We do need an emo revival, but not because Matt Willis said so

A few nights ago, as I lay awake in bed wondering what Gerard Way was doing with his life now, I realised that emo wasn’t really ‘a thing’ anymore. Myspace, heavy eyeliner and overgrown fringes; what a time to be alive. Back in the day I took a lot of flack for being an emo – although I would never have labeled myself as one at the time. I’ve definitely change a lot since then, but I can’t help thinking that today’s teens are missing out by not having an emo phase.

Before we get going here’s a playlist to set the mood. Get comfortable cause this blog post is going to be longer than a Fall Out Boy song title.

Anyway, back to the blog post. I’m not the only one who wants the emo trend to have a revival! Ancient teen crush material Matt Willis piped up and honestly I wish he didn’t. At first his tweets struck a cord with all ex-emos until we realised he was just looking for an excuse to slag off girls. Why are you looking for varying eye candy, Matt? You’re married to one of the fittest women in the UK. (Put him back in his box, Emma)

Having said that, I do still believe we need a mega emo revival. Back in 2009 when dance music suddenly stopped being all about annoying high-pitched voices, emo took a back seat and melted into memory. Facebook replaced Myspace and with it our favourite bands got lost along the way.

It was a gradual change and seems so far away from where we are now. These days we’re too worried about Donald Trump and Brexit – quite frankly there’s too much panic and not enough disco. I thought I’d list a couple of things I miss about the golden years of being emo.

The open discussion of mental health (TW)
Plenty of emo bands were villainised for their use of dark themes. The trend became synonymous with self-harm and suicide, with the Daily Mail going hard on My Chemical Romance in particular. Whilst things seemed pretty bleak, what we didn’t realise was the topic of mental health becoming mainstream. Yeah, kids were exposed to some heavy and controversial issues, but talking about them openly made it easier to cope.

This was long before buzzwords like ‘wellness’ and ‘mindfulness’ were really a thing. Emos were the original martyrs for the self care movement. Despite us all keeping up the typical ‘moody teen’ act, we deeply cared about each other and were unapologetically open about our emotions.

A come as you are attitude
The LGBT community was embraced and even straight white men started wearing eyeliner. Frank Iero and Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance were famously seen getting very close on stage, spawning a flurry of horrendously graphic fan fiction blogs.

However, I would like to drop the humor for a second to remember in 2012, when young emo teens were massacred in Iraq for playing ‘rebellious music’ and dressing in emo fashion. Over there, emo boys who dressed effeminately were presumed gay. Whilst attitudes in the UK were beginning to change towards the young LGBT community, other countries were not as lucky.

High angle selfies
Long before you experienced the horror of accidentally opening your iphone’s front facing camera, point and shoots reigned supreme. If you had an SLR you were part of the 1%. Most of us had a Lumix or Nikon Coolpix which would take all our best pics for Myspace (pc4pc anyone?) Instead of using a selfie stick, we’d launch our arm in the air and hope for the best. YES, we had to click and pray for a good angle. As you can see, it didn’t always work.

Supporting the music industry
Ok, ok, most of us had Limewire but when we stanned a band we gave them our all. Gigs were much cheaper back in the day. Instead of paying £70 to see Lady Gaga, you’d be spending £7 to see Four Year Strong in the basement of Manchester Academy. Your train fair and cheap cider would cost more than the event itself. You’d have merch, DVD albums and of course you’d have your favourite band proudly displayed as your Myspace profile song.

Times sure have changed. These days, the closest we have to punk is grime (LG said it and he’s right), but there’s nothing that comes close to the emo movement.

It’s absolutely time we had a revival, who’s with me?

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  1. Emilie
    August 3, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    Oh my god I am SO with you on this one! And I looooooove that line… “too much panic and not enough disco”.

    Literally my favourite post of yours ever. Reached me on another level!! Hahaa I was always emo with my taste in friends and music, but I was too conscious of fitting in so stuck with my home-dyed blonde hair, tight jeans and pink lipgloss

    Take me back to high school RIGHT NOW please ❤️

  2. Emilie
    August 3, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Oh and also… I was OBSESSED with Matt Willis. Insanely so.

  3. Suzie Holloway
    August 4, 2017 / 3:21 am

    Omg Jess this is great!
    Loved every word!
    I still have pictures of us from fireworks night…over grown fringes, heavy eyeliner, fingerless gloves; I had the typical dark detailed blazer on with a huddy underneath and we were both in black ‘drainpipe’ jeans!
    So many memories! Making star shapes with our fingers with mates lol.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      August 4, 2017 / 11:46 am

      SUZIE HI!!!! Omg those were the days. I remember that night actually on Cottom Hall fields, right? I’m not going to lie, I’m still wearing tight jeans. These day’s they’re high-waisted though to hide my chub haha!

  4. Hannah Gets Hench
    August 4, 2017 / 10:08 am

    I was such an emo, I was even a scene kid! Remember those? They were like emos but liked colours and narcissism a bit more. I had blonde extensions running through my blue-black hair extensions (which I bought from Leeds market and GLUED IN)


  5. August 4, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    This is after my time I’m afraid, which must make me very old. Will definitely have a listen though x

  6. August 4, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    The whole emo thing kind of passed me by – I know the bands (FOB, MCR, Panic! etc), but not really the music. But I’m all for a revival if it means that there’s more variety on the radio

  7. August 4, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    I have to admit I still listen to most of these bands I would love that type of music to come back around and I am sure it will in time and for now I just find the music I like where I can.

  8. Josh
    August 4, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    You missed Kids in Glass Houses though 🙁 I wish we could all be emos hanging around Twisted again and the band stand which isnt there anymore.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      August 4, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      The bandstand omg! Now that is bringing back memories. Why did we hang around in the most weird places. Like the doorway of the old mega bowl – WHY?
      Kids in Glass Houses you say? Consider it added to the playlist. I keep going back in and remembering new tracks to add.

  9. August 4, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    I am 100000% behind you, I was always a full blown emo kid as a teenager and there are certain aspects which I haven’t grown out of, absolutely love the playlist! x

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      August 4, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Yessss Rhian! I was hoping you’d pop up pal. I sensed you had a bit of a dark side hahaha!
      If you can think of any bands I’ve missed off, let me know and I’ll add them.

  10. August 4, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    I always feel like I was just a touch too old to be swept along with the emo thing but having looked at your playlist, I definitely loved lots of these songs! I’m all up for a revival!

  11. August 5, 2017 / 8:04 am

    2009 doesn’t seem that long ago, lol! I had no idea all this stuff still wasn’t a thing. It’s after my time, and before the time of my kids so I seem to have missed out on something here! I was too busy studying at uni and breastfeeding!

  12. August 5, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    Oh god now I feel old!! I was married with two kids but by this point, where does the time go?

  13. August 5, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Yes, it would be great to see a revival – gigs nowadays are so crazily priced, wish we could hark back to those days!

  14. August 5, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    Ahaha ‘this blog post is going to be longer than a Fall Out Boy song title’ – so many great lines in this post. You certainly brought a lot of memories back 🙂

  15. August 6, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I remember very well and I used to use Limewire and shows were much cheaper!

  16. Dannii
    August 6, 2017 / 10:55 am

    This has brought back so many memories and I totally agree that emo needs a revival. I was the biggest emo.

  17. August 6, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    I’m probably a bit too old for this playlist but it does sound great.

  18. August 6, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    I never had an Emo phase but I did listen to a lot of emo bands like Fall Out Boy and I loved how men and women would blur boundaries in the way that they dressed. I couldn’t give two hoots about Matt Willis but like you I believe there is always space for embracing our identities x

  19. August 7, 2017 / 3:36 am

    I was too busy working and just non stop trying to keep up with life and family that I didn’t even hear or made aware of any of this. Sounds quite interesting though.

  20. August 7, 2017 / 8:25 am

    That playlist reminds me of my son what he was in to at the age of 14. Fall Out Boy and so many others. I am glad that the label of EMO has gone now as who wants to be labelled in a category at such a young age. Great post!

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      August 7, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Oh that’s interesting!
      See I find it interesting that we don’t have subcultures anymore and I see them as an important part of identity development. Perhaps something that’s got lost in the technology age?

  21. August 7, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    I’m totally with you, especially when it comes to the mental health chat! xx