By Izabella Santana
Pop-punk influenced the late 1990s generation to go against the social norm, but the revival era changed its music from raw and rebellious to internal emotional angst.
Pop-punk was an outgrowth of the hardcore scene and went mainstream in the late 1990s, and early 2000s with The Offspring and New Found Glory, dominating CD sales. Taking elements from punk, bands used angsty lyrics but with an upbeat sound and catchy choruses.
But the style has gradually lost its way. Songs like I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan and All The Small Things from Blink-182 focused on reaching out to those not accepted by the majority.
The revival era phase of pop-punk isn’t about rebellious, misunderstood teenagers. It’s about prepubescent kids who wear Man Overboard shirts and eat pizza, said Jacob Darling, previous bandmate of Lighthouses, a Nebraska-based hardcore band.
As the genre grew, it began to fit the capitalist bill.
As soon as the music played on major radio stations, a lot of bands started morphing like chameleons to whatever genre sold, as New Found Glory’s lead guitarist, Chad Gilbert, said about their Pop Punk’s Not Dead tour in an interview in the Alternative Press.
Bands like All Time Low and Cartel are trying to stay relevant and are taking all the life out of the genre when passion turns from music to money.
“I think art evolves. When the change is dictated from outside sources, such as record companies, then that is not a progression of the art. Change like this is not a positive thing,” said Stacy Russo, Santa Ana College’s punk-rock loving librarian.
It’s hard for true fans to watch their music lose its original foundation.
But once a specific genre gets too commercial, someone will inevitably try to take it “underground” again.
Pop-punk was influenced by the punk rock era and followed it through a mainstream phase that nearly destroyed the genre.
“Punk rock is raw, and experimental. There shouldn’t be any limitations.
So, if it changes to such an extent to fit in—where it is being played on major radio stations—it is probably no longer punk rock,” Russo said. “It can represent anything that the artist desires. It should be all about freedom and experimentation, creativityand expression.”