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20 Interesting Facts About Punk Music
1. What is Punk Music?

Punk, also called punk rock, is an aggressive form of rock‘-n’ roll. It is characterized by loud, insistent music and a sarcastic and hostile façade. The lyrics of the songs are a way for the youth to revolt and express their ideologies.

2. Punk Music Day

Punk Music Day was established to celebrate the long history of Punk Rock. It is celebrated annually, on the 25th of October. The simplest way to start your celebration is to make punk the theme-genre of your day. If you’re feeling a bit more outlandish, throw on your favorite old band shirts, spike out your hair, and wrap it all in leather to relive the days of your “wasted youth”. Get together with your old punk friends and host a Punk for a Day party, rocking out to your favorite tunes and wearing your old punk clothes to really bring back the days of yore.

3. History of Punk

The beginnings of punk rock are considered a controversial topic due to the fact that everyone has a different definition of punk rock, and partially because its foundation stones are found in several places. The term “punk rock” was first used by American rock critics in the early 1970s to describe 1960s garage bands and certain subsequent acts. In 1976, punk became a huge thing, especially in the UK, leading to the birth of a subculture. In 1977, the influence of the music and subculture spread worldwide. Its roots are found in a wide range of local scenes that often rejected affiliation with the mainstream culture. In the late 1970s, punk experienced a second wave as new bands that were not active during its formative years adopted the style.

4. The Punk Subculture

The punk subculture includes a diverse array of principles, fashion, and other forms of expression, such as poetry, prose and film. Punk aesthetics determine the type of art punks enjoy, which is usually characterized by underground and minimalist features.

5. Punk’s Popularity by Countries

While the US and the UK continue to claim the land rights of this genre, punk became popular in all corners of the globe. Iceland, for example, had plenty of punk bands in the 1980s (193 bands per million of people!). Canada seemed to like punk, too. Early bands included the Viletones, the Diodes, and the Poles.

6. The Term’s Roots

Many punk historians have tried to capture the complexities of the word “punk”. In the late 1500s, the word punk referred to a prostitute. It can be found in Shakespeare’s play, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Measure for Measure. It evolved over the centuries to become a synonym for “hoodlum” or “ruffian,” which is one of the reasons why the Sex Pistols and other influential punk bands adopted it in the mid ’70s.

7. Punk Style

Punk fashion is very distinctive, varies widely and was inspired to shock people. Many punks use clothing as a way of making a statement. In the 70s, it was based on T-shirts, jeans and leather jackets. Doc Martens boots and studded belts were two of the most distinguishing features of the 80s punk style.

8. Punk Music Subgenres

Punk music comes in plenty of forms. Sometimes, it’s difficult to set them apart. Most of their differences are related to their overall structure, instrumental and vocal styles and tempo. Some of the most popular subgenres include: hardcore punk (generally, faster and more aggressive), pop punk (combines elements of punk rock and pop music), and garage punk (strongly influenced by garage rock).

9. A DIY Spirit

According to the punk aesthetic, people have the ability to express themselves and create works with limited means. Commercial DIY music has its origins in the mid 1970s punk rock scene. It developed as a way to consume punk content and share punk knowledge within the subculture. As time went by, it transitioned into a form of empowerment. By controlling the entire production and distribution chain, the DIY model made it easier for music bands to maintain a closer relationship between them and their fans. Furthermore, it gave total control over the final product without need to compromise with record labels.

10. Women Representation in Punk Rock

Women have made significant contributions to punk rock music and its subculture since the 70s. The counter-cultural mindset of the punk scene in mid-and-late 1970s encouraged women to participate. This played a role in the historical development of punk music, especially in the US and UK at that time, and continues to influence and enable future generations. Important contributors are Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, and Joan Jett.

11. All-Time Punk Songs

In 1981, the readers of “Sounds” (a music magazine) voted the punk songs and groups they thought made the most impact. Anarchy in the UK by Sex Pistols got the 1st place, followed by New Rose by The Damned and No Government by Anti-Pasti.

12. Punk Principles

Punk ideologies are usually expressed through the lyrics of the music. Punk pledges for authenticity, one of its most common attitudes being the opposition to selling out (which means adopting a mainstream lifestyle).

13. Punk Rock Characteristics

Punk rock is characterized by fast tempos, loud and distorted riffs, simple songs, frequent use of power chords, and shouted vocals. Punk rock lyrics are typically very aggressive and confrontational, and deal with topics considered taboo in mainstream music. The experienced anger is the main focus, but many groups include some light-hearted or comedic lyrics.

14. Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols are the face of the punk movement in the UK. They were responsible for initiating this movement in England and represent the main inspiration for many punk and alternative rock musicians. Their fashion and hairstyles have been credited as a significant influence on punk image, and they are often associated with anarchism within music. Their song, God Save the Queen, became a symbol of the United Kingdom’s social and political turmoil.

15. The Initiators of Punk Fashion

Punk style was established in New York City by a bunch of bands, such as the Ramones. In the mid-1970s, they created the main punk “uniform”, whose essentials are black leather jackets, Levi’s 505 jeans, and shrunken T-shirts.

16. The Punk Movement

Initially, the punk subculture started as a rebellion against the bright, colourful lifestyle that defined the 60s. Punk music also originated out of the frustrations many youth were feeling regarding economic inequality and the neglect of working people and their struggles.

17. Punk Music: A Source of Inspiration for Many Bands

The underground punk rock movement inspired countless bands that either evolved from a punk rock sound or brought its outsider spirit to very different kinds of music. Emo, for example, was born out of Washington D.C.’s 1980s hardcore-punk scene.

18. Post-Punk

Post-punk is a diverse genre that emerged from the cultural milieu of punk rock in the late 1970s. While embracing the classic form of punk, post-punk musicians experimented with a big variety of styles, such as funk, jazz, and dance music. These communities produced independent record labels.

19. Punk’s Effects

Punk music generated the idea that everyone is capable of making music. It taught us that initiative is the thing it takes to be part of a band. It inspired a lot of young people to pursue their dreams, regardless of the place they come from and their financial situation.

20. The First Non-English Speaking Punk Rock Band

Stinky Toys are considered to be the first punk band who wrote songs in languages other than English. They were from Paris and formed in 1976. During the same year, the band took part in the 100 Club Punk Festival in London, sharing the stage with such bands as Sex Pistols, The Damned and Siouxsie.

To this day, punk music’s influence can be felt by a big part of our society. It taught us a lot of valuable things. Its strive for authenticity inspired many people to express themselves without feeling the pressure to conform to society’s expectations.

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