Tag Archives: genre

“Our fans define us.” – Chad Gilbert

I recently read an old article on AltPress where Chad Gilbert talks about Pop-Punk not being dead and what it means. Over all it was a great essay, but one line struck out to me more than anything. “Our fans define us.”

As soon as I read it the little voice in my head turned into Patrick Stump singing “Make us poster boys in the scene, but we are not making an acceptance speech.” Then it turned into Handguns and told me that they aren’t a Pop-Punk band, despite what their 16,000+ fans on Last.FM say. Then it was Gerard Way calling emo “fucking garbage.”

I guess it’s a difficult concept to submit to, after all New Found Glory has been around for over 14 years and it took Chad this long to realize it; but I think it’s something that every band should come to grips with. Without fans, bands are just 5 dudes hitting shit, trying to impress a wall or deafen themselves or something. I get where Gerard Way and the members of Handguns are coming from though, I used to think I was in a Pop-Punk band and if anyone said we were CrunkCore I probably would have been at least a little offended, so their defense of themselves is completely understandable. But in the end Chad is right, if you have 17 million fans and they all say you’re a Christian Folk Metal band, then I guess that’s what you are, genres are just names after all, and without those 17 million fans you wouldn’t be able to live your dream, so you owe it to them to call you whatever they want.

At the end of the day, being in a band is about playing the music you love, call it whatever you want but I play what I want, and I like to think that’s how most musicians out there work. So if you’re in a band, don’t complain about what someone calls you, the only reason they’re calling you anything is because they’re listening, and that’s exactly what you wanted.

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Defend Pop …. Punk???

So everyone’s heard those three words that make my skin crawl “Defend Pop-Punk,” now before I get bombarded by xxSuperPop-Punkerxx for slamming her favorite band, this has nothing to with Man Overboard, I like them. This has everything to do with one simple question that I get asked whenever I bring up Pop-Punk, and that’s, “What IS Pop-Punk?” So it sounds stupid, I know, but think about it, everyone from Green Day to Transit to Four Year Strong are considered Pop-Punk, and I’m not sure about you, but to me, that makes no sense at all. Now again I’m not slamming anyone, I love each of those bands equally, except for Transit, I haven’t given them a shot yet much to the dismay of my significant other. All that I’m saying is that there’s got to be a line somewhere, and why the hell hasn’t it been drawn yet.

I’m personally a 90’s kid, Nirvana all way, I have an RHCP tattoo on my wrist and I still think Bass refers to an actual instrument rather than something that should at some point “drop.” The thing about 90’s music was that it was relatively well defined, you had your grunge and you knew it was grunge, you had your punk and you knew it was punk, every now and again you’d get a band that bitch-slapped those defining lines and that’s cool, that’s what music needs, what music doesn’t need is a band hoarding mindset that I’ve experienced in Pop-Punk. When I first joined a Pop-Punk band and got deeper into the scene I started to realize that EVERYTHING was Pop-Punk, from Cartel to Bayside, I even had a dude tell me that Attack! Attack! was a Pop-Punk band once. I’m not opposed to this for the sake of being opposed to it, or writing about it because it pisses me off, I’m writing about because it feels like without a defining line of separation between genres, a lot of kids are going to feel nervous when exploring other genres … AND because it pisses me off.

I was 15 and into Slipknot, big time, little by little I somehow got into Trapt, for those of you who don’t know that’s like loving The Devil Wears Prada and then listening to New Found Glory. Naturally I was afraid to tell my friends about it because, well because I was a metal head. So imagine if Slipknot and Trapt were both considered “Super-Gigaflux-Hypermetal,” for the sake of argument, now it might seem like that might be cool, like maybe now I won’t get picked on for listening to Trapt AND Slipknot. Well, yes and no, yes because yea, I won’t get picked on, but no because if Trapt and Slipknot are both the same genre than what the hell isn’t “Super-Gigaflux-Hypermetal” and when I start listening and experimenting with that, then I’m REALLY tempting the Gods of childhood bullying. See what I’m trying to say?

If genre surfing is a normal occurrence then, I assume, more often than not, less people will be frightened of doing it openly and more people will be exposed to more music.

I’m not one to identify a problem and then do nothing about it, so I devised a solution. From now on, in this blog, I will refer to Pop-Punk like most people refer to Ska, in three generations (see, there’s a method to my madness). The list is as follows::

Generation 1: 90’s-esq Pop-Punk, I.E. blink 182, Green Day, New Found Glory.

Generation 2: “Commercial” Pop-Punk, I.E. The Wonder Years, Major League, Handguns, The Story So Far

Generation 3: Indie inspired Pop-Punk, I.E. Transit, Man Overboard

…….. Four Year Strong is Easycore, get over it.

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