Opinion: ‘That’s not even punk!’: Moving past genre barriers

Those who know me can easily tell you that I have an undying love for rock music. It has been a part of me since I first bought Green Day’s “American Idiot” at age six. As a middle schooler, I strongly loathed any music that diverged from this genre. I was known for trashing all popular songs and would not accept any new music. If the song didn’t have a guitar, I didn’t like it. Seventh-grade Owen would be ashamed of the person I am today.

Since the days of Green Day and Yellowcard, my music tastes have begun to move outward into other genres and styles I would never have seen myself listening to. Take a look on my phone and you’ll find music ranging from poppy, high-vocaled boy bands all the way to hardcore screamo.

So how did this happen? Well, at some point I realized that it made no sense to block out other forms of music any more. As I made more friends, I was introduced to new types music, so I steadily began listening to various other styles and found I really do enjoy them. This opened my eyes to a vastly diverse world of music that helped me to expand my tastes.

Just as you are not supposed to shelter yourself from life experiences, you should not block out other forms of music. Most people on their path of musical development make the mistake of backing themselves into a corner, shunning everyone else. Take a look on any 5 Seconds of Summer (one of my new favorite bands) music video and you’ll see a hurricane of hateful comments trashing the band because “they’re not even close to pop punk.” Most of these people don’t even take the time to actually listen to the music, yet they make posts like this because the song doesn’t fit their chosen genre.

I see this problem happen with many people. Having been on both sides of the wall, I can tell you that being open to new things is a much better way of thinking. If you take the time to experience varying genres, you may find a love you would never have expected. Maybe you’ll even make a complete 180 and develop a guilty pleasure for show tunes like I did. If anything start off slowly, create a path of music that takes you out of your comfort zone. You never know, you might end up somewhere amazing.