I read an article recently which spoke of the problem the 2000s had with music. The over-exposure of artists the over-production of albums and, frankly, the quantity of shite we were forced to endure. We are all, I’m sure, aware that these problems exist in the mainstream but this article was talking about Indie; referring to many bands as ‘indie landfill’. And it’s true. I mean, that was a genre invented and destroyed in (less than) 10 yrs. We went from Franz Ferdinand to The Hoosiers. Legions of posh-boy, non-singing pointless Indie bands crawled out from under rocks (or Universities, as some people call them) when The Strokes… (wait, what was the official story on them? Broke up? On a break?) …couldn’t be arsed anymore. Indie was bad, yeah. Indie suffered. But there were gems in between that we can be thankful for (such as Arctic Monkeys.)
BUT there was a worse problem happening: the formation of the pseudo-punk pop band. The Jimmy Eat World-wannabes. Bands with decidedly less talent than JEW but hell bent on making a record anyways. I was concerned at first that music fans were falling for this junk. Then I realised hey, it’s not the Jimmy Eat World market buying these records, it’s kids. Kids with cash buy Panic! At the disco and Fall Out Boy records. The former have split and the latter… well. Now there are bands copying them.
AT the crux of this problem is a man called Pete Wentz. It’s 2004 and kids are going crazy for Fall Out Boy. An obsession starts to form with the diminutive, black-haired bass player. Before you know it he’s all over MTV. Adults know Pete but not the band. Those that knew the band assumed he was the singer. And as if by magic, the least talented member had become the most famous. Thus, appearing on my radar. Who is this… Pete Wentz? I don’t want to see you in MY magazines. My GROWN UP magazines. I don’t want to see you on my grown up E! News program. Yes, it got worse. He became a celebrity. For what? And he became the first of many mediocre, band-member celebrities. Then, like a bad penny there he is at MY MTV Europe Music Awards acting as a backstage ‘correspondent’. Proving that all he was really capable of was slurring his words like a stoner and asking stoner questions to legends like Juliette Lewis and Placebo. (Who he no doubt felt inferior to.)
WHAT happened in the Noughties? Were we so desperate for celebrities that we accepted this man/boy? He should be made to return to his traditional bass player role as the silent, forgotten one. Were we so desperate for music that we accepted Fall Out Boy as a form of Punk? Not that I think anyone would call it that, because the Noughties was also the decade where Rock music broke down into a million different sub-categories. Like Emo. And ‘Scene’, remember that?
SO what now? Panic! At the disco are gone, yes, but for true freedom to occur Fall Out Boy must be destroyed. Or in the next 10 yrs we can expect the rise of the FOB wannabes like youmeatsix. And Metro Station. (Gosh, gimme break with that band. Since when was Punk about whispering??) I don’t like it. I don’t like THIS. Seriously, it feels like Rock music is being hijacked and sucked away into a vacuum of digital keyboards and even worse: tweens. So, what would I like for this next decade? Honestly, I would like these bands to be gone, from Wentz they came.