"Emo" is not short for "Emotional." "Emo" does not mean Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional, despite what MTV has lead you to believe in the last few years. "Emo" is not sidebangs, tight pants, and male vocalists who sing like little girls about their failed relationships. "Emo" is not the use of diluted, meaningless metaphors and similes such as "My arms are like pinecones," and most definitely is not the rampant use of words such as "autumn," "heart," "knife," "bleeding," "leaves," and "razorblade."

I just thought I'd clear that up after all of these "definitions" in which I have encountered an unbelievable amount of people who try to pass off their blatantly false pretenses as fact, and are slowly infecting others with their high-horse, holier-than-thou bullshit. Because honestly, with your ridiculous definitions, Beethoven, George Gershwin, and Britney Spears are/was "emo bands."

Now, onto the real definition.

In the early 90s there was a movement in the hardcore genre that came to be known as "Emotive Hardcore," spearheaded by Rites Of Spring. Harder-core-than-thou kids, who swore by Dischord Records a la Minor Threat, actually coined the term "Emo" as something of a put-down for the kids who really liked Rites Of Spring, Indian Summer and this new wave of "Emotive" Hardcore bands. That's right, "Emo" was once not something kids called themselves. The field exploded outwards from there - Level-Plane Records has always been the most famous Emo label. Acts like Yaphet Kotto, I Hate Myself, Saetia, Hot Cross, A Day In Black And White, Funeral Diner, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You, You And I, and hosts of others came in the next decade. Most emo bands have since broken up, but there's still the occasional hold-out (again, the majority of Level-Plane Records' roster has been a procession of emo acts). Like most DIY hardcore/punk of the time, a majority found its way onto vinyl and not much else. Some people consider bands like Fugazi, and later Sunny Day Real Estate, a progression of emo, but personally, I don't quite follow that philosophy.

Often, more recently, this gets intertwined with post-hardcore, and understandably so - that's nothing to make an issue of, since well shit, at least it's close.

Since the late 90s, though, bands have been emerging in the vein of Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, and the thousands of their clones. As far as I can tell, some lazy journalist somewhere, writing an article about them, decided "Well, fuck, no one knows what emo is anyways, so I'll call these bands "emo" - sounds more appealing than bubblegum pop rock..." and the spiral continued downwards into the current amalgomation of bands MTV has told everyone is "emo."

Somehow, people decided that "emo" meant "emotional," which is obviously bullshit, as 99% of bands make music to illicit emotion, which would make "emotional" a completely all-encompassing genre from classical to opera to pop to rap.


Hope that helps.
Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, and My Chemical Romance falls under the "horrible pop rock" genre, not the emo genre.

Rites of Spring is emo.
بواسطة Chelsea مارس/آذَار 2, 2005
emos are not all depressed, want to kill themselfs, smoke, cut, biosexual and do drugs. Some do but not all. I personaly like the emo style because they don't dress like sluts and go around picking on people. I also like the color black witch they generaly were. they do often liston to different varieties of rock. And are passionate in their music and friends. They are often more emotional but they can't help that. Sometimes they just need a friend.
Me= look at that emo kid he could use a friend.
You= he looks like a jerk just like the rest of them.
Me= He is really nice once you get to know him. You just need to give emos a chance.
بواسطة Cazlyne Neuburkman أغسطس/آب 23, 2006
Emo = Emotional Hardcore

Contrary to popular belief,
Emo is not about being depressed or cutting,
it's not short for emotional,
it has nothing to do with teenage posers who follow the trend of pretending to be bisexual, depressed, and wearing all black.
It's not a fashion.
The fashion that's commonly referred to as "emo fashion",
is actually called "scene".
And MCR and Fallout Boy are NOT emo.

In actuality, It's a branch off of hardcore punk that started in the mid 80s with the punk band, Rites of Spring.
They hated the glorified violence and restrained music that infected the D.C. hardcore scene,
and took hardcore to a greater level of experimentation
with more emotional lyrics and more melodic instruments.

Soon after, a surge of new bands started forming and creating their own adaption of the style that Rites of Spring innovated.
The summer of 1985 became known as "revolution summer".
Good emo bands from "revolution summer" include:
Rites of Spring, Embrace, Moss Icon, Dag Nasty, Gray Matter,
Nation of Ulysses, and Fire Party.

After the disbanding of Rites of Spring,
Ian MacKaye (from Embrace) and Guy Picciotto (from Rites of Spring) formed the post-hardcore band Fugazi in the early 90s. who influenced bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Far, Braid, and Jimmy Eat World.
In my opinion, Sunny Day Real Estate are to mall emo, (the music that's commonly referred to as emo today)
as Rites of Spring are to emo.
They started the whole movement of mainstream "emo" bands.

Happening at the same time,
was the the unground movement of screamo.
Screamo sounded similar to emo,
but louder and with a lot more screaming and slightly different song structures.
Screamo started with bands such as Antioch Arrow, Palatka,
Portraits of the Past, and The Swing Kids.
The music comprised of brutal yet somewhat melodic guitars, loud, fast drums, song structures that switch from quiet to loud, and obviously, screaming vocals.

One thing that's not true is when people say real emo is a dead genre.
because, while mainstream "emo" has taken over MTV and the radio, an underground emo/screamo scene still exists.
Circle Takes the Square, Raein, Daitro, Haram, 1905, and ...Who Calls So Loud, City of Caterpillar are all examples of emo (and screamo) bands from the last eight years, most of them are still existing.
It's not a dead genre, you just have to look for the real deal.
Person1: Is My Chemical Romance emo?
Person2: NO.
Person1: Then what is emo?
Person2: *points to definition*
بواسطة JetBlackMirror يناير/كانون الثّاني 9, 2009
There are lots of different types of emos and they dont all cut or hate everything.
Emos pretty much love music. Its a big part of their lives. Not all emos cut themselves tho some do. If they do, its usually for a good reason and not just planned out for attention (unless they are wannabe emos)They have a certain style and many people hate them but I really dont understand why because they are just kids trying to find who they really are. They probably really do have hard lives. most people dont make shit up like that ok? if you have a good life i dont see why you would. Lots of them are looking for love. I know I am. So Dont judge them.
بواسطة emo is love يوليو/تمُّوز 10, 2008
Attention whores. Kids and young adults who really don't have any actual problems, and instead decide to use their creativity, or lack thereof, to craft false problems.

Emo kids are mostly seen with acoustic guitars and My Chemical Romance attire, as well as black hair that simply screams "kick me in the balls as hard as you can".

High-pitch nasally voice can often be heard uttering the words "You just don't understand", followed by the sound of slamming door, then muffled whimpering as the individual proceeds to scratch their wrist, hoping you'll take notice of their weak and futile efforts to portray suicide and/or self-mutilation.

But most notably, Emos keep records of thier so-called "problems" in diaries. These records mostly include pointless whiny rants:
"Dear Diary, those stupid jocks at school think I'm gay. Why can't they understand that heterosexual boys like me just like to kiss other heterosexual boys once in a while. They're so mean, and it depresses me... They say I'm Emo, even though I'm just misunderstood."
*sniff* *scratch*
"They just don't understand"
"And Karen dumped me today. She says I'm the perfect guy, and that I'm always there for her, just like when her Chimichangas were too cold, and she ended up cutting her wrist out of shear depression. She says it's not me, it's her. She says I'm too good for her. I love her so much... I think I'll express my undying love for her by throwing my pillows and crying... and perhaps I'll write a love song and sing it off-key..."
*sniff*

بواسطة 2phast يوليو/تمُّوز 18, 2006
An easy was of describing a person who

*Listens to emotionally hardcore music
*Shops at hot topic and lovebites and bruises
*Has black hair with funky bits, long at font, short at back, with side fringe, anything too crazy is considered scene
*Has a Myspace/Livejournal
Kid 1: what did he look like?
Kid 2: He had side parted black ahir, tight trousers, glasses ...
Kid 1: You mean "emo"??
بواسطة jojofaceball مايو/أيار 3, 2007
Dear Diary,
Mood; apathetic. My parents are squeezing me tighter than my little sisters jeans...which look great on me by the way...people call gay cause like make out with dudes...or four dudes sometimes...but can't a guy be in touch with his emotions and make out with a dude or like four dudes and not be gay? well, I guess you wouldn't understand..no one ever does...where the hell are my candy cigarretes?
What is emo? What is existance? you wouldn't understand.
بواسطة *sigh* مارس/آذَار 6, 2006
Please note that i'm referring to current emos.

Emo, emotional, "emotive" (emotive is no longer a current term though). I know many current emos who describe themselve as emotional- finding "emo" to be an incorrect term (seeing as "emo" is a music genre, not a subculture).

Clothes: Normally tight shirts and jeans, hoodies/jackets at any size (I prefer a mixture of tight and baggy hoodies), and Converse or Vans (I love my Converses). A lot of black and bright/light colors such as pinks, purples, and light blues.

Makeup: Heavy dark makeup. Your eyes must show how dark of a person you are...lol, don't take it too seriously. Dark makeup around the eyes, making the eyes stand out, but sometimes with a bit of color as well (color optional). Sometimes little shapes like hearts, stars, or even tear drops can be drawn near your eyes with eyeliner as well. Nails? Black is a given, but many people like to mix it up; 10 different finger nails, 10 possible colors. Facial piercings are optional by the way. Google "emo pics" or something for a better understanding on makeup.

Hair: Big bang swooped across the face. Again, goggling "emo pics" would give you a better understanding. Possibly a few spikes, lightly teased, and a little color, I believe it ends there. Too much further and you're in the scene territory. I love scene hairstyles, but i'm not scene so I shouldn't try and steal from them...even though they are a sub-sub culture of us.

By the way, emo styles WILL very. All of those things above? You don't have to do ANY of it to be emo. The reason why most real emos would rather be called "emotional" is because it's the feeling that counts. To be honest, if you follow this kind of "emo code" to much, you'll just look like a poser...emos hate posers. Me? I mess up my hair and a little eyeshadow in a funky color, but I don't even do the heavy black eyes thing; I don't have enough time in the morning to put on that much makeup, lol. And no, black isn't mandetory. I do wear a lot of dark colors, but I don't always wear black. Two weeks ago I wore a mixture of white and tan colors, and i'm not any less emo for it.

Mood/Style: While stereotypically, we are supposedly depressed, sucidal, cut/harm ourselves, write dark poetry, and cry 24/7, not exactly true. Maybe for some of us, but my emo friends and I certainly don't. I'm often depressed, rarely suicidal anymore (thank god), I have burst out in tears for no reason a few times but not regularly, and i've only thought about cutting; i've never done it. As for poetry, I write happy and gloomy poems, but most of the ones I write are love poems.

My point of view? Emos are indeed emotional, but many...or at least some of us, aren't just "whinny babys". We tend to be quiet, passionate, loving people who are just damaged or bruised.
More Mood/Style: Some of us tend to have a thing for stuffed animals/plushies/etc etc. Could be a dinosaur, hello kitty, anime plush, or a regular stuffed animal your aunt Lue sent you, lol. I don't carry stuffed animals around 24/7, but some days I can't help but take an anime plush to school with me.

Myspace: Having a Myspace page is currently one of the latest non-fading emo fads. Get a lot of members, take a lot of photos, have an emo/depressing/dark layout, and be on often.

Emo music: *sigh* I don't even really want to mention emo music. Too much controversy. "That's a emo band!" "No it's not!" "There's no such thing as emo music!" I've heard them all. But, i'll list a few bands that i'd put in the emo category. You don't have to agree with me.

Panic! at the Disco, Taking Back Sunday, Hawthorne Heights, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Head Automatica, Cartel, Fallout Boy (before they hit it big), 30 Seconds to Mars & many more.

By the way, many emos wouldn't be caught dead without their mp3 player/music device.

Conclusion:

"So whats emo really?" A music genre. Emotional, or Emotive is the subculture. We are dark people, but not as dark as goths. We are similar to punks mainly in style, but are attitudes tend to differ. We are dark people, but loving people, full of passionate emotions. We look sad on the outside, and feel better to be able to admit our pain to the world- making us feel better on the inside. We're not all sucidal or cutters; I know quite a few emos who think it's uncool to cut. We think it's dumb, just like you, to cut for no reason especially. We are full of emotion, we are emos.
"I show my dark emotions through my clothes, poetry, attitude, and the music I listen to. I'm not a bad person, i'm just darker and more in touch with my emotions than you."
بواسطة Inuoko نوفمبر/تشرين الثّاني 29, 2008
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