Where Are They Now?: Emo's 10-Year High School Reunion

Photo by Nicole Zeno
Mainstream emo in the early 2000s was a harsh mistress to keep. For those of us into the true underground form of it, it was an offensive burden to deal with, but at least some good bands were getting some mainstream success.

Others? Well, we'd just have to deal with them. Of course, all that's over now. The whole thing's gone back underground. And what about all those mainstream torchbearers?

As covered in a previous article I wrote, many jumped ship and found more success in happier genres. Others refused to let it die and are today something similar to what hair metal guys were in the era of grunge.

Since the majority of these bands' fans were in high school and pretty much stopped paying attention afterwards, consider this your high-school reunion, where you get to see all the embarrassing things your old friends from those days have been up to. Trust me, they're much worse off these days than you are.

5. Hawthorne Heights

Well-known for their 2004 hit "Ohio is for Lovers," Hawthorne Heights never managed to achieve legitimate consideration by true fans of post-hardcore and emo music, yet they've tried their damndest. So much so that they're still around in 2012 and have scarcely changed their sound. The above video is four songs from their latest EP released in June, titled Hope.

Strangely enough for someone like me, who dismissed HH outright back in the day, there's something nostalgic about their sound today and I find myself enjoying this much more than I ever enjoyed them before. Maybe they're just more focused on writing good music now that they're aware they'll never see chart success again. A golf clap for Hawthorne Heights, everyone.

4. Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World was one of the first emo bands to push into the mainstream and, to be honest, I've never begrudged them as much for it as many others. You can't deny that "The Middle" was an extremely catchy and addictive song. But they still seem to think they can hold onto that fame and it's just not happening.

As of 2010's release, Invented, Jimmy Eat World is still pursuing a similar sound to their original one, with some minor updates. But listen to that single above. Does it remind you of anything? Well, that's because the chorus melody is entirely a rip of "Gone Away" by the Offspring. Nice one, Jimmy Eat World. Apparently, they're taking their cues on staying relevant from the Red Hot Chili Peppers now.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Thank you @lulu_08 , seriously folks. This isn't emo.  Go to WashedUpEmo.com or @washedupemo on Twitter or on Facebook.com/washedupemo and actually read about real emo that doesn't include Yellowcard or My Chemical Romance. Was this written by an intern?


Dammit. I misread the title and thought this was about bands who used to play *at* Emo's, the club.

Joshua Macala
Joshua Macala

Why did I just read about emo bands? Curse you Houston Press!

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith

If they're anything like the bands I listened to in high school, I imagine they're at Scout Bar RIGHT NOW.


 @WashedUpEmo  @lulu_08 I know what emo is truly (I reference that in the article), but there was a movement in the mainstream that co-opted the term and these bands were chief among them. I know a lot of you old school guys would like to run away from that, I would too in a lot of ways, but it's simply not true to deny that there were magazine covers everywhere proclaiming these guys the kings of emo. The Promise Ring means emo to us, but to a lot of kids who grew up when these bands were popular, they had no idea what a Sunny Day Real Estate or a Cap'n Jazz was and considered this the real deal. It would be willful ignorance to say these bands weren't considered emo at that time. The people who were around when that was going on and realized that there was a Jade Tree Records but there was also an Alternative Punk magazine pushing two distinct ideas of emo are who this article is aimed at.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault