• Ian Roth

Why Do I Still Listen to Emo Music?

You ever see the music video for "Threw It on the Ground?" It's a song by the popular SNL cast "Lonely Island." Watch it, I'll wait. Anyhow, there's a part in the song where Andy Samberg looks at the camera and yells "I'M AN ADULT!"

That's how I feel about the music I listen to. I'M AN ADULT and I still listen to the same shit that I did when I was in high school and college. I use the word "shit" in the most respectful and professional sense possible. It's shitty music, but it's MY shitty music that helped me through the shitty points in my life.

Puberty sucks. Greasy skin, zits, voice changes and all that other angsty stuff often makes teens turn to music. I was one of those and I was going through this when the "emo" genre was a thing.

From personal experience, I've found that I remember or have a close attachment to things that came into my life during times of trying to find myself (both as a teen and young adult) and times of pain, extreme stress or trauma. As a 33 year old husband and father of three, I also understand that I have an emotional connection to things that remind me of a simpler time. I absolutely LOVE being an adult and all the things that come with it, but I mean come on, this shit can be stressful sometimes!

Here's what I'm talking about:

I really disliked being a teen and living at home under the tyrannical rule of my parents. I'm obviously not the first to feel this way and was quite fortunate to have grown up in a loving family. I can't remember what my parents, friends and I fought about, but I can remember the Fall of 2005 and blasting Green Day's American Idiot album on my CD player. Through these experiences and then the "I'm trying to find myself" journey of the college years, I had to find an escape. Someplace where I couldn't be judged and someplace where I could go with my thoughts to try to figure everything out. It's like I needed someone to just listen to me. Music helped me through these times and those who "listened" to me were the bands. Fall Out Boy. Green Day. Yellowcard. Just some of the bands who seemed to relate to what I was going through and didn't judge me.

I still listen to this music NOT to feel like I did when I was a teen, but for comfort. The things that I thought were hard and difficult then, are nowhere near the things we must experience and overcome as adults. Perhaps, this music reminds me of a time when things were more simple. The angst of break-ups and parents has been replaced by bosses and taxes. Listening to this music provides a temporary escape from the 12 hour per-day grind, the achy bones and makes me feel young(ish) again.

Do you still listen to much of the same music you did from your youth?

Why or why not?

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