When I was younger I thought being in a band would be the best job ever. You get to travel around the world, meet heaps of different people, get drunk all the time, and feel as though you’re actually making a difference through your music. Nothing would ever have that stale ‘nine to five’ taste and everything would be shiny and new all the time. I was angling for a place in one of those ‘pop-punk’ bands – Simple Plan or Dashboard Confessional style. They always seemed to have the most fun and looked like they got paid very well for doing very little work.
However, with the advantage of approximately five years, I have realized that some of these band members may be stuck in an even bigger work rut than the rest of us mere mortals. After all, imagine going to the same concert night after night for a year, and seeing the same sort of people there repeatedly. You know the sort of people I’m talking about – no older than seventeen, dyed hair, often seen wearing Chuck Taylor Hi-tops and lots of eyeliner. Now imagine doing that for ten years – or as many years as it takes for you to either get old (thirty five is generally the limit) or go out of fashion.
You see, the thing is; some of these ‘pop-punk’ bands (such as Simple Plan, Dashboard Confessional, and The All American Rejects) seem to have one constant audience, which is mentioned above. You might be reading this, thinking ‘hey that’s not true I really like Simple Plan, Dashboard Confessional, and The All American Rejects’. But think carefully. When was the last time you listened to one of their CDs for two weeks straight, because all of the songs ‘seemed like they had been written just for you’? When was the last time you Googled them to see what they were doing? When was the last time you bought tickets to one of their concerts?
Probably when you were sixteen and wearing Hi-Tops and really bad make-up.
The reason for this unvarying audience? Well my opinion is that these bands keep on singing the same sort of songs. Angst-y with a touch of ‘no-one understands me’ (and sometimes underlying notes of suicide contemplation if they want to be ‘deep’). And fair enough, the vast majority of teenagers feel angry, or tormented, or alone at some stage. But most of the time, these feelings go away when you graduate high school/realize that not everyone is out to get you/finish puberty. So why would you still want to listen to songs that do nothing but moan about all of these things?