The term ‘Pop punk’ originated in the mid 1970s in regions such as the UK, US, Australia and Canada. It has been described as a strand of alternative rock and a fusion of the genres of punk rock and pop.
The music of this genre often includes instruments such as vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums and occasionally keyboards.
Pop punk became successful in the late 1970s and gained massive international commercial success in the 1990s and 2000s but this has dropped since.
Pop punk Artists
1970s: Early bands of this genre are considered to be the Buzzcocks, Generation X, the Jam, the Undertones and the US band Bad Religion.
1980s: US bands became popular such as Descendants, Screeching Weasel and the Vandals.
Early 1990s: Many independent record labels emerged as the genre had a DIY quality to its music.
Mid 1990s: Green Day and The Offspring became very popular as did Weezer and Face to Face. Less Than Jake and No Doubt also have some pop punk characteristics.
Late 1990s: The Offspring grew in popularity as did Blink-182, arguably one of the most well known and representative pop punk bands of all time as most contemporary pop punk bands are inspired by their music.
Early 2000s: The Offspring and Sum 41 released their albums via major record labels and bands such as Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, New Found Glory, The Atrias, Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, and solo artist Avril Lavigne, all became very popular.
Mid to late 2000s: Panic! At The Disco and the All-American Rejects became well-known as did A Day To Remember, Relient K, Set Your Goals and All Time Low.
Throughout this period Green Day, New Found Glory and Blink-182 continued to be extremely successful. Many pop punk songs have become classics in contemporary music such as ‘American Idiot’, ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ and ‘Good Riddance’ by Green Day; ‘What’s My Age Again’, ‘All The Small Things’ and ‘I Miss You’ by Blink-182; ‘Sk8er Boi’ and ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne; and ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ by Fall Out Boy.
Music Videos Associated With Pop punk
Normally, music videos associated with pop punk are those written or performed by pop punk bands as quite often the genre of a song is reflected in its music video.
Here are some examples of famous pop punk videos.
1 . ‘The Anthem’ by Good Charlotte2. ‘In Too Deep’ by Sum 413. ‘Feeling This’ by Blink-182
All of these feature a performance by the band including their musical instruments and a crowd.
4. ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ by Green Day5. ‘Sk8er Boi’ by Avril Lavigne6. ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ by Fall Out Boy
All of these videos include a narrative to complement the song, 5 and 6 don’t really illustrate the actual song as pop punk music often is a form of expression and not logical.
Conventions of Pop punk in Terms of Music
Music of the pop punk genre often features...
• The use of electric instruments associated with rock music such as vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums and sometimes keyboards.• The song often involves the techniques of layering instruments or panning where the instruments are split between the left and right ears when listening to music through headphones.• There are guitar riffs and drum fills, solos are less likely.• Sometimes gang vocals are used as a call and response form.• During the bridge the instruments may stop playing momentarily for impact and then return to, for example, launch into the chorus.• The vocals are often loud and powerful sounding.• Often the chords used are basic and few and repeated (e.g. C, G, Am, F or D, A, Bm, G).• The melodies of the songs are catchy as are many guitar or piano riffs.• The lyrics may have a theme of anger, social rejection, romantic rejection, infatuation or disappointment. They may have an upbeat melody even if they are negative.
Conventions of Pop punk in Terms of Videos
There are certain themes that appear often in music videos of the pop punk genre; these are...
• The band/artist performing either in a room by themself or to a crowd/audience who are dressed in a certain way.• The band being dressed in a particular way according to the genre. For example, Blink-182 wear punk-inspired clothing in most of their videos.• Musical instruments being played either by the artist or a backing band during the music video.• Movement and energy is often portrayed (e.g. Crowd dancing).• The concept of the video is filmed in a room or in front of a basic backdrop, the scenery is not very intricate to compliment the performance rather than distract.• The use of synergy either through the use of setting, costume or prop. For example, Armstrong from Green Day uses his guitar; ‘Blue’ in many videos; and Williams from Paramore is recognised by her variations of red hair. Many videos also feature the bands logo in the background or a symbol associated with them. For example, in ‘Sk8er Boi’ the star symbol appears repeatedly throughout.• It is not rare for pop punk videos to feature a narrative that either illustrates the song (‘Jesus of Suburbia’) or doesn’t (‘Sugar We’re Going Down’).
Conventions of Pop punk in Terms of Performance
Usually, performances by pop punk bands/artists involve...
• The band/artist performing either in a room by themself or to a crowd/audience.• The band being dressed in a particular way according to the genre. For example, Blink-182 wear punk-inspired clothing in most of their videos.• Musical instruments being played either by the artist or a backing band.• The musicians may be playing basic chords as barre chords to make themselves look more skilful as performers.• The singer often moves closer to and away from the microphone.• Movement and energy is often portrayed (e.g. Crowd dancing or artist jumping up and down or waving their arm, encouraging audience interaction).• The bands logo may be featured behind them if they are performing on a stage.• In a music video, there may be close ups of the musicians in relation to the music itself. For example, a close up of the drummer when a drum fill is played or a panning shot of the singer as they perform.• The artist will also appear ‘cleaner’ than they actually are live on stage and their hair and make-up will be done. Live, artists tend to sweat and their hair may look dishevelled, though this could be included in the music video to establish their identity as a musician.