You might have heard some rumors that rock is dead. Whoever makes those claims is surely misinformed. Make sure you check their sources. Rock music has had a tidal pattern of popularity, but it has yet to disappear completely. And so far, it’s come back every time a journalist has considered it dead.
To put it simply: Rock music will never truly die.
There have been periods of time in the past where journalists claimed that rock had died, that the era of rock was over. Each time, rock resurfaced, stronger than ever, as Nirvana did in the late 1980s. Though there may be fewer rock bands today, that doesn’t mean rock is dead; as a platform, the genre of rock is versatile and provocative, and even if it seems like the American rock music crowd is dwindling, internationally, rock remains popular, especially in Sweden.
Unlike the flashy, consumer-conscious pop music released today that gets old after a few plays, most rock has an evergreen quality, where the music is timeless and the vocals don’t drive you to madness. They’re fresh even after decades, which means they won’t lose their impact. If rock music were truly dead, would we have radio stations dedicated to blasting hits from the 60s and 70s? Would groups like Weezer and the Pixies be going on tour in 2018? Rock isn’t dead yet, and the influence of older rock groups remains prominent, even among the younger generations.
The lifespan of a music genre is determined by how relevant and appealing it is to multiple generations. Rock can only die when there comes a generation that dismisses it entirely, but as we see today, that isn’t likely. Young people might be exposed to older rock because of their parents, but what keeps them interested is the quality and relevance of the music. Rock is believed to be influential because of the messages it tends to portray, like that of free thought and expression, as well as a sort of idealism that encourages enacting change in the world. In troubled times, people don’t reach for the latest upbeat autotuned bop; they seek out music that resonates with them on an emotional and intellectual level, and that’s what rock will always have to offer.
Even if there were to be some cataclysmic event that rendered rock music untouchable, rock would never die. Its influence has spread throughout a variety of genres, including rap and pop, and its societal impacts are even greater. Rock has been used to celebrate youth, mourn hopelessness, and organize protests. If rock music were to face an unlikely end, its impression on the world would not be lost. And if all its influence and history remains, how could we say that rock is dead? Maybe, once more, rock would lie dormant, waiting for another brave soul to wield it.