Finally, Someone Agrees With Our “Guyliner Is The Aqua Net Of The ’00s” Theory
Today’s New York Post has an article on Crush Management, the company that guides the careers of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, and other tortured-dude bands with overly wordy titles. It’s a somewhat odd piece, if only because it’s peppered with quotes from Butch Walker that sound a lot more derisive than they probably were in context, but it does also float the theory that today’s emo is pretty analogous to a rock sub-genre popular about 20 years ago:
…[Crush Management’s Jonathan] Daniel thinks that FOB and its spawn are disparaged by critics because “they’re very much like the hair bands of the ’80s, like Motley Crue – it’s, like, heavy metal for girls. This scene is very much like that. It’s very female-based.”
“He couldn’t be more on the mark,” says producer Hollander of Daniel’s assessment. “Dead on. If you were a hipster, like I was at that, age – God, you wanted to laugh at it. That’s exactly right.”
“It’s not edgy,” says songwriter [Butch] Walker (he’s also written and produced for Pink, Avril Lavigne and Bowling for Soup). “It’s no different than the hair metal movement that Bon Jovi pioneered,” he says. “When those girls outgrew New Kids on the Block and Debbie Gibson and started smoking cigarettes and hanging out with boys who drive Camaros, they started listening to Bon Jovi. And that music was not good either.”
Walker, whose tastes run more toward the Arcade Fire, concedes that a lot of the Crush bands sound “so same-y – they all have the same look, play the same guitar songs, all the songs are about the same s – – -. I think that’s why the critics don’t like it.” He pauses. “Jonathan may not be the poster boy for what is indie-cred cool, but if he was, he wouldn’t be successful. Let’s not have our head up our ass and shoot ourselves in the head with the hipster gun. And I think that’s why the company is equally loved and loathed.”
To Wentz, it’s all just white noise. He sees himself as one in a long line of great artists who, in their prime, were profoundly misunderstood: “You know, Bob Dylan plugged in and everyone started booing,” he says. “Thirty years later, he’s hailed as one of the greatest artists of all time. There are plenty of ways to get rich. It’s very easy. But if you want to be involved in this, you want to be involved for the legacy of your art.”
It’s really Wentz’s comparison of himself to Bob Dylan that makes this analogy fit, doesn’t it? The countdown to Fall Out Boy’s own The Spaghetti Incident? starts now.