Is 2016 The Year Pop Punk Dies?
29 January 2016, 16:25 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09
Is the end nigh?
Way back in the dark days of late December 2015, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong tweeted this outrageous message.
my mission for 2016? to destroy the phrase "pop-punk" forever— Billie Joe Armstrong (@BJAofficial) December 31, 2015
*clutches Hot Topic-branded pearls*
Destroy it? Why would you want to destroy it? Pop punk is the genre that defined Green Day in the early days, putting their Californian scene on the radar of mainstream radio. The genre was then boosted years later by the likes of The Offspring, Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World before the "emo" revolution of MCR, FOB and P!ATD twisted the genre in new directions.
But, to be fair to Billie, in 2016, is the term still relevant?
Of the current crop of pop punk bands releasing new music, how many are still delivering tracks in a style considered, in the classic sense, to be pop punk? Panic!'s Death Of A Bachelor was a genre-busting jazz odyssey with influences ranging from Sinatra to Weezer; Fall Out Boy have moved into the stadium rock game, mixing in electronica and adding traditional pop vocals to their sound; Paramore's self-titled album mixed folky ballads with gospel breakdowns; and 5SOS have tweaked Blink's Enema... era into a poppy bubblegum treat.
And what of Green Day themselves? On their last releases, the triple bill of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!, they took in every genre they could think of, advancing even further down the experimental path they established on concept classic American Idiot. Maybe the real reason Billie Joe wants to "destroy the phrase" is because it no longer holds relevance for his band.
We will await the new album from the Matt Skiba starring Blink 2.0 to see whether the most infamous pop punk outfit of all time will continue to fight the fight. Meanwhile, newer acts like Neck Deep have clearly staked their claim on the genre. But, in a musical landscape where One Direction, System Of A Down, Justin Bieber and Twenty One Pilots can sit on the same ipod and be played back to back on the same radio station, how long before we lose labels as specific as pop punk? The bands and the music may remain but the genres are already blending together more freely.
That said, we will always support pop punk and its scene. It provides a convenient identifying term for all the misfits and outcasts looking to simultaneously pour out their angst, bop at high speed and eat an entire meat feast pizza.
So, while Billie may attempt to rid the world of the term this year, pop punk will more than likely refuse to die.
Because wherever there is pop punk, there are defenders.