Where are my “Punk” Bands At?


Photo by Allen Holt

Punk rock has been around for a long time, but it seems like the new it crowd isn’t exploring it as much as they should be. Teenagers now wear things that “punk kids” wore first but they forget what and who inspired the trends. Everyone knows artists like Beyonce, Fifth Harmony, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift but do we ever close our eyes, take a step out of our music comfort zone and plunge into the wide world of garage bands and rock and roll? Are we too scared to be different in the way of knowing the same music as everyone else? “What kind of music do you like?” Music helps give us our identity. Many times we associate with people who have a similar taste in music as us. Music evolves our world, from our fashion to our friends and so much more.

From the classic sounds of Elvis and the Beatles to, the classified as alternative, Blink-182 and Green Day,  the wide world of rock music and punks has been around for a long time, but with the influences of auto-tune and new music websites, is punk dying? Take the band Fall Out Boy, for example. Sure we all love their old classic songs like “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Dance, Dance” but lately they have been going more pop. Although we all support the boys, many people aren’t sure how to feel about their new pop feel in their new album “Mania.”

The term pop punk is often used to describe bands like these, some bands don’t enjoy being labeled as “pop-punk”. On December 30th, 2015, Billy Joe Armstrong from the band Green Day tweeted “My mission for 2016? To destroy the phrase “pop-punk forever.” Many artists like Green Day don’t like being labeled because they all sound so different from one another. Same with their fans; most fans don’t like being labeled as “pop punk” or “emo.” According to an interview with Kerrang Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day said. “I’ve always hated the phrase ‘pop-punk’. I think it’s a contradiction in terms. Either you’re punk, or you’re not. [The tweet] was not directed at any of the bands [described this way], it’s just that it’s too singular a term for my tastes.”

Although auto-tune and newly formed music websites may be deteriorating some punk sounds, it is also helping a new generation of alternative rock and rock music. “Punk” bands that aren’t popular anymore like they were in the early 2000’s are still amazing. They might not be all the rave with today’s kids but it can be argued that this genre of music is so much better than pop because they rely more on talent than they do on auto-tune and they actually know how to play instruments like the guitar and rely heavily on this type of music. Sure, some pop artists can play instruments but how many pop artists rely on their instruments instead of creating songs that all sound the same.

According to a published study by Ryan Moore and Michael Roberts called “Do-It-Yourself Mobilization: Punk and Social Movements” “the central mechanism that has allowed punk subcultures to achieve high levels of mobilization has been the do-it-yourself ethic, which demands that punks take matters of cultural production into their own hands by making music, fanzines, and record labels, creating a network of venues for live music performance, as well as creating other forms of micromedia that are commercially independent of the corporate culture industry. We use these case studies to both draw attention to neglected areas of empirical research and as a means to intervene in theoretical debates that have tended to polarize social movement studies between paradigms that emphasize structural phenomena and those that emphasize cultural factors.”  said Moore and Roberts.

I challenge you all to look at down at your ripped jeans, your black and white checkered Vans and just guess who started those, now basic, trends? Guess what? Those were the punks and the “rejects” of society that started all those trends. The fact that punk music and culture has so much more to do with your life than you thought it did, I indulge all of you to for once in your life be different than what’s “cool” and take a dive into the wide world of guitar riffs and punk.