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Old 05-15-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
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Why has rock music lost a lot of popularity and mainstream appeal lately?

Rock music was huge for several decades. But around the turn of the century it began losing its dominance. Suddenly, I was in the 2010s and realised rock was now generally pretty much inferior to genres like hip-hop, rnb, EDM and club music in terms of mainstream popularity.

When you think about all of the current most popular musicians, how many of them are rock bands? Who's even the most popular of the current rock bands nowadays? The Arctic Monkeys?

When people talk about the great rock bands they're usually the classic ones from the 20th century. Once those bands finally hang it up... who's gonna fill in their shoes?

Metal also has gone through a similar struggle. Metal was never as big as rock, but all of the big metal bands are from decades ago as well. And o ne the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden finally call it quits no one will be big enough to pass the torch to.

Why is this happening? Remember when guys brought guitars to school to attract the attention of girls? Does that even happen anymore? Nowadays being a DJ is probably more effective in that respect.

It's odd, because I thought everyone loved the sound of the guitar. But maybe it's because it's just cheaper and easier to produce music on a computer program? As for rapping, you can come up with lyrics by letting someone else produce a beat for you.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:27 PM   #2
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Look at the state of pop culture in general for the last decade. Look at what "sells" the most.

Standards have disappeared, and people like terrible things. It's as simple as that.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
Look at the state of pop culture in general for the last decade. Look at what "sells" the most.

Standards have disappeared, and people like terrible things. It's as simple as that.
LOL that was a pretty succinct post. You only needed 2 paragraphs even.

I am not the most in touch person out there, so maybe everyone can see it but me.

It does seem like we're in a fast food era for entertainment. And it's faster to pop out a bunch of club tracks and songs produced on a computer program than it is to learn how to play the guitar and compose a song all by yourself.

It also seems like society nowadays isn't as much into "darker" themes in their entertainment or intellectually stimulating stuff either. And genres like hip-hop and rnb work pretty well for party and sex type of songs.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:59 PM   #4
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Anything that isn't some form of pop or hip-hop is becoming increasingly niche. There's way more music out there now so people's interest are spread out too.

Like me, I listen to a lot of synthwave/retrowave which is by no means popular to the same degree as mainstream music, and I think a lot of other people are also listening to more subgenre music than before, which spreads the listener base out, making it difficult for new groups to grow large fanbases, so you never get to hear about them.

I try to expose myself to rock and rock-adjacent stuff being created today, and you can find some solid artists still, they just aren't mega huge like they would have been in the 70s/80s/90s.

I really don't know what the answer is entirely. I also think pop/hip-hop is easier to produce since most of the artists don't play instruments. They just sit around in a room and throw some beats together and then vocals on top of it, it's not the same process as traditional rock music. The skills needed to play those instruments aren't held by as many people as in the past.

Remember how Grunge came to be. The market was flooded with pop music and it was ready for something with a fresh sound, and Grunge became huge. I'm hoping for a similar revival over the next 10 or so years. But that's only going to happen if the next generation are out there learning the music fundamentals instead of only caring about sitting in a recording studio playing with some knobs, dials and pre-recorded sounds.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:02 PM   #5
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I think a general loss of interest or perceived importance in instruments? Everything seems to ebb from there, to me.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zulithe View Post
Anything that isn't some form of pop or hip-hop is becoming increasingly niche. There's way more music out there now so people's interest are spread out too.

Like me, I listen to a lot of synthwave/retrowave which is by no means popular to the same degree as mainstream music, and I think a lot of other people are also listening to more subgenre music than before, which spreads the listener base out, making it difficult for new groups to grow large fanbases, so you never get to hear about them.

I try to expose myself to rock and rock-adjacent stuff being created today, and you can find some solid artists still, they just aren't mega huge like they would have been in the 70s/80s/90s.

I really don't know what the answer is entirely. I also think pop/hip-hop is easier to produce since most of the artists don't play instruments. They just sit around in a room and throw some beats together and then vocals on top of it, it's not the same process as traditional rock music. The skills needed to play those instruments aren't held by as many people as in the past.
Tbh hip-hop nowadays isn't the same it was back in the 80s and 90s either. It basically has merged with pop and rnb and other electronic types of music. At least the mainstream kind.

Seems like classic rock just isn't much of a thing anymore. All of the more successful rock bands are indienir alternative rock bands. A decade ago, post-grunge bands such as Shinedown and Nickelback were pretty popular.

Yes, we live in an era of instant gratification. People have less patience to learn how to play an instrument. Not to mention having a band is a bigger commitment since they consist of several different members plus producers. A rapper or rnb singer only needs the producers. And a DJ or someone who produces synthwave music can do all of that stuff by themselves.

I love retrowave too.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:07 PM   #7
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Yeah, hip hop is wayyyyyy different than the 80s and 90s. Gangsta rap doesn't exist anymore. There are no more badass rappers. Just skinny jeans and mumble rap and lipstick and... like, elaborate dance routines.

If the rappers of the 80s and 90s could see now they would have a good laugh.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:11 PM   #8
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Yeah, hip hop is wayyyyyy different than the 80s and 90s. Gangsta rap doesn't exist anymore. There are no more badass rappers. Just skinny jeans and mumble rap and lipstick and... like, elaborate dance routines.

If the rappers of the 80s and 90s could see now they would have a good laugh.
I don't even know what mumble rap is. Is it literally people mumbling? Lol

Anyway, society is more materialistic than ever and hip-hop, pop and rnb are full of songs about sex and acquiring wealth by any means necessary. I've noticed a lot of big rap music fans online blame the mainstream part of the genre for giving society a wrong impression on the genre. There's definitely good rappers with deep anf thoughtful lyrics out there, but they don't get much success since very few people are listening to them.

Rock nowadays overall, seems to focus more on lyrics than playing songs for the radio and commercials.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
I love retrowave too.
Gunship (synthwave) is one of my favorite acts of recent years. With the void left by the lack of strong rock-style music, and having no interest in pop/hip-hop, I've had to discover new stuff that I can enjoy. Thankfully there really is a lot out there for people willing to look.

I pretty much can't listen to anything that tops the charts anymore, which is way different from in the 90s/2000s for me. I felt like there was enough variety for everyone back then, but what is 'popular' just sounds more and more the same now, without room for a very diverse set of sounds.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:15 PM   #10
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:20 PM   #11
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Rock music embodied a creativity and a protest.

When it has become mainstream it had become less creative and, naturally, its protest fizzled out. After all it was hard to take seriously rockers who were singing about social problems, while receiving millions for their performances.

It doesn't help that the 80s were a hard time in the West - many social problems, economic problems, renewed rivalry between West and USSR - majority of the people didn't want hear about protests, they wanted something softer and inspiring, thus glamour rockers.

With big money and fame, both creativity and protest in rock music had died. What once was a challenge to the norms, has become a new norm - stale and boring. As a result creativity went into electronic music (raves) and the last sparks of "protest" led to creation of grunge, which was anti-mainstream rock and when grunge itself has become mainstream - it has finished rock for good in the mainstream, since there was nowhere else to go.

At least this is my version of events.

As for modern music - there are some good and creative artists, but due to informational stream speeding up, thanks to the Internet and new media, they tend to appear and die out very quickly. It doesn't help that music making nowadays is more easier than ever.

Mainstream is occupied by glamour names, who are more known for their scandals and boobs, rather than music itself, which is the prime reason people remember them.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zulithe View Post
Gunship (synthwave) is one of my favorite acts of recent years. With the void left by the lack of strong rock-style music, and having no interest in pop/hip-hop, I've had to discover new stuff that I can enjoy. Thankfully there really is a lot out there for people willing to look.

I pretty much can't listen to anything that tops the charts anymore, which is way different from in the 90s/2000s for me. I felt like there was enough variety for everyone back then, but what is 'popular' just sounds more and more the same now, without room for a very diverse set of sounds.
Yes, that's how I feel too. Occasionally I check the top charts on Spotify and 99% of it sounds the exact same almost. All those songs blend in together. How did mainstream music become so homogeneous and sanitised?

Thing is, rock music was still going rather strong in the first decade of the 21st century. But then, suddenly, around 2009 or 2010, its presence in the mainstream media seemed to disappear. Also, that's when hipsters became a thing and I began seeing teenagers and people under 25 making fun of people who listened to classic rock bands for "listening to dad rock". It's like young people around that time began hating classic rcok for some odd reason. That was years before the stupid "OK boomer" meme even became a thing.

When I was a teenager, a lot of kids in my school were big classic rcok music fans. Is that even the case for the current generation anymore? Or will they just get made fun of for listening to "dad rock"?
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:56 PM   #13
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When I was young everyone looked up to rocker heroes, because they were the bad boys. Then came the gangster rappers, who may have actually murdered people in many cases... even better news! New heroes! But then there was really nothing to replace these with. There is no rock anymore, really. It is all just slightly different flavors of pop, most "hip hop" too.
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumac View Post
Rock music embodied a creativity and a protest.

When it has become mainstream it had become less creative and, naturally, its protest fizzled out. After all it was hard to take seriously rockers who were singing about social problems, while receiving millions for their performances.

It doesn't help that the 80s were a hard time in the West - many social problems, economic problems, renewed rivalry between West and USSR - majority of the people didn't want hear about protests, they wanted something softer and inspiring, thus glamour rockers.

With big money and fame, both creativity and protest in rock music had died. What once was a challenge to the norms, has become a new norm - stale and boring. As a result creativity went into electronic music (raves) and the last sparks of "protest" led to creation of grunge, which was anti-mainstream rock and when grunge itself has become mainstream - it has finished rock for good in the mainstream, since there was nowhere else to go.

At least this is my version of events.

As for modern music - there are some good and creative artists, but due to informational stream speeding up, thanks to the Internet and new media, they tend to appear and die out very quickly. It doesn't help that music making nowadays is more easier than ever.

Mainstream is occupied by glamour names, who are more known for their scandals and boobs, rather than music itself, which is the prime reason people remember them.
This is a pretty good post.

Something similar seems to be happening to rap music. I guess it eventually will go through a down period as well?

It seems like the whole sex, drugs and rock n roll lifestyle is no longer that appealing. A lot of the most popular modern rock bands are of the alternative or indie variety without frontmen that are the living embodiments of the "Rockstar" stereotype.

Lemmy from Motorhead was one of the last true Rockstars. It wasn't just a gimmick. He lead a brutal lifestyle. And he's dead now. Eventually Keith Richards and others will die too, and then we won't have any Rockstars left.

Protest and social conscious music seems less of a thing nowadays. At least in the mainstream. I can only think of Rage Against the Machine and they've been around since the 90s already. Plus they broke up some time ago.

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When I was young everyone looked up to rocker heroes, because they were the bad boys. Then came the gangster rappers, who may have actually murdered people in many cases... even better news! New heroes! But then there was really nothing to replace these with. There is no rock anymore, really. It is all just slightly different flavors of pop, most "hip hop" too.
A lot of the gangster rappers were just a gimmick. I kinda view gangster rap and themes as the hip-hop equivalent of satanism in metal. A ton of metal bands will have songs that reference Satan or primarily talk about Satan and demons in their songs, but VERY FEW are actual satanists. It was literally done for shock value in the 80s.

Sure, some of those gangster rappers were gang members in the past, but a ton of them are just using that image as part of their gimmick.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:23 PM   #15
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The greatest straight-up rock band on planet Earth right now (and for the last decade, arguably) has two chicks playing guitar and the lead singer's a lesbian. Don't ask me how we got here, but that's entirely where we're at. I don't have any problem with that, it's just odd is all.



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Old 05-16-2021, 08:13 PM   #16
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Music movements as a whole have disintegrated almost completely because music isn't centralized like it used to be. Literally everything is presented in a mash-up online and in a messy soup of soundcloud streaming and so on.

When it's not compartmentalized you have fewer "album appreciators" and more casual "algorithm streamers".
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Old 05-16-2021, 11:02 PM   #17
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Ghost is pretty popular, or at least they seem to be.
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Old 05-16-2021, 11:15 PM   #18
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A lot of the gangster rappers were just a gimmick.
Yeah, but the fakers were never hard to spot. And criminal records (or a lack thereof) are public records.
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Old 05-17-2021, 03:51 AM   #19
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Different factors:

1.) What once symbolized teenage revolts later became mainstream. Those who listened to "Rock Around the Clock" with Bill Haley in 1954 eventually grew up, married, got children and bought a single-family house or apartment.

Rock musicians would continue trying to shock, and destroy hotel rooms. But at the end, no hotels wanted them. Hotel reparation costs were expensive....

Soft rock later came, but never shocked anyone and was never intended to do so.

Punk rock would later shock for a while, but on the other hand a lot of people also agreed when they took up social problems in their songs.

When rock musicians and producers couldn't shock with "Rock Around the Clock" anymore, they had to go with something else, like hard rock and heavy metal with Satan. But after a while it got tiresome, and time went on.

2.) The major arrival of music videos in the mid-late 1970's, and MTV launching in August 1981, slowly made appearance more important, providing more space for other types of pop music than rock. Today, music videos are still around, but usually online.

2.) When the Internet broke through, the music industry suffered major economic losses. As we all know, most downloadings between 1995 and 2010 were illegal.

3.) A lot of things (music, movies) who were once surrounded by excitement for young people, are now just a clic away and less exciting.
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:31 PM   #20
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kids now listen to beatdown or deathcore on the heavier side, anything else is just old or not heavy. radio is dead and people listen to stuff streaming. This thread just shows how the older you get the more out of touch you get with stuff especially music. Rock has just evolved over the years and same with pop music.
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