Alt culture regain popularity with teens

Recent decade revivals have resulted in resurfaced alt trends from the 2000s. This revival takes influence from emo, mall goth and scene.


Dekai Averett

Punk rock princess…Observing the newest selection of Hot Topic t-shirts, Wissahickon High School senior Savana Johnson has her eyes on a piece of My Chemical Romance merchandise.

Through music-based social media platforms like TikTok and SoundCloud, numerous aspects of alternative culture trends that peaked during the 2000s are regaining popularity amongst a Gen Z demographic.
During the 2000s, teen subcultures like emo, mall goth and scene helped to popularize pop-punk, nü metal and metalcore music in the mainstream through MySpace top eights and MTV programs like TRL.
According to Instagram influencer and TikToker Nebula Moonstar, the revival of these trends resulted from an entirely new subculture growing from the SoundCloud emo rap scene.
“When rappers such as Lil Peep, Lil Lotus and GothBoiClique started to gain traction, so did a new subculture of e-kids,” Moonstar said. “I noticed how much it mirrored original emo culture.”
Instagram blogger Tim Ross believes that Travis Barker, best known as the drummer of Blink-182, has had a significant impact on the revitalized interest in alternative music.
“He started collabing with young alternative artists like YungBlud and Machine Gun Kelly and making more rock-oriented tracks. I think that’s what really started the whole revival,” Tim Ross said.
YouTuber Finn McKenty believes that the revival of 2000s alternative-influenced music feels like an important “reincarnation” in the history of these genres. “I think this is exactly what the scene needed in a time when most pop-punk, metalcore and emo bands are completely uninspired,” McKenty said.
Along with the popularity of newer artists, some artists have shown their longevity with a new generation of young fans.
“I’m seeing a lot of Korn and definitely Pierce the Veil,” Saige Ross said. “Bring me the Horizon is another huge one.”
Senior Emma Becker relates, saying that her younger sister has gained an interest in the same bands she listened to when she was in middle school.
“My little sister keeps calling me emo because she’s going through her emo phase now and listening to My Chemical Romance and stuff,” Becker said.
Becker also finds that TikTok audios have played an important role in repopularizing alternative songs from the past.
“On TikTok all the time I have audios of the [song] ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ [by All Time Low],” Becker said
According to Wissahickon Senior Savana Johnson, comebacks in alternative fashion have coincided with the revival of alternative music.
“I see a lot of red plaid skirts, fishnet stockings and undershirts, and a lot of different hairstyles like chunky streaks and fringes,” Johnson said.
Tim Ross believes that it’s important for alternative teens to respect the bullying that members of the original subcultures received for their style.
“If you are going to go as far as to dress the part, at least do your part to recognize the fact that older members of the scene got verbally and sometimes physically assaulted for dressing alternative,” Tim Ross said.