I just thought I'd clear that up after all of these "definitions" in which I have encountered an unbelievable amount of people who try to pass off their blatantly false pretenses as fact, and are slowly infecting others with their high-horse, holier-than-thou bullshit. Because honestly, with your ridiculous definitions, Beethoven, George Gershwin, and Britney Spears are/was "emo bands."
Now, onto the real definition.
In the early 90s there was a movement in the hardcore genre that came to be known as "Emotive Hardcore," spearheaded by Rites Of Spring. Harder-core-than-thou kids, who swore by Dischord Records a la Minor Threat, actually coined the term "Emo" as something of a put-down for the kids who really liked Rites Of Spring, Indian Summer and this new wave of "Emotive" Hardcore bands. That's right, "Emo" was once not something kids called themselves. The field exploded outwards from there - Level-Plane Records has always been the most famous Emo label. Acts like Yaphet Kotto, I Hate Myself, Saetia, Hot Cross, A Day In Black And White, Funeral Diner, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You, You And I, and hosts of others came in the next decade. Most emo bands have since broken up, but there's still the occasional hold-out (again, the majority of Level-Plane Records' roster has been a procession of emo acts). Like most DIY hardcore/punk of the time, a majority found its way onto vinyl and not much else. Some people consider bands like Fugazi, and later Sunny Day Real Estate, a progression of emo, but personally, I don't quite follow that philosophy.
Often, more recently, this gets intertwined with post-hardcore, and understandably so - that's nothing to make an issue of, since well shit, at least it's close.
Since the late 90s, though, bands have been emerging in the vein of Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, and the thousands of their clones. As far as I can tell, some lazy journalist somewhere, writing an article about them, decided "Well, fuck, no one knows what emo is anyways, so I'll call these bands "emo" - sounds more appealing than bubblegum pop rock..." and the spiral continued downwards into the current amalgomation of bands MTV has told everyone is "emo."
Somehow, people decided that "emo" meant "emotional," which is obviously bullshit, as 99% of bands make music to illicit emotion, which would make "emotional" a completely all-encompassing genre from classical to opera to pop to rap.
Hope that helps.
Rites of Spring is emo.
1. You have the fake, trendy, bullshit emo. These are the people that force themselves to be emo, try to dramatize their life, and think wearing black and cutting your wrists is emo.
2. The true emo, some who is overly emotional. Thats right, emo's can smile and be happy! Many people suffering from manic depression are labelled emo, because they can't help feeling like life fucking sucks. Alot of them also cut, hence people labelling other people who cut 'emo'
((Also, to all the people who say emo is shit, and say 'dont become emo' then label people emo when you decide they are, you are a bunch of tosspots who can go shoot yourself in the face.))
*two days later* *is wearing fully black clothes, make up, and is carrying a razor with them.*
Fake emo: My parents don't get me. Nobody gets me...
2. True emo: *is being hyper and dancing* I loooove life
*20 minutes later* God...I fucking hate this...dammit..
SKINNY JEANS (both boys and girls) The tighter the better. If an emo can hardly walk because of their jeans, then they've reached optimum emo status.
STRIPEY JUMPERS. Normally black and grey. If you're a boy, this should again be worn as tightly as possible. Breathing comfortably is a luxury you may have to sacrifice.
TATTY CONVERSE. Usually drawn on, as most emo's regard themselves as artists.
BLACK LONG HAIR COVERING ONE SIDE OF YOUR FACE. Vision can be compromsised for style as an emo. Try and make it as greasy as possible.
Finally, emo's MUST look down on everyone else, accuse them of being uncreative, judgemental, and the sole cause of their 'depression'. If you're a hardcore emo you'll cut yourself occasionnally. If you're not, then you at least have to pretend you do.
ME: CHEER UP EMO KID! :)
Emo is punk rock music. There are many sub-Genres In punk rock music.
"Emo is a subgenre of hardcore punk music. "
"Early Emo's Influence
In California, particularly in the Bay Area, bands like Jawbreaker and Samiam began to mix the DC influence with pop punk to come up with their own take on the classic DC emo sound. On Jawbreaker's album Bivouac, singer Blake Schwarzenbach evolved from the traditional hardcore vocal sound into a more melodic crooning, which displayed a more emotional feeling of loss than the desperation and frantic nature of MacKaye's voice. Other bands soon reflected the same sense of rough melody, including Still Life and New Jersey's Garden Variety. The style continued to evolve into the 2000s through bands like Avail and Hot Water Music.
Also in the early 90s, bands like Lifetime reacted in their own way to the demise of youth crew styled straight-edge hardcore and desired to seek out a new direction. While their music was often classified as emo, it was also considered to be melodic hardcore. In response to the more metal direction their hardcore peers were taking, Lifetime initially decided to slow down and soften their music, adding more personal lyrics. The band later added a blend of speed, aggression, and melody that defined their sound. Lifetime's sound, lyrics, and style were a virtual blueprint for later bands, including Saves The Day and The Movielife."
"The Second Wave (1994–2000)
As Fugazi and the Dischord Records scene became more and more popular in the indie underground of the early 1990s, new bands began to spring up. Combining Fugazi with the post-punk influences of Mission of Burma and Hüsker Dü,"
Here is a list of all Punk genres
Proto punk forerunners
List of hardcore punk genres
Pop Punk also known as Punk Pop
Pub Rock Australia & UK
Punk pop (see the Pop punk article)
Rock Against Communism
So If a band is emo then its also punk