People love the energy of punk, but many times the driving rhythm isn’t enough to keep people engaged. The development of pop punk allows people to relate to the melodies and relate to the musicians while taking advantage of the driving guitars and high energy of punk. Punk music combined with pop makes the perfect combination for people who want to experience the best of both worlds.
Pop punks or punk pop is a fusion music genre that is characterized by pop melodies with the tempo, chord changes, and guitar style that is typical of punk rock. This style of music is consistent with the style and attitude of traditional punk while appealing to a broader audience.
Pop Punk History
Hardcore punk rock emerged as a music genre and a subculture in the 1970’s. This type of music resulted in an underground movement that gained momentum throughout the decade. The fan base grew and the music evolved. In the 1980’s some bands began to merge hardcore punk with pop music to create a new subgenre.
These bands brought punk rock to more people and gained popularity, especially in progressive areas such as California, where independent records were produced and making music was not limited to mainstream audiences. In the 1990’s, punk rock began to work its way into the market with catchy tunes coupled with the high energy of punk rock.
This combination led to a huge leap in record sales and airplay. For example, Green Day became a household word and the mainstream began to embrace the subgenre of pop punk with enthusiasm.
As music evolved from the late 1990’s to the 2000’s, pop punk combined with other popular genres to result in many popular hits. For example, emo and pop punks worked together to appeal to a new generation.
Popular Pop Punk Bands
The market for pop punk has grown enough to support a number of bands with a broad fan base. While their styles vary, their appeal to their fans is based on their pop/punk style. Although they all fit into this musical subgenre, they all have a style of their own and break out into a direction of their own. The following bands lead the scene:
5 Seconds of Summer
5SOS (5 Seconds of Summer) is a pop punk band from Sydney, Australia and has taken the world by storm. Even though they have been called a ‘boy band’, they exemplify pop punks characteristics as well as pop rock and power pop traits. Luke Hemmings is the lead vocalist and plays guitar, Michael Clifford is on guitar and vocals, Calurn Hood plays bass and sings vocals, and Ashton Irwin is on drums and vocals.
This band started out on YouTube and developed their own fan base in 2012 as a cover band. After self-promoting, they came into international fame and toured with the boy band, “One Direction”. Although this association has solidified the reputation of 5SOS as a ‘boy band’ in the eyes of some people, the band itself refutes this strongly.
5 Seconds of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
“She Looks So Perfect” was released in March of 2014 and rose to number 1 in the British iTunes store, making 5SOS the 4th Australian band to have a number-one hit single in the UK. The band continued from there and gained popularity throughout Australia and Europe in 2014 as their style continued to develop with similarities to Blink-182, Green Day, and Boys Like Girls.
Fall Out Boy
The American pop punk band, “Fall Out Boy”, started in Chicago with Patrick Stump on vocals and guitar, Pete Wentz on bass guitar, Joe Trohman on guitar, and Andy Hurley on drums. The band was a product of the hardcore punk movement in Chicago. However, after a series of changes and success with ‘Take This to Your Grave’ in 2003 through massive touring and an underground movement; the band moved forward to working with a big label. During the 2000’s, they met with success with hit singles.
They became celebrities and received the ‘Best New Artist’ nomination for the 2006 Grammy Awards. Following years of success, the band took a break between 2009 and 2012 to regroup and rediscover their artistic center and returned to produce “Save Rock and Roll” in 2013 that included one of the best punk songs, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” or “Light Em Up”. The band has evolved throughout the years. While they are currently classified as pop punk or pop rock, they were considered to be part of the “emo pop” experience earlier in their careers.
Fall Out Boy – Centuries
Mayday Parade is based in Florida and has evolved throughout the years to keep their creativity on track. They started with “Tales Told by Dead Friends” in 2006 and “A Lesson in Romantics” before signing with a label to produce “Anywhere but Here” in 2009 and “Mayday Parade” in 2011.
Their fourth album, “Monsters in the Closet” was released in 2013. This pop punk band is not tied to the apron strings of a label and have shown that it isn’t necessary for success. They started out without a big label and have worked with a wide range of artists to produce their music.
Blink 182 has also become a household phrase as the American band from San Diego has done extremely well over the years. The current band members include Mark Hoppus on bass and vocals, Travis Barker on drums, and Matt Skiba on guitar and vocals. This band is one of the reasons that the genre ‘pop punk’ exists.
By combining popular melodies with the rhythm of punk, this band took pop punks to the mainstream and created a basis for a great deal of airplay. While they got started with novel live concerts and ‘potty humor’, they have backed it up with hard work and a significant amount of hit singles.
Some of their most popular hits include “Dammit”, “What’s My Age Again?”, “All the Small Things”, “The Rock Show”, “First Date”, “Feeling This” and “I Miss You” and “Not Now”.
This pop punk band alone has sales of 12,000,000 albums in the US and 35,000,000 globally. This band has a way of staying in the spotlight over time.
blink-182 – First Date
Creativity has not been confined to defined genres and the market has shown that people want to experience this merger of high energy, creative, eclectic, and vital punk music with relatable, ‘catchy’, and popular music. With the emergence bands playing pop punks, people have been given the option of listening to music that allows them to experience the best of both worlds.