What is Post-Punk?


By: Aaron Grey

Erica and I have both been involved in the underground punk and post-punk scenes for more than half of our lives now. I'm pretty confident that I speak for both of us when I say that even among the DIY punk scene we felt a little like outsiders. I wanted to write something about what it means to us and why we want to help to perpetuate the genre and the ethics we believe it represents.

Post-punk has traditionally been described as a genre to rise out of the first wave of punk music in the late 1970s. Post-punk is obviously stylistically diverse; This diversity is because musicians began to reexamine and challenge the oddly formal strictures of the punk orthodoxy. They started to explore dynamics, dance beats, and electronics. Some of the early contributors and some of our favorites include such bands as Joy Division, The Chameleons, Gang of Four, Au Pairs, The Slits, The Fall, The Cure, and Wire.

Those same early Sex Pistols shows that inspired bands to grab guitars and start pounding out three-chord punk rock anthems also inspired similar do-it-yourself artists to get weirder and go further. Much like punk, post-punk has never really stopped in its pursuit of freedom and high ideals. This community is a place where thoughtful, self-aware artists can write the type of politically informed music that they want without having to worry about adhering to anyone else's ideas of what it should sound like.

Post-punk supplied the starting point for other genres like deathrock, industrial, darkwave, and new wave, among others. It came back to prominence in the early 2000s with bands like Editors, The Stills, White Lies, Moving Units, and Interpol. It is again springing to new life, and we love it and want to be part of it.

This genre of misfits among misfits is where we fit in. While we understand and appreciate the punk tradition, the post-punk and darkwave scenes are the shadows we call home. We have been propped up and supported by these sounds, and they have given us what we needed to succeed in this world. It is our goal to nurture this tradition of music and politics and freedom of expression, to foster the idea of self-expression without limitation in a safe, meaningful way. And of course, we always want to help to move more people to dance.

Now go start your own band!