OPINION: Musicians deserve room to experiment and grow

By Kendall Polidori, News Editor

Shane Tolentino

Some of the music scene’s most renowned rock names–blink-182, Green Day and Fall Out Boy–have been making comebacks in 2019 with new albums, tours and sounds. 

However, many diehard fans have been vocal about not liking these transitions. After the May release of blink-182’s single “Blame It On My Youth,” fans took to Twitter, pleading with the band to “return to their old sound.” But these changes are necessary for the band’s artistic growth and individual maturity.

Blink-182 has undergone changes since the early ‘90s. The most detrimental change was the departure of lead vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge in 2015. With blink-182 being my favorite band, it was hard to accept its shift in sound with the addition of Matt Skiba, Chicago-native and frontman for Alkaline Trio.

Blink-182’s first album without DeLonge, “California,” received mixed reviews and many fans, including myself, were still on the fence about the band continuing without DeLonge. But, with its recent Sept. 20 release of the album “Nine,” it is clear the punk rock collective needed the transition toward a more pop rock sound.

And, let’s face it, these guys are not in their 20s anymore. I’m no longer the fourth grader I was when I first discovered them. As bands age, so do their original fans. With new material could also come new fans. If they weren’t changing their sound at some point, then they would be stuck in the past, trying to keep up with an image that no longer applies to them.

The reason fans held back their feelings about the band’s transition is because guitarist and vocalist Skiba himself had not fully indulged in the band’s sound. But with “Nine,” he blew it out of the water, loosening up and better demonstrating his talent and value to blink-182. The band is no longer the “crappy punk rock” trio fans adored, but, as matured musicians, that is certainly a good thing. Vocalist and bassist Mark Hoppus even said the band is not trying to adhere to any particular sound, they are just writing songs they love.

Two other big-house names in the punk rock scene—Green Day and Fall Out Boy—announced Sept. 10 their joint “Hella Mega Tour,” a summer 2020 stadium tour with Weezer set to kick off March 8. Similar to blink-182, the bands have released new music far from what they were making 10 or even 20 years ago.

Compared to their start in Chicago’s hardcore punk scene, Fall Out Boy’s latest album, “Mania,” takes the band into a new realm of sound. Dipping their toes into a more synth-heavy, pop sound, the band took a step out of its comfort zone.

It can be difficult to adjust to your favorite band’s new sound and experimentation, but it is absolutely necessary in order for the musicians to grow personally in their art, as well as mature in their career as a band.