Pop-punk is for pudgy self-haters. Hardcore sucks worse than it did 10 years ago, which seemed impossible at the time. Punk is now Green Day. Indie rock is the new Ke$ha. Chillwave is for former swoop-hair kids who’ve aged out of their scene. Shoegaze is the new jazz music, meaning people only pretend to like it. Bands with earnest, gruff vocals are the new swoop-hairbands. Everything you like really truly sucks.
Do you know what all the sentences above have in common? Besides the fact that they’re true, I mean. Can’t guess? OK, here’s what links those ideas:
You shouldn’t care. You shouldn’t validate them by arguing. You should ignore them completely.
There’s only one thing worse in this whole world than a misguided nerd, and that’s an apologetic one. You like what you like. You should always be looking to expand your palate but, at the end of the day, you can’t force it.
If you’re into Saves The Day, you’re into it. There’s no need to put on airs or dress it up. And if you like ignorant mosh music, it’s just part of your DNA. You’ll probably always like it. Don’t hide your Hatebreed lyric tattoos. Maybe you still dye your hair colors not found in nature. Don’t hide your Mindless Self Indulgence tattoo. Or that ICP hatchetman logo on your ankle.
Here’s the thing. As lame as everything I listed at the beginning of this essay is, the stuff people believe to be cool is just as corny. Hardcore kids want to be indie rockers; indie rockers want to be house DJs. Someone put it in their heads that they should always be chasing cool. It’s all a crock. There is no “cool.” It just doesn’t exist. Chasing it makes you uncomfortable in your own skin and paints you as an insecure clown to the rest of the world.
I’m confident everything you like sucks. I know it. But there is not a reason in the world you should care about my opinion. There’s no reason you should value ANY person’s opinion over what your ears tell you. Never change for the guy at the record store, the geek in a popular band, or some faceless blog. Don’t bother defending your position. Just like what you like.
Patrick Kindlon, Alternative Press