItIn videos]].
** Music/DyingFetus is easily one of the heaviest big names in death metal (even in spite of their name), but they're all notoriously friendly and personable, though there is a bit of a difference between Trey's energetic and engaging personality and John's notoriously laid-back, soft-spoken demeanor.
** Music/SunnO's music is the aural equivalent of a BrownNote, but the musicians themselves are shy, reserved, and actually afraid of their fans.
* Music/NineInchNails. Both his music and his stage persona differ markedly from [[IAmTheBand Trent Reznor]]'s actual personality. This is subverted considering that he helped compose the Oscar-winning score for the movie ''Film/TheSocialNetwork''. And the score is in itself a subversion, consisting mainly of dark ambient electronica that Reznor had worked on with his co-composer for an earlier Nine Inch Nails album not usually the sort of music that wins Oscars.
* Nivek Ogre from Music/SkinnyPuppy is one of the nicest, most gregarious people you could imagine meeting. Skinny Puppy's music is mostly dark and hard-edged industrial, and Ogre sings with his distinctive harsh purring cleans, which sometimes get downright creepy.
* Music/JGThirlwell. Foetus albums, in their variety, include screaming and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSFYcKajb6A rhythmic white noise]] all made almost single-handedly by a soft-spoken, shy intellectual. He's good mates with Swans and [[Music/NineInchNails Trent Reznor]].
* William Bennett. He fronts a band who sounds something like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkBmpxUF9_M&feature=related this.]] In his blog and in interviews, he comes off as much more polite, and has even given lectures at the German Institute for Music and Media.
* The members of Music/AvengedSevenfold appear to be this, based off of their two live documentaries. They might be wild and little crazy, but they're actually pretty nice (although the polite tends to swing back and forth).
* Kimberly Freeman, the lead singer for the metal band OneEyedDoll qualifies. While her on-stage persona is that of an AxCrazy psychopath who sings about mass murder and cannibalism, she is soft spoken and friendly in interviews. She also speaks Mandarin fluently, making this an example of HiddenDepths. See also FreakyFashionMildMind.
* Music/{{Angelspit}} perform songs about cannibalism, anarchy and overall destruction, whilst resembling musical nightmares. They're some of the nicest people on the planet.
* Music/GodspeedYouBlackEmperor perform long, drawn-out, often atonal, minimalistic, and terrifying music. Based on their title, you'd expect them to be a bunch of angsty, long-haired, long-bearded, possibly quite muscular men wearing guitars strapped around their necks, sitting around looking depressed, reading Creator/AynRand and [[NietzscheWannabe speculating about the meaning of human existence]], but, no, they're actually a bunch of rather polite Canadians that seem to rather enjoy making orchestral post-rock music and mucking about with how music as we know it works. [[http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/47455123/Under+Byen+underbyen.jpg Here's]] [[http://www.leedsmetsu.co.uk/files/u10/godspeed_you_1.jpg some]] [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8YH4szgzQFc/TYABWjYScrI/AAAAAAAAEtM/tKGxRyqSzjQ/s1600/Godspeed-You%2521-Black-Emperor.jpg pictures]] [[http://blog.qubi.com/attach/922/1354182888.jpg of]] [[http://love-it-loud.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Godspeed.jpg them]]. Not exactly threatening, are they?
* Music/ScottWalker ([[NamesTheSame not the politician]]) composes some of the most terrifying pieces of avant-garde music out there, a lot of which is apparently derived from his nightmares, full of atonal strings, rattling percussion and discordant guitars, amongst other... unusual instruments; one song, "Clara", has the percussionist punching a side of pork to get the right sound effect for someone being beaten with a stick. In person, he's a polite, soft-spoken man who avoids the limelight and has a kind word to say about virtually everyone.
* Look at [[https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8668/16253681476_4837c45bb8_z.jpg the back cover of]] ''Reign in Blood'' by Music/{{Slayer}} they look like just a bunch of guys who have fun drinking beer, while singing songs about [[RockMeAsmodeus Satan, Hell]] and other scary stuff. And their scary frontman Tom Araya, who looks like a demonic goat-man in his old age, is a Catholic, a family man, and sings country songs to keep his terrifying voice in shape.
* It has been noted that JR Hayes of Music/PigDestroyer is rather mild-mannered. Being a grindcore vocalist, his lyrics and vocals are not; several times while performing live, the power to his microphone has gone out and the audience could '''still''' hear him clearly.
* [[{{Industrial}} Industrial Techno]] project Phosgore present itself as as "dark, uncompromising and severely fucked up". The music is harsh, loud and fast and promotional images usually contain the creator, Flo, looking bloodied and furious. Yet, those who met him in person describe him as "friendly" and "down to earth". He also gains extra Heartwarming points for not only being HappilyMarried but working together with his wife to create new tracks and set gigs.
* {{Music/Slint}}. The [[http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/52003847/Spiderland.png cover art to their most popular album]] makes them look normal enough. However, said album has moments so heavy that their singer actually became physically ill due to all the screaming in the final song.
* Many hellektro/terror-EBM/aggrotech artists, such as Funker Vogt(Jens Kastel) and Suicide Commando(Johan van Roy), are quite good-looking and mild-mannered, in contrast to the genre's extremely harsh, angsty vibe.
* Music/{{Rammstein}} is a group of six German men who write songs about every sexual perversion you can imagine, from [[ImAHumanitarian cannibalism]] to incest to rape, and they have no qualms about using real life events as inspiration for their songs. They dress up in nightmarish costumes (the lead singer once had a piercing put in the back of his cheek so he could feed a wire through it for a light in his mouth), their lead singer has a deep, resonating, and intimidating voice, their live shows feature [[KillItWithFire more pyrotechnics than New Years Eve]], and they've constantly had to fight off (false) accusations that [[AllGermansAreNazis they are Nazis, because of the whole "angry-sounding Germans" thing.]] Offstage? They're mostly pretty soft-spoken and regarded as being overall nice guys to be around.
* The Music/GetoBoys are one of the most sociopathic gangsta rap outfits around, with songs about rape, murder, paranoia and the fun of gang life; not for nothing are they TropeNamer for DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster. Off the stage, rapper Willie D is highly active as a community worker, protective of his kids' private life and writes an advice column for the ''Houston Press''
* Music/ThePlasmatics: As violent and sexually suggestive as their shows were, their lead singer Wendy O. Williams was actually a very sweet and nice person. Compare her stage shows to her interviews afterwards: it's quite a contrast.
* Music/TomLehrer is a Harvard Maths professor who performs upbeat piano ballads about [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrbv40ENU_o Nuclear War]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO74GSl-NSk sexually transmitted disease]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhuMLpdnOjY vivisection]] and the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIzRGHuJt_I drugs trade]] [[note]]"Mr Lehrer's muse is not fettered by such inhibiting factors as taste" New York Times[[/note]]
* Music/UnlockingTheTruth: Three kids not even out of their teens who perform loud HeavyMetal.


[[folder: Other ]]

* Music/XJapan since dropping their original heavy metal VK appearance is somewhat of a subversion of this. They performed some of their darkest lyrical material and one of their most overtly sexual performances (the BDSM-themed White Poem) while in more "average rockstar dress," and the MurderBallad Week End (which is actually this very trope played straight since it is an argument for why murder and suicide are hopeless) became one of their biggest hits.
** Music/YoshikiHayashi is, according to those close to him, this trope both subverted and doubly subverted. While feared for his nigh-legendary temper and control-freak tendencies and {{hated|om}} for allegedly being a male RichBitch and [[TheDitz ditz]], most people who have actually gotten close to him say that he is very intelligent, as well as an incredibly kind and loving person. His music, on the other hand, is all over the map from heavy and dark themes of sexuality and violence to {{deconstruction}}s of violence and suicide to angsty {{Love Ballad}}s.
* While the bulk of Music/PassengerOfShit's plays around with this trope a lot, mostly via[[http://shitwankrecords.bandcamp.com/track/8lickmyhairyc-tflaps subversion]] or[[http://shitwankrecords.bandcamp.com/track/nail-my-d-ck-to-you-face aversion]], but sometimes he [[http://shitwankrecords.bandcamp.com/track/dum-melody-1 plays it for laughs]]. A bit of warning; the links are all NSFW.
* Dir en grey is an interesting case because their music ranges from [[SurprisinglyGentleSong tender piano ballads]] to full on DeathMetal (often within the scope of a single song) and while the band is known for their freaky gothic getups, they also appear quite [[{{Bishonen}} bishie]] and occasionally fairly normal from time to time.
** And offstage, are nice, respectful and fun-loving.
* Skyblue 100 are a strange case. They're a [[http://myspace.com/skyblue100 Casio and guitar act]] who play happy, upbeat, sometimes silly tunes, (They even do the music for [[http://www.youtube.com/user/sabanasu a small-time kids show]]) and their stage personas reflect it. However, [[http://www.youtube.com/user/skyblue1000000#p/u/11/GPqlOtRZEdk an upload on their Youtube account]] implies them to be fans of [[HarshNoise The Gerogerigegege]], which in itself brings up a storm of implications.
* An art example of an inversion: [[http://tinyurl.com/3oonykj This]] is Matthew Gray Gubler. He's adorable and is most well-known for playing Dr. Reid on Criminal Minds. He draws stuff like [[http://gublernation.tumblr.com/post/3647119913/show-poster-i-just-made-for-the-talented-french this]].
* Music/AndrewWK is a strange case of both playing this trope straight and inverting it. It's played straight in the sense that he uses a lot of violent imagery (for example, the cover of ''I Get Wet'' is just him staring into emptiness while blood pours from his nose and mouth), yet his songs are mostly about partying and generally enjoying life. It's also inverted in the sense that he does write some violent or relatively shocking songs, and even the happy ones SOUND violent as they are very loud, over-the-top and energetic, yet pretty much anyone who ever met him agrees that he's one of the nicest guys ever. Heck, he's even one of the last musicians left to defend the Emo lifestyle!
** Oddly, he is fond of playing the piano. One of his albums is solely a calm piano-only album, made in defiance of his record company and touring demands.
** He's also a brony.
* Revo of Music/SoundHorizon by all accounts appears to be an unfailingly polite prettyboy klutz with a penchant for cosplay and writing pretty or epic songs about such lovely subjects as [[LyricalDissonance death, incest, murder, decapitation, death, miscarriage,]] {{yandere}}s, SanitySlippage[[LyricalDissonance , death, rape, war, the apocalypse, revenge, constantly repeating tragedy, and, of course, death.]]
* Music/{{Issues}} is a weird example of an inversion and subversion. They look like a bunch of scene kids who wears skinny jeans, yet they play heavy {{metalcore}}. At the same time, their whole shtick is that they combine metal with [[{{Pop}} Top 40 music]]. You have one vocalist, who is fairly masculine and does HarshVocals and {{Metal Scream}}s while the other is a poppy RAndB singer who seems a bit out of place in a metal band. In real life, they're all {{Nice Guy}}s.
* Canadian outsider musician Tonetta dresses like a serial killer of the [[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs Buffalo Bill]] variety (usually wearing a [[{{Stripperiffic}} skimpy outfit]] and a [[WhiteMaskOfDoom creepy mask]]), but his music is typically upbeat and about homoerotic sexual fantasies that aren't exactly his ([[CampStraight the real Tonetta prefers women]]). One of his songs is about him [[FanOfUnderdog rooting for (and even flirting with)]] [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague the Toronto Maple Leafs]].
* Music/EmilieAutumn wears dreads, gothic clothing and puts out lots of songs related to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QycUthPlVSQ things like death, rape and suicide]]. However, she has just as many [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L2bSNkdu54 classical violin solos]] and some [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cNrg7RyXHI genuinely light and happy songs]], in amongst the darkness.
** Well she used to wear gothic clothing, now it's almost all pink and sparkly...which she wears while singing about rape, death, and suicide. It seems like she'll be going back to ElegantGothicLolita clothing when she is to start her "Fight Like A Girl" tour, though.
* Granted, in 2012 a punk style doesn't carry the shocking punch it would have in 1982, but singer Michaela Paige wears very unique outfits to put it mildly and has a three color mohawk.
* You'd probably expect a band named Music/TenThousandManiacs to be a death metal band (unless you're actually familiar with death metal), but the band played gentle, socially-conscious folk rock instead.
* By loking at Music/RoyOrbison, you'd swear that he performed {{Murder Ballad}}s. This [[EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette pale, dark-haired]], stoic-looking, sharp-dressed guy with CoolShades... actually sung SillyLoveSongs and {{Break up song}}s. He actually fabricated his cool dude looks to deal with his PerformanceAnxiety.
* Music/HowlinWolf was a tall and imposing man, with a GutturalGrowler voice that could scare people out of their wits. Yet in reality he was a nice and friendly person.
* Music/{{Barbarion}} seem to be trying to avert this trope, though this may be the joke; their warlike barbarian personas and over-the-top evolution of quite hard rock makes them appear so over-the-top they are no longer scary on any level. They are a comedy act making fun of our new, sanitised, wussy, rockless world, apparently inspired by '80s metal with misspelled band names and too many Low Fantasy movies involving barbarians.