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
a musical genre/ scene that has almost 1000 definitions in urban dictionary most of which are making fun of it
im gonna add another definition for emo cuz 1000 isnt enough
by burgerking2 June 25, 2006
The word that holds the record for the most definitions at urbandictionary.com at 1,181.
Come on. Cheer up, emo kid.
by Marshall Rousso September 20, 2006
the word "aunt" in korean.
yo, i don't think i'm gonna be able to meet up with you guys tonight. i have to pick up my emo from the airport.
by cantbfaded August 26, 2005
people who need a hug. A BIG, WARM hug.
Cheer up emo kid! :D
by xXxI'm not OkayxXx November 29, 2006
There are two types of emo's.

1. You have the fake, trendy, bullshit emo. These are the people that force themselves to be emo, try to dramatize their life, and think wearing black and cutting your wrists is emo.

2. The true emo, some who is overly emotional. Thats right, emo's can smile and be happy! Many people suffering from manic depression are labelled emo, because they can't help feeling like life fucking sucks. Alot of them also cut, hence people labelling other people who cut 'emo'

((Also, to all the people who say emo is shit, and say 'dont become emo' then label people emo when you decide they are, you are a bunch of tosspots who can go shoot yourself in the face.))
1. Fake emo: Oh my god, I saw how awesome emo's are on tv, I so have to be one

*two days later* *is wearing fully black clothes, make up, and is carrying a razor with them.*

Fake emo: My parents don't get me. Nobody gets me...

2. True emo: *is being hyper and dancing* I loooove life
*20 minutes later* God...I fucking hate this...dammit..
by Shobbit April 09, 2006
Normally a 15-17 year old teenager. Considers themselves to be much more in touch with their emotions than anyone else; whereas they really just feel sorry for themselves. Most emo's will claim to be depressed, or simply misunderstood. They think they are unique, and fail to realise that they actually look like half the teenage population of south england. You can recognise an emo by looking for these general characteristics:
SKINNY JEANS (both boys and girls) The tighter the better. If an emo can hardly walk because of their jeans, then they've reached optimum emo status.
STRIPEY JUMPERS. Normally black and grey. If you're a boy, this should again be worn as tightly as possible. Breathing comfortably is a luxury you may have to sacrifice.
TATTY CONVERSE. Usually drawn on, as most emo's regard themselves as artists.
BLACK LONG HAIR COVERING ONE SIDE OF YOUR FACE. Vision can be compromsised for style as an emo. Try and make it as greasy as possible.

Finally, emo's MUST look down on everyone else, accuse them of being uncreative, judgemental, and the sole cause of their 'depression'. If you're a hardcore emo you'll cut yourself occasionnally. If you're not, then you at least have to pretend you do.
EMO: I wouldn't expect you uncreative facists to understand my art. It's a statement. I'm all alon in this world, all I have is my poetry and my paintings. I am destined to travel through the misty and cold fog of existence alone and cold. My heart has long ago turned to stone, and now your harsh words simple hit the surface. The depths of my soul can no longer be tarnished by your small minded and stereoptyped views...
ME: CHEER UP EMO KID! :)
by lululululucy September 16, 2006
"They aren't punk, they're emo. Punk is Ramones, Social Distortion and Rancid. If you think MCR is punk, you don't know what punk is."

Emo is punk rock music. There are many sub-Genres In punk rock music.

"Emo is a subgenre of hardcore punk music. "
Wikipedia

"Early Emo's Influence
In California, particularly in the Bay Area, bands like Jawbreaker and Samiam began to mix the DC influence with pop punk to come up with their own take on the classic DC emo sound. On Jawbreaker's album Bivouac, singer Blake Schwarzenbach evolved from the traditional hardcore vocal sound into a more melodic crooning, which displayed a more emotional feeling of loss than the desperation and frantic nature of MacKaye's voice. Other bands soon reflected the same sense of rough melody, including Still Life and New Jersey's Garden Variety. The style continued to evolve into the 2000s through bands like Avail and Hot Water Music.

Also in the early 90s, bands like Lifetime reacted in their own way to the demise of youth crew styled straight-edge hardcore and desired to seek out a new direction. While their music was often classified as emo, it was also considered to be melodic hardcore. In response to the more metal direction their hardcore peers were taking, Lifetime initially decided to slow down and soften their music, adding more personal lyrics. The band later added a blend of speed, aggression, and melody that defined their sound. Lifetime's sound, lyrics, and style were a virtual blueprint for later bands, including Saves The Day and The Movielife."

"The Second Wave (1994–2000)
As Fugazi and the Dischord Records scene became more and more popular in the indie underground of the early 1990s, new bands began to spring up. Combining Fugazi with the post-punk influences of Mission of Burma and Hüsker Dü,"
Wikipedia

Here is a list of all Punk genres
Proto punk forerunners
Anarcho Punk
Anarcho-Skinheads
Anti-folk
Cassette Culture
Christian punk
Clockwork punk
Cowpunk
Crust punk
Death rock
Dance-punk
Eeriecore
Folk punk
Funkcore
Garage punk
Glam punk
Gothcore
Grindcore
Grunge
Hardcore punk
List of hardcore punk genres
Post-hardcore
Queercore
Rapcore
Thrashcore
Horror punk
Nazi Punk
New Wave
No Wave
Noise Rock
Oi!
Pop Punk also known as Punk Pop
Post-punk
Psychobilly
Pub Rock Australia & UK
Punk pop (see the Pop punk article)
Punkabilly
Queercore
Rapcore
Riot Grrrl
Rock Against Communism
Screamo
Ska Punk
Skate punk
Skinhead
Softcore
Straight Edge
Street punk
Thrashcore
Two Tone
Urban Folk

So If a band is emo then its also punk
Guy 1 I so like Punk Rock but hate emo

Guy 2 Emo is punk. Its a punk genre

by Freak show February 04, 2006

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