Indie : The Story Of A Genre.
Anyone who’s a fan of Indie music has a feeling that the genre has been around for decades and has evolved over time with the cultural on-goings of an age being deeply embedded in its substance. I know I do, but the raw fact is that Indie as a genre is fairly a recent discovery and comes from a time where non- commercial music was shunned down by a large part of society. And this society I talk of is mainly Britain and America in the late 70s and early 80s.
‘Indie’ as a word comes from ‘Independent’ and tells a story of how musicians in the early 80’s found it hard to get record labels to sign them unless they produced music for the masses, music that was socially acceptable and music that would amuse their profit driven minds. The bands that wanted to make their own kind of music, however different from popular culture, had to sign with labels or studios that were independent of the major ones like Warner Music Group, EMI and PolyGram and often enough pays a lot lesser than the million dollar deals other bands in popular culture used to sign those days. Over the years ‘Indie’ has moved along from being a part of a independent record label with a number of genres to having more definition in style of music and lyrical layout. Bands in the present with the tag do not necessarily come from an independent label but still chose to be called so because they’re inspiration and styles often mimic those in the 80’s. Some of the most popular ‘Indie’ bands out there right now are The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and The White Stripes. Next time you listen to them, remember where they’ve come from.
Music wasn’t the only thing that had an ‘Indie’ tag to it. Movies that swayed away from the norm had this tag put on them as well and have amazingly so become some of the most loved movies of present times. Much more than movies of popular culture, they have had the ability to portray a surreal sense of realism that aren’t picked up at all in the commercial films that were aired during this period. This includes the Darren Aronofsky classic ‘Requiem For A Dream'(2000) and ‘Pulp Fiction'(1994) ,labelled Tarantino’s best movie so far, which were stunners to watch, though it always gives the viewer a feeling that the movie wasn’t going anywhere but ended with scenes that would often be thought provoking and violently so. There are hundreds of examples of ‘Indie’ movies that run along the same line and give a glimpse into the lives of people in rural Britain and America in the 70’s and 80’s.
Indie as a genre is not about listening to or watching something out of the ordinary. It isn’t about being able to tell people that you follow culture, other than what’s mainstream and acceptable. It’s about being able to grasp something that is not ‘ever evolving’ but rather ‘everlasting’ and being able to understand one of the only genres that have a soul.