Grunge concerts were known for being straightforward, high-energy performances. Grunge shows were " Grunge performers viewed these elements unrelated to playing the music.
Stage acting and "onstage theatrics" were generally avoided. Instead the bands presented themselves as no different from minor local bands.
Jack Endino said in the documentary Hype! And if you can't, can you live with being a poseur , a phony, a sellout? Clothing commonly worn by grunge musicians in Washington were a "mundane everyday style", in which they would wear the same clothes on stage that they wore at home.
This everyday clothing approach was used by grunge musicians because authenticity was a key principle in the Seattle scene. The lumberjack attire was a common sight in the thrift stores near Seattle for the low prices that musicians could afford. Cross said, "[Nirvana frontman] Kurt Cobain was just too lazy to shampoo", and Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman said, "This [clothing] is cheap, it's durable, and it's kind of timeless.
It also runs against the grain of the whole flashy aesthetic that existed in the 80s. At the same time, Sub-Pop utilized the 'grunge look' in their marketing of their bands. In an interview with VH1, photographer Charles Peterson commented that members from grunge band Tad "were given blue collar identities that weren't entirely earned.
Bruce Pavitt really got him to dress up in flannel and a real chain saw and really play up this image of a mountain man and it worked. Dazed magazine called Courtney Love one of "ten women who defined the s" from a style perspective: the " Love has claimed that she took the style from Divinyls frontwoman Christina Amphlett.
Vogue stated in that "Cobain pulled liberally from both ends of a woman's and a man's wardrobe, and his Seattle thrift-store look ran the gamut of masculine lumberjack workwear and 40s-by-way-ofs feminine dresses. It was completely counter to the shellacked, flashy aesthetic of the s in every way. In disheveled jeans and floral frocks, he softened the tough exterior of the archetypal rebel from the inside out, and set the ball in motion for a radical, millennial idea of androgyny.
Grunge music hit the mainstream in the early s with Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana being signed to major record labels. Grunge fashion began to break into mainstream fashion in mid for both sexes and peaked in late and early In the fashion world, Marc Jacobs presented a show for Perry Ellis in , featuring grunge-inspired clothing mixed with high-end fabrics. Jacobs found inspiration in the ' realism ' of grunge streetwear; he mixed it with the luxury of fashion by sending models down the catwalk in beanies, floral dresses and silk flannel shirts.
This shoot made McMenamy the face for grunge, as she had her eyebrows shaved and her hair cropped short. Punk was anti-fashion. It made a statement. Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it's crazy for it to become a fashion statement. Even though the grunge movement died down in after the death of Kurt Cobain, designers have continued to draw inspiration from the movement from time to time.
With Courtney Love as his muse for the collection, she reportedly loved the collection. Hedi knows his shit. He got it accurate, and MJ and Anna [Sui] did not. Many music subcultures are associated with particular drugs, such as the hippie counterculture and reggae , both of which are associated with marijuana and psychedelics.
In the s, the media focused on the use of heroin by musicians in the Seattle grunge scene, with a New York Times article listing the city's "three principal drugs" as " espresso , beer and heroin"  and a article calling Seattle's grunge scene the " The title of Nirvana's debut album Bleach was inspired by a harm reduction poster aimed at heroin injection users, which stated "Bleach your works [e.
The poster was released by the U. Alice in Chains' song "God Smack" includes the line "stick your arm for some real fun", a reference to injecting heroin. After Cobain's death, his " House stated that there was " Jeff Gilbert, one of the editors of Guitar World magazine, stated in that the media association of the Seattle grunge scene with heroin was "really overblown"; instead, he says that Seattle musicians were " Regarding graphic design and images, a common feature of grunge bands was the use of "lo-fi" low fidelity and deliberately unconventional album covers, for example presenting intentionally murky or miscolored photography, collage or distressed lettering.
Early grunge "[a]lbum covers and concert flyers appeared Xeroxed not in allegiance to some DIY aesthetic" but because of "economic necessity", as "bands had so little money". The style was sometimes called 'grunge typography' when used outside music.
Carson, developed a technique of "ripping, shredding and remaking letters"   and using "overprinted, disharmonious letters" and experimental design approaches, including "deliberate 'mistakes' in alignment". A key figure in creating the "look" of the grunge scene for outsiders was music photographer Charles Peterson.
Peterson's black and white, uncropped, and sometimes blurry shots of the underground Pacific Northwest music scene's members playing and jamming, wearing their characteristic everyday clothes, were used by Sub Pop to promote its Seattle bands.
Following the s tradition of amateur, fan-produced zines in the punk subculture , members of the grunge scene also produced DIY publications which were "distributed at gigs or by mail order". The zines were typically photocopied and contained handwritten, "hand-colored pages", "typing errors and grammatical mistakes, misspellings and jumbled pagination", all proof of their amateur nature.
It stated that " Edited by Charles R. By , the metal scene had faded, and The Rocket' s focus shifted to covering the pre-grunge local alternative rock bands. Dawn Anderson states that in , long before any other publication took notice of them, Soundgarden and Nirvana were Rocket cover stars. Grunge lit is an Australian literary genre of fictional or semi-autobiographical writing in the early s about young adults living in an "inner cit[y]" " It was typically written by "new, young authors"  who examined "gritty, dirty, real existences"  of everyday characters.
It has been described as both a sub-set of dirty realism and an offshoot of Generation X literature. Seattle [grunge] bands". Black Flag and could match any male band in attitude and volume. Hanna came up with the name for Nirvana's breakthrough single, " Smells Like Teen Spirit ", a reference to a deodorant marketed specifically to young women.
As well, women played an active role in the underground grunge scene, such as riot grrrls who produced zines about grunge bands and indie record labels e. The term proto-grunge has been used to describe artists as having elements of grunge well before the genre appeared in the mid-late 's.
Canadian - American musician Neil Young is perhaps the most notable proto-grunge artist. His often distorted, electric guitar playing with his backing band Crazy Horse has earned him the nickname "Godfather of Grunge". Grunge's sound partly resulted from Seattle's isolation from other music scenes. As Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman noted, "Seattle was a perfect example of a secondary city with an active music scene that was completely ignored by an American media fixated on Los Angeles and New York [City].
Nevermind reached number one in the U. Bands began to mix metal and punk in the Seattle music scene around , with much of the credit for this fusion going to The U-Men. However the unique idiosyncrasy of the band may have been the bigger inspiration, more than the aesthetics themselves. Outside the Pacific Northwest, a number of artists and music scenes influenced grunge.
Through their patronage of Seattle bands, Sonic Youth "inadvertently nurtured" the grunge scene, and reinforced the fiercely independent attitudes of its musicians. Several Australian bands, including The Scientists , Cosmic Psychos and Feedtime , are cited as precursors to grunge, their music influencing the Seattle scene through the college radio broadcasts of Sub Pop founder Jonathan Poneman and members of Mudhoney.
We used their sense of dynamics, being soft and quiet and then loud and hard. You listen to any Pixies record and it's all over there. Or even Black Sabbath 's " War Pigs "—it's there: the power of the dynamic. We just sort of abused it with pop songs and got sick with it. Aside from the genre's punk and alternative rock roots, many grunge bands were equally influenced by heavy metal of the early s.
Clinton Heylin , author of Babylon's Burning: From Punk to Grunge , cited Black Sabbath as "perhaps the most ubiquitous pre-punk influence on the northwest scene". Picture a supergroup made up of Creedence Clearwater Revival , Black Sabbath and the Stooges , and you're pretty close. Strong states that " Black Flag's record My War , on which the band combined heavy metal with their traditional sound, made a strong impact in Seattle.
Mudhoney's Steve Turner commented, "A lot of other people around the country hated the fact that Black Flag slowed down Here, it was like, 'There's only twenty people here, you can't really find a group to hate. Cross states that grunge was the " This was grounded not only in his work with his band Crazy Horse and his regular use of distorted guitar—most notably on the album Rust Never Sleeps —but also his dress and persona.
The context for the development of the Seattle grunge scene was a ".. In , the band Green River released their debut EP Come on Down , which is cited by many as being the very first grunge record. For many of them it was their first appearance on record. The artists had "a mostly heavy, aggressive sound that melded the slower tempos of heavy metal with the intensity of hardcore".
The recording process was low-budget; each band was given four hours of studio time. As Jack Endino recalled, "People just said, 'Well, what kind of music is this?
This isn't metal, it's not punk, What is it? People went 'Eureka! These bands all have something in common. While music writer Michael Azerrad acknowledged that early grunge bands like Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and Tad had disparate sounds, he noted "to the objective observer, there were some distinct similarities. Early grunge concerts were sparsely attended many by fewer than a dozen people but Sub Pop photographer Charles Peterson 's pictures helped create the impression that such concerts were major events.
Grunge attracted media attention in the United Kingdom after Pavitt and Poneman asked journalist Everett True from the British magazine Melody Maker to write an article on the local music scene. This exposure helped to make grunge known outside of the local area during the late s and drew more people to local shows.
Mudhoney's Steve Turner said, "It was really bad. Pretend bands were popping up here, things weren't coming from where we were coming from. Chris Dubrow from The Guardian states that in the late s, Australia's "sticky-floored Grunge bands had made inroads to the musical mainstream in the late s.
Soundgarden, along with other major label signings Alice in Chains and Screaming Trees , performed "okay" with their initial major label releases, according to Jack Endino. Nirvana got signed by Geffen Records in Alice in Chains' signed with Columbia Records in ,  and their debut album, Facelift , was released on August 21, In September , Nirvana released its major label debut, Nevermind. The album was at best hoped to be a minor success on par with Sonic Youth's Goo , which Geffen had released a year earlier.
Due to constant airplay of the song's music video on MTV , Nevermind was selling , copies a week by Christmas ,  and was certified gold on November 27, The success of Nevermind surprised the music industry. Nevermind not only popularized grunge, but also established "the cultural and commercial viability of alternative rock in general. Pearl Jam , which featured former Mother Love Bone members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard , had released its debut album Ten in August , a month before Nevermind , but album sales only picked up the following year.
By the second half of Ten had become a breakthrough success, being certified gold and reaching number two on the Billboard charts. The band Soundgarden's album Badmotorfinger and the band Alice in Chains' album Dirt , along with the band Temple of the Dog 's self-titled album , a collaboration featuring members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, were also among the top selling albums of There were several small roles, performances, and cameos in the film by popular Seattle grunge bands including Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains.
Filmed in and around Seattle in , the film was not released until during the height of grunge popularity. The popularity of grunge resulted in a large interest in the Seattle music scene's perceived cultural traits. While the Seattle music scene in the late s and early s in actuality consisted of various styles and genres of music, its representation in the media "served to depict Seattle as a music 'community' in which the focus was upon the ongoing exploration of one musical idiom, namely grunge".
Critics asserted that advertising was co-opting elements of grunge and turning it into a fad. Entertainment Weekly commented in a article, "There hasn't been this kind of exploitation of a subculture since the media discovered hippies in the '60s". This media hype surrounding grunge was documented in the documentary Hype! A backlash against grunge began to develop in Seattle; in late , Jonathan Poneman said that in the city, "All things grunge are treated with the utmost cynicism and amusement [.
Nirvana's follow-up album In Utero featured an intentionally abrasive album that Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic described as a "wild aggressive sound, a true alternative record". The album sold a record , copies in its first week of release, topped the Billboard charts, and outperformed all other entries in the top ten that week combined. At the height of grunge's commercial success in the early s, the commercial success of grunge put record labels on a nationwide search for undiscovered talent to promote.
This included San Diego , California -based Stone Temple Pilots ,  Texas-based Tripping Daisy   and Toadies ,    Paw ,  Chicago-based Veruca Salt ,  and Australian band Silverchair , bands whose early work continues to be identified broadly if not in Seattle itself as "grunge".
In Canada, Eric's Trip , the first Canadian band signed by the Sub Pop label, has been classified as grunge  and Nickelback 's debut album was considered to be grunge.
Silverchair achieved mainstream success in the s; the band's song " Tomorrow " went to number 22 on the Radio Songs chart in September  and the band's debut album Frogstomp , released in June , was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in February During this period, grunge bands that were not from Seattle were often panned by critics, who accused them of being bandwagon-jumpers. Grunge band Stone Temple Pilots in particular fell victim to this.
The twelve songs on Sixteen Stone sound exactly like what grunge is supposed to sound like, while the whole point of grunge was that it didn't really sound like anything , including itself.
Just consider how many different bands and styles of music have been shoved under the "grunge" header in this discography alone, and you realize that grunge is probably the most ill-defined genre of music in history. Critics and historians do not agree on the exact point that grunge ended. Pearl Jam retreating from the spotlight as fast as they could; Alice in Chains , Stone Temple Pilots and hordes of others were battling horrid drug addictions and struggling for survival.
In Jason Heller's article "Did grunge really matter? During the mids many grunge bands broke up or became less visible. On April 8, , Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was found dead in his Seattle home from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Nirvana summarily disbanded. After Cobain's death, Bruce Hardy wrote in Time magazine that he was "the John Lennon of the swinging Northwest", that he had struggled with a heroin addiction, and claimed that during the last weeks of his life there had been rumors in the music industry that Cobain had suffered a drug overdose and that Nirvana was breaking up.
That same year Pearl Jam canceled its summer tour in protest of ticket vendor Ticketmaster 's unfair business practices. Strong states that Roy Shuker and Stout have written that the " During the latter half of the s, grunge was supplanted by post-grunge , which remained commercially viable into the start of the 21st century.
Post-grunge " Post-grunge was a more commercially viable genre that tempered the distorted guitars of grunge with polished, radio-ready production. Bands labeled as post-grunge that emerged when grunge was mainstream such as Bush , Candlebox and Collective Soul all are noted for emulating the sound of the bands that launched grunge into the mainstream. In , SPIN writer Charles Aaron stated that with grunge "spent", pop punk in a slump, Britpop a "giddy memory" and album-oriented rock over, the music industry turned to "Corporate[-produced] Alternative", which he calls "soundalike fake grunge" or "scrunge".
Bands described as grunge like Bush    and Candlebox  also have been largely categorized as post-grunge. These post-grunge artists were criticized for their commercialized sound as well as their "worldview built around the comforts of community and romantic relationships", as opposed to grunge's lyrical exploration of "troubling issues such as suicide, societal hypocrisy and drug addiction.
Conversely, another rock genre, Britpop , emerged in part as a reaction against the dominance of grunge in the United Kingdom. In contrast to the dourness of grunge, Britpop was defined by "youthful exuberance and desire for recognition".
Justine Frischmann , formerly of Suede and leader of Elastica and at the time in a relationship with Damon Albarn explained, "Damon and I felt like we were in the thick of it at that point Britpop artists were vocal about their disdain for grunge. If punk was about getting rid of hippies, then I'm getting rid of grunge" ironically Kurt Cobain once cited Blur as his favorite band.
I can't have people like that coming over here, on smack [heroin], fucking saying that they hate themselves and they wanna die. That's fucking rubbish. Many major grunge bands have continued recording and touring with success in the s and s. Perhaps the most notable grunge act of the 21st century has been Pearl Jam. In Rolling Stone writer Brian Hiatt described Pearl Jam as having "spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame", he noted the band developed a loyal concert following akin to that of the Grateful Dead.
Eventually settling on William Duvall as Staley's replacement, in they released Black Gives Way to Blue , their first record in 15 years.
Despite Kurt Cobain's death, the remaining members of Nirvana have continued to be successful posthumously. Due to the high sales for Kurt Cobain's Journals and the band's best-of compilation Nirvana upon their releases in , The New York Times argued Nirvana "are having more success now than at any point since Mr.
Cobain's suicide in One of the most successful rock groups of the 21st Century, Queens of the Stone Age , has featured major contributions from various grunge musicians. Johannes also performed with the group as a touring member. In the early s, grunge would make multiple regionally based resurgences, albeit minor ones. In , The Seattle Times made note of grunge-influenced groups returning in the Seattle scene.
The s have birthed a number of bands influenced by grunge. Unlike their forebears, some of these acts ascribe the label to themselves willingly. Steve Albini has produced for or worked with members of bands such as Bully ,   Vomitface,    and Shannon Wright ,  while Emma Ruth Rundle of Marriages  has toured with Buzz Osborne of the Melvins. Other notable acts that have been labelled as grunge or as heavily influenced by the grunge era, include Courtney Barnett ,   Wolf Alice ,  Yuck ,  Speedy Ortiz ,  The Kut ,  Mitski ,  ,  False Advertising ,  Slothrust ,    Baby in Vain ,  Big Thief ,  Torres.
Media outlets also began referring to a revival of the grunge sound around the mids, with the label being given to bands such as Title Fight ,   InCrest ,  Fangclub ,  Code Orange ,  My Ticket Home ,   Citizen ,  Milk Teeth  and Muskets ;    some of which have been described as merging the genre with emo. In , music critic Dave Whitaker wrote that each generation from the start of " However, he states "grunge was the last American musical revolution", as no post-grunge generation has introduced a new genre which radically changed the music scene.
Bob Batchelor states that the indie record mindset and values in Seattle which provided guidance for the development and emergence of Nirvana and Pearl Jam " In , John Calvert stated that "timing" is the reason why a grunge revival did not happen; he says that the cultural mood of the late s and early s, which inspired the movement, were no longer present. Calvert stated that Nirvana's " Smells Like Teen Spirit " has an "iconic place in history" as it had "generation-defining resonance" for young people from its era "; he states that "no other band McManus states that grunge dealt with serious, "weighty" topics, which does not occur often in popular music.
McManus stated that for Generation X , grunge was not just music, it was a key cultural influence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the music genre. For other uses, see Grunge disambiguation. Metal Archives loading Username Password Login.
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