If we deal with indie rock, the term alternative rock comes up again and again. Alternative rock is just a collective term for the most diverse genres that have split off from the original rock music. Indie rock is part of it.
The actual split can probably be dated to around the end of the 1980s. Then, when new subgenre emerged from the foothills of punk rock. Under the Alternative Rock label, you can count well-known acts like Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Foo Fighters, and the like. Grunge acts like Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana are also included, and many other acts from a wide variety of genres.
Alternative rock is away from the mainstream, away from the mass media’s commercialized background noise, away from everything that everyone likes. Indie Rock is a musical statement of “alternative” and “independence” and is almost as versatile as many listeners.
And yet its success is almost so great that one would have to talk about mainstream – an overview of our favorite genre and your chance to find out how indie rock genre and rock scene are suited for all your events and parties.
The music scene has a wide variety of genres to offer. The music range is enormous, and its popularity is beyond question, whether hip hop, pop, or metal; each of us is “at home” in a particular genre.
Among other things, numerous indie rock bands have played their way into the hearts of their fans.
Hiring the best alternative rock bands for your events, parties, and projects is a great way to offer something new and unique to your guests and friends.
Live music is part of special occasions. With Eventeus.com, it is easy to book an alternative rock band online. A full line-up is, of course, more expensive than a solo artist. But don’t miss the opportunity to look through the entire range. There is a wide range available even for a small budget.
For big occasions and parties, hits and catchy tunes are promising. The booking of rock bands and interpreters contributes to make your event a real success.
What is an Alternative Rock Band?
The term alternative rock came up in the late 1970s and was established in the early 1990s as a generic term for several variants beyond rock and pop music’s usual structures.
Accordingly, Alternative Rock is subordinate to the collective term Alternative. The term indie rock (from English independent) is also used today for many corresponding performers. However, it was initially delimited because it referred to performers with contracts with independent labels.
On the other hand, alternative rock to performers with highly endowed record contracts and broad marketing opportunities. However, major labels set up subcontractors or bought up existing small record companies. The terms independent and indie rock lost their meaning and were first supplemented by the term alternative, later almost replaced.
Therefore, indie rock is today mostly as a form of alternative rock.
To better understand what is the best alternative rock band to hire, you also need to understand the history of alternative music:
US rock music of the 70s – where the hippies, rockers, pop, and disco say goodbye
The 1970s, in particular, were full of crises and changes. The Vietnam War was in the final stages of its gruesome 20-year-long massacre. Besides, a colossal oil crisis shook the entire world economy; politicians had several affairs, hostage-taking, and acts of terrorism. Those at the Summer Olympics in Munich or the Red Army faction in 1977 shaped an entire era. And as it always is, the most beautiful things arise from the greatest crises and worst situations. So did the musical revolution in the USA in the 1970s.
Hippies took over the field as early as the 1960s as a movement against war and destruction. The most famous festival in the world, the Woodstock Festival, emerged from their midst. Their stars were Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison. The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Santana were also part of it.
Today, many of these acts are referred to as classic rock. But indie rock itself was out of the question. Instead, the rock music of that time was redeveloped entirely by artists such as Santana, Bruce Springsteen, and The Supremes.
In addition to the wars outside the country, there was also discrimination and hatred in their nation. During white and black power, soul, jazz, and disco music arose from mostly dark-skinned artists.
UK rock of the 70s – the Sex Pistols start a revolution
The music scene in Great Britain naturally never sleeps. In the United Kingdom, too, many young people were shocked by the development and life on earth. They conveyed their feelings in song lyrics and set them to music in an indescribably productive way that continues to this day.
At the spearhead of this movement are Led Zeppelin, who, with their mix of hard rock, blues, and folk, is still one of the world’s most successful rock bands.
Utterly different from the USA, where soul established itself as a spin-off from the big rock business, the music scene in the UK developed a defiant and loud reaction to the poor social circumstances. Punk rock was born, and the Sex Pistols led the revolution.
The lyrics were honest and direct, publicly criticizing the government and discussing many drug abuse and homosexuality topics. This form of music hit many British people right in their marrow—some more and some others much too much.
80s indie rock – let’s start a revolution
Where the bombast of pop & rock in the USA increasingly split off in the direction of glam rock, soft rock, hard & heavy rock, and where disco music also became increasingly popular, punk in the UK grew increasingly into an unbeatable monster.
The most important representatives of their guild were the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam, The Damned …
Some famous punk representatives also followed from the USA with favorite alternative rock bands such as Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Ramones, and more.
However, from the end of the 70s, punk slowly developed into the image of the enemy that they so uncompromisingly hated and despised. A new media phenomenon was born.
The independent idea of indie rock and the DIY attitude of the early stages gave way to fame. Major labels pushed their fears aside and snouted, and social criticism became socially acceptable. The sale of punk rock probably started with the major deal of The Clash with CBS Records.
The wheel spun again, and the hour of indie rock began again. From now on, he was known as post-punk, hardcore, and new wave.
New Wave: the new punk and alternative rock
New bands clearly distinguished themselves from the punk of the 70s. The established acts like The Clash or Ramones tried to mix the familiar with contemporary influences.
The fusion of reggae and punk was the distinguishing feature of the New Wave. Hardly any other band dominated the genre as well as the industry leader, The Clash.
Hardcore: the hard side of alternative and indie punk rock
Well-known US alternative rock bands like Dead Kennedys or Black Flag quickly became heroes of their genre. The latest local acts were distributed via fanzines, magazines distributed by fans.
One is probably not wrong if one describes the fanzines of that time as the archetype of today’s blogs. In a short time, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington DC established themselves as Hardcore Mecca. Seattle, Texas, and Portland were also important hubs.
Post-Punk: the first real indie rock bands
Only at the end of the high phase of punk and while New Wave and Hardcore seemed to have long since reached their zenith, a dark genre called Post-Punk developed quietly and secretly in the background.
Of course, nobody stopped digitization as early as the 80s. At the beginning of the 80s, the medium compact disc was introduced, which greatly simplified the costs and the distribution of good material.
More and more alternative rock bands made it to not only college and university radios. The reach increased enormously, and with it, the popularity of small local acts, which were now pounded out of the ground almost every day.
Unlike in the 70s, when it was all about riot and noise, the focus was now on dark and monotonous song structures. The overall sound of Post Rock was relatively cool and distant. Over time, synthetic sounds mingled with the already depressing songs. At the same time, it laid the foundation for the electro scene that exploded in the 90s.
To differentiate oneself even more from bombastic rock and glitter pop, a new subgenre developed practically every second, which again carried indie rock character in itself.
Joy Division and The Cure are still the post-punk kings and can yet be found in every indie club and indie rock playlist on this planet.
Others are New Order and The Jesus and The Mary Chain. And last but not least, one must not forget the most influential indie band of all time: The Smiths.
Grunge from Seattle with Nirvana
With the end of the 80s, more and more young musicians completely redefined rock music’s sound. The floating, monotonous synth sound of the 80s said goodbye. Angry and guitar-heavy rock was played more and more again.
Grunge was probably the most popular movement in the music business in the 90s. At its head is Kurt Cobain, who is still adored today with his band Nirvana. Grunge is a mixture of instrumental and lyrical means of heavy metal and punk rock. In Seattle, in particular, the grunge fever spread at lightning speed. That’s why people often speak of the Seattle sound here.
The original “grunge” was still considered a characteristic of different music styles of the 60s and 70s; Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden completely changed the musical landscape. Not only did they embody the raw, unpolished way of producing music, they also knew how to develop a real hype that quickly grew into a mass phenomenon. And last but not least, the labels also played their part. To this day, one of the most famous grunge labels of the 90s is active – sub pop.
Sub Pop and the Fall of Grunge
It was Sub Pop who released Nirvana’s debut album. Acts like Mudhoney and Soundgarden were among their rooster. With the Sub Pop Singles Club, they created something like the forerunner of Spotify, where you got access to new singles on the scene via a membership fee. This project alone played a huge part in the growth of what was then “Seattle Sound.”
When Nirvana’s split off from their youth label and switched to the major label Geffen Records, a lot changed for Sub Pop. Although you had lost your draft horse with Nirvana, you were involved in the proceeds of the successful album “Nevermind.”
In the mid-1990s, Sub Pop was sold to the Warner Music Group. All of this came when the press and critics had the grunge hype as a favorite target on their radar.
The attitude that had been hyped years before, the reduced, bad-tempered demeanor, everything was dubbed hype and a trend pushed by labels. Grunge was no longer underground or indie rock but part of the mainstream.
How indie alternative rock became indie pop
Of course, many bands were already working on the next rock revolution during the heyday of grunge. Many of the biggest acts of indie rock as we know them today were founded in the mid-90s – The Shins, The Strokes, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse, etc. But what never fell asleep at the same time was the desire for light food and pop sounds.
It is probably why so many bands saw the light of day as indie-pop bands in the 90s.
Indie pop is a consciously chosen combination of the pop genre and the indie genre. Here harmony is paired with the independent character of indie rock. To this day, indie pop is localized in Great Britain. Although, for example, the Beach Boys also have an extensive American representative on the list. The Smiths have already been assigned to indie pop by some, as have The Stone Roses, Manic Street Preachers, or The Wedding Present. One notices the problems of the whole subgenres here.
Even if indie-pop theory sees itself more as a beat-heavy, lively version of indie rock and therefore has to come along with rough guitars more often, reality speaks different truths. What is heard often fails to exclude rock from pop or to give pop as little importance as possible in rock music.
As a result, bands like The Smiths, Oasis, New Order, Phoenix, Blur, etc., all end up in the Indie Rock pot and from here are sorted into other small drawers. For example, in Indie Pop or Brit Pop.
90s alternative indie rock: the big hour of the USA
We have already learned that The Smiths plays a decisive role in indie rock as we know it today, but its musical influences only came to fruition much later. We also know that indie rock has its origins in punk rock.
But how did it go on? The quiet, gloomy sounds that Indie Rock had struck in the mid and late 80s have been enriched with a few new facets.
An indie rock scene had already formed in the USA by the end of the 80s, whose spearheads were, for example, the Pixies and Sonic Youth. Many new genres emerged from this, such as garage rock, indie pop, and grunge.
In the UK, on the other hand, it was, for example, The Stone Roses or Manic Street Preachers who dominated the charts and ushered in the 90s with ever-increasing record sales. At that time, nobody could have guessed that they would all become elementary factors for a completely new musical hysteria: Brit-Pop.
How to find Alternative Rock Bands?
Specific genres are associated with a relatively definable phase of life. For the generation born in the 1990s, indie and alternative rock are often associated with an essential stage in adolescent development: puberty. The Strokes, the Arctic Monkeys, Blur, The Libertines, the Pixies, Oasis – more or less the first Frequency festivals’ headliners – released their albums parallel to the critical moments of adolescence and thus shaped the soundtrack of adolescent life.
But that time is over. Hip-hop has now dominated the reality of life for young people, and the indie kids from back then are now bringing their own children to kindergarten. With that, alternative rock has lost its meaning a little. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
With the best online platforms, you can now easily find the best local and recognized alternative rock bands worldwide. It is what Eventeus.com is all about!
You can now find the best alt-rock band, modern alternative bands, and other great rock experts online in no time!
Which are the best Alternative Rock Bands?
Alternative rock is also known as Indie rock. It describes nothing more than “independent rock.” It’s also called “indie,” and it describes music and bands available on a free, independent, not Major guided label.
Alternative music bands usually play and act unsigned, i.e., without a label, and indie rock. There is an increasing argument about how indie rock still is, as it has long since secured its place in the commercialized music business over the decades.
It is challenging to pinpoint a fixed, exact point in time about the origin of indie rock. Sometime in the late 1970s, indie rock emerged from alternative rock or traditional rock culture to give more space to music diversity.
Since then, the USA and UK, in particular, have been fighting over the crown of indie rock. Just like it was the case in classic rock’n’roll in the 50s, or a decade later in the 60s with the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin.
To find out who could be the founder of indie rock, we rummaged through rock music history. And what should we say? We have found what we are looking for!
With iconic Alternative Rock and Indie Rock Bands such as the Foo Fighters, Joy Division, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, White Stripes, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Chemical Romance, Eddie Vedder … the alternative music and alternative scene have been shaped from Los Angeles to London by the alternative bands bringing a new sound to the rock music.
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