Emo is a term that is short for emotive hardcore. Most people these days think that emo is strictly short for emotional, but this is false. If emo just meant emotional, wouldn’t it encompass all musical genres, because all music has emotion in it? If you only pick one thing out of this article, be it that emo stands for emotive hardcore, not just emotional.

Many kids have the complete wrong sense of what emo is. Many earlier emo bands only released their songs on vinyl, and they were distributed minimally, so the origin of emo is lost among most people. This is my attempt at tracing it back to the start, in hopes to educate you. I’m sure there is going to be a lot of important bands and years missing, but hopefully it will give you a vague idea of how it all started out.

With that said, let’s move onto the history of emotive hardcore. Heres where the term emo came from: When Minor Threat broke up in 1983, the hardcore punk scene was getting pretty stale. In 1984, Husker Du released “Zen Arcade,” which somewhat set the blueprint for emo bands to follow. This album had the rough vocals, but it had more melody, and was a bit slower than their previous works. Many people give credit to this as the first emo album.

In the spring of 1984, a band called Rites of Spring was formed, containing members of previous hardcore bands The Untouchables/Faith and Deadline. This band kept the speed and stylings of hardcore punk rock, but the vocals were a lot more emotional, and at times even broke into a throaty moan. The lyrics also strayed from politics, and took a more emotional/profound look at life. Rites of Spring gets a lot of credit for being the first emotive hardcore band. Ian Mckaye, formerly of Minor Threat, got into a band called Embrace. Definitely different than Minor Threat, Embrace took a more emotional side to the lyrics as well, and were a lot more melodic. These bands, and much of the other bands on Dischord Records are now labeled as “The Classic DC Sound.” This was the first wave of emo bands.These bands focused more on emotion, than punk rock energy. Legend has it that while Rites of Spring, or Embrace, or Moss Icon were playing a show, someone from the crowd shouted “You’re emo!” and that’s how the term got started. The show where it happened, and which bands were playing always differ with whoever you talk to, so I have no idea how true it is. Don’t take my word on it.

From there, more and more emo bands started forming around North America. Moss Icon, which formed in 1986, started the loud/soft alternating twinkly guitar parts, and crashing distortion side of emo. Indian Summer and Native Nod, who were around 1995-96 are good examples of this, and focused more on the emotional part of the music, rather than the hardcore part, but were still hardcore. Emo was now a bit broader.
Bands like Heroin(1992), Angel Hair(1997?), and Antioch Arrow(1995?) on Gravity Records focused more on the hardcore part of the genre, but were still very emo. The music is pretty chaotic, with just enough melody to pullthings through, and the vocals are usually hoarsely screamed.

1997 marks the release of Saetias fist 7” record, and the debut of level-plane records. I highly recommend that you pink Saetias “A retrospective” cd. At any rate, Level-plane records is probably the most famous emo label out there, and is still going strong today. It has released many important and influential albums, and is a huge part of todays emo scene.

A lot of bands are getting called emo by the mainstream, when in fact they are not. The term emo has leaked into the mainstream, and a lot of emo kids see this as the end of the emo scene, somewhat like what happened with punk rock, and bands like simple plan. I used that example because mainstream bands i.e. Simple Plan get called punk, when really, they’re not punk at all.

Emo is completely distorted from it’s original meaning, and the media is calling many bands that have no relevance to emo whatsoever, emo. Take Dashboard Confessional for example. Chris Carraba just plays acoustic ballads. There is nothing hardcore about it. The music may be very “emotional” and heartfelt, but even so, it is not emo. The same goes for indie bands like Death Cab For Cutie, and Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst is a brilliant songwriter, and I love his work, but again, there is nothing hardcore about his music. Another common misconception about emo, is that bands like Taking Back Sunday, and My Chemical Romance are emo. To me, these bands are strictly pop punk, although their lyrics may seem very emotional at times, but emo doesn’t stand for emotional, now does it?

Another false interpretation of emo is the term “screamo.” I’m sure you’ve all heard this rant before, but I figured that I’d include it anyways. The media has used the term for bands like Thursday, and The Used. Because people call Dashboard Confessional emo, they interpret emo as “whiny watered down music for depressed kids who cut themselves.” With that as their idea of emo, it’s no wonder that people call The Used, or any other “whiny emotional band” that screams here and there “screamo.”

With emo standing for emotive hardcore, the way I see it, screamo would stand for:Emotive hardcore + screaming, right? Wrong. Emotive hardcore contains screamed and/or whispered vocals in it already. Screamo = Emo. Just leave it at that. Even so, bands like The Used that are being labeled as “screamo” by the media aren’t emotive hardcore, so the term “screamo” is completely misused. The term “screamo” can be used for a band like orchid, although emo works just as well, but not for something like The Used.

Screamo is made up by the media to sell bands like The Used, Poison The Well, and such, to people who don’t know any better. As I said before, with people calling Dashboard Confessional emo, it’s no wonder that they call any band that screams “screamo.” Alas, this is false.

In summary, Emo stands for emotive hardcore, not emotional. Emotional lyrics do not make a band emo. Dashboard confessional, Bright Eyes, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, From Autumn To Ashes, and Atreyu are NOT emo. Screamo does not exist.
Some real emo bands are:
Rites of Spring
Indian Summer
Native Nod
Heroin
Antioch Arrow
Saetia
Orchid
Hot Cross
Transistor Transistor
City of Caterpillar
Wolfsheim
A Textbook Tragedy
Takaru
Louise Cyphre
Boa Narrow
The Mock Heroic
What Price Wonderland
Utarid
Danse Macabre
Zann
Am I Dead Yet
Dasein
Cease Upon the Capitol
June Paik
A Fine Boat That Coffin
SL-27
La Quiete
Shikari
Daitro
Yossarian Is Drowning
Raein

by Tash (by:Evan) January 08, 2006

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1114
People who get mad at the world so they slit there wrists becase there dumb asses.
Jeff woke up remembering last night when people made fun of him for being emo, so he opened up his sock drawer and got out a small switch blade and started to slit his wrists.
by Kaleb Dallas January 03, 2007

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1115
A bunch of whiny, white, middle class teenagers. Can go on a week long emotional rollercoaster just because someone finished all the Coco Pops.
Emos normally tend to have a lot of msn/myspace friends. Do not be alarmed, it is not because theyre well liked, actually, emos manifest with other emos which creates this large whiny group of teenagers. Emos have long, greasy, unwashed hair, which is required to cover at least 2/3 of the face.
Emo music is commonly known as soft-cock punk, often containing seemingly-castrated emos singing in whiny high-pitched voices.
Found in corners, normally crying, the male emo attracts the female emo by either writing a soft-cock emo song containing droning guitar riffs or striking a conversation on how much life sucks. Characterised by the movement of their heads, as every 2 meters they walk they swing their heads in an attempt to stop their greasy hair sticking to their face.
If an emo is contemplating suicide by cutting his/her wrists, remember to remind him/her, it's down the road, not across the street.
Preferred killing method is disemowelment, do not decapitate, theyre just like roaches.
Preferred bait for emos are iPods or Chucks signed by Fallout Boy.
It is really very satisfying to punch an emo, try it some time.
If you ever see an emo walking the street, be sure to run him/her down with your car. The fewer the better.
Person 1: OH MY GOD, THAT EMO JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR!!!
Person 2: Good.
Person 1: Yeah..
-------------------------------------------
Emo Boyfriend: Hey
Emo Girlfriend: Hey
Emo BF: Life sucks
Emo GF: Yeah..
Emo GF: You want something to drink?
Emo BF: Yeah get me an orange juice
Emo GF: Theres none left...
Emo BF: OH GOD!!! (sobs)
by i hate all emos October 12, 2008

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1116
a perverse blend of gay, punk and goth managing somehow to combine the worst aspects of each
emos are a homosexual, self-destructive group that will soon die out due to their obsession with suicide.
by Nik-Naks August 18, 2008

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1117
An incomprehensibly lame, fag-ass pimple bitch lifestyle pseudo-pretense, embraced by vaguely homosexual or bi or confused boys and distinctly hideous, blemished, chubby girls.
"Hi."
"Hi. Say do you know a good place to buy scarves to wear in summer, stretch jeans, and black hair dye?"
"Yes, Emo Zone on W. 33rd."
by Faggolicious July 15, 2008

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1118
1. A type of music.

2. A shity little poser (uselly a teenager) who talks about how he/she hates life when he/she has their health, is able to go to school, and has the money to go on shoping sprees and buy all the fagey that they whare.
They also talk about hateing conformest when they conform them selfs

3.The more evolved less dark goth (goth is just a more evolved punk) origionated in 1982.

4. The fags that give people that really are clinicly depressed, a bad name!
1.guy:Hey, do you like emo music?
guy 2:Thought that was a stiyle, not music

2.guy:You ok dude? You look sad.
emo:(says some sad shit about how sad his life is)
guy:So. Suck it up!
emo:(more sad shit about how sad his life is)
guy:im just going to kick you gay ass now!

3.emo:(says sad shit about how sad his life is)
goth:(talks about death,saten, and killing his/her self)
punk:(talks about heavy metal and vandelism)

4.guy: hey are you an emo or something?
clinicly depressed kid:no.
guy:Then how come you dont talk?
CDK:becouse i dont want to.
guy:do you hang out with emos?
CDK:No! I hate emos. They are the biggest posers that walk this earth! If they talk about killing them selfs then they should do it! The world would truly be a better and happier place with out them!
guy:RIGHT ON DUDE!
by enjoy life before its to late February 27, 2008

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1119
Suppressed children who get grounded all the time, Cry alone in the dark, and smell of hair gel and cigarettes. (As well as ass from all the butt smex) A true emo would cry if you called them emo. Skinny girl jeans, emover, ofter seen with tight hoodies, bad tattoos

Enjoys bands such as, Bright eyes, Mars Volta, Claps your hands say yeah, Dignan (will try and describe emo music as "indie" ITS EMO)

thinks there hot and important

men like men
Emos hates life

steen!
by sexy jesus January 28, 2008

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1120
1. Another really annoying label started by some loser who had no life.

2.Usually a whiny little adolescent boy or girl who thinks they are "rebellious" or a "non-conformist". They think their life sucks, so they waste their time cutting their wrists and hurting themselves instead of finding ways to make it better.
A lot of these people actually have no problems and are rich little liars who pretend to be emo to "fit in" with a select few people. Posers
Some of these people actually have a really bad life(example: abuse, neglect, poverty, disease, ect.), but still do nothing about but hurt themselves even more.
The worst type of emo is the kids who don't even cut themselves but make it appear as if they did, they will pretend to have issues that some real kids have. Saying their parents abuse them or they have been raped. When people who have actually had this happen to them, live with it much better or at least try to be happy.
Most shop at Hot Topic and Thrift stores.

3. A genre of music that some how spawned into a label.
1. "Check out that emo fag!"

2. "My life is so horrible, my girlfriend just dumped me for my bestfriend, no one ever pays attention to me, and my parents took away my convertible for screaming at them and calling them a prick. I'm going to kill myself"

"Instead of doing that how about you stop being such a pussy and do something proactive for once."

3. "Listen to this awesome emo band i found!"
by LikeHeyItsTiff October 31, 2007

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