As of late, I catch myself before I gripe about younger bands like Hawthorne Heights, Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy. Why? Because these bands remind me of older bands like Seven Mary Three, Silverchair and Candlebox, but not in sound. These bands sound nothing alike, but as far as a function in the music industry, they're genre placeholders. Bands like Silverchair and Candlebox kept me interested in modern rock music just before I realized there was a whole underground of rock bands out there. Once it got to the point where these guys and these guys were always on the radio, I had to find something else to rock my world. I get the feeling that a large number of 15/16/17-year-olds are on the verge of finding something deeper (if they haven't already).
Bands like Seven Mary Three, Silverchair and Candlebox were signed to keep the corpse of grunge alive for a few more years. They were successful . . . for a little while. Singles likes "Cumbersome," "Tomorrow" and "Far Behind" received a lot of airplay and the albums they came from sold in the millions. They were a big deal in their day. They weren't one-hit wonders and they had a couple of other songs that received substantial play on the radio and MTV. These days, they're rather hard to remember. I get the feeling that modern bands like Hawthorne Heights, Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy will have a similar fate.
Time is the enemy for all of us. Fame is a fleeting thing. Blah blah blah, right? Well, I don't think this can't be said enough. For something so temporary, people often cling to fame like it's always going to be there. For bands that seem to be on top of the world now, there is an inevitable decline following close behind.
I bring this all up because these younger bands act like there is nothing stopping them. While I think it's good to maximize your potential as a band, don't think playing a certain popular kind of music is the elevator to longterm success. No matter how many times you hear/see something about a hot new band, they're only new once. In the never-ending game of musical chairs, new bands are always getting in the waiting line.
Checking back in with Silverchair, according to their website, they're still together. Their popularity in Australia remains strong, but they are a footnote in the US. Candlebox's original line-up is reportedly back together with plans for shows this year. Seven Mary Three recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary. That's nice to hear, but I'm not really pining to hear any of these bands' material any time soon.
I have a theory about underground/non-mainstream music: if you get into it, going back to your previous Top 40 ways is very hard to do. Sure, it's great to hear certain pop hits from time to time, but some just don't move you the way they used to move you. "I have become cumbersome" indeed.