The Emo Lifestyle

What is emo?

Emo stands for emotional rock. This phrase is contradictory; I know, mostly all music is emotional in one way or another.

What sets this apart?

Emo is extra emotional (super-sized if you might say), which is why it's referred to as emo. This phrase now describes lyrics about life, love, and consequences, wicked bar chords, quick power chords, melodic guitar riffs, and punk rock-like drum beats. The most popular instruments for emo bands are guitar, bass, and drums, but every once in a while, a violin or synthesizer will pop up.

Emo Fashion:

Most emo-type people wear tight pants and kid-sized full bleed t-shirts with old school sneakers, such as Chuck Taylors, 1980s style Reeboks, or Sauconys . Flannel shirts, popped collars, trucker hats, oversized sunglasses, long hair, and faux-hawks are also popular. A faux-hawk is a really wide mo-hawk that isn't as drastic or as eye catching as a traditional mo-hawk.


Everything you hear is a stereo-type. There may be a business-like professional gentleman that enjoys the emo scene. There may also be a long-haired hippy-like stoner that enjoys a little emo every now and again.

Emo History

The history of emo is somewhat less ambiguous than its current meaning. "Emo" music developed out of the D.C. punk scene in the '80s. In its original incarnation, emo was short for emocore, or emotional-hardcore. The name was applied to hardcore punk rock bands who distinguished themselves from their peers by adding an emotional component to their music, dealing with sadness and love and angst in their lyrics. The music was also characterized by particularly dramatic vocals which, at best, left the audience in an emotionally charged state, crying or screaming. These days, emo has been popularized and sent into the mainstream through bands like Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday and Saves the Day.

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