Some large groups, like the Black Keys or the Killers, who have recently returned to the studios after years of silence, are of course still floating the rock standard in the current musical landscape.
But, according to figures from the specialized firm Nielsen Music, none appeared in 2018 in the top 10 of the most listened artists online, downgraded by the big names of hip-hop and R’n’B.
Even the programmers of the festivals, after having granted their favors for a long time, today more and more often confine rock to the annex scenes to make room for pop, rap or electro. From Tubidy you will have the option to search and download the rock music.
Quite a symbol: the legendary Woodstock, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in August with several stainless rock stars – Santana, John Fogerty, Canned Heat, to name a few – also called upon headliners from different horizons. – Jay-Z, Halsey, Miley Cyrus… – to attract a younger audience.
And to conclude, funeral: “From this point of view, yes, rock is dead”.
Many people in the music industry see in the 1990s the last hours of rock’n’roll glory, then carried by groups like Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam or Soundgarden .
For Danny Goldberg, former manager of Nirvana, hip-hop is more in tune with its era and began in the mid-1990s to take the place occupied until then by rock.
“Hip-hop has become the main vector of cultural expression for young people”, confides to AFP Mr. Goldberg, who sees in the new dominant genre “a form of evolving artistic expression”.
A state of mind
Opposite, the trend rock band of the moment Greta Van Fleet – nominated for the last Grammy Awards in the revelation category of the year – is perceived by many critics as a pale copy of Led Zeppelin, oozing with nostalgia.
Jacqueline Warwick, music specialist at the Canadian University of Dalhousie, believes that if rock has long been considered the prerogative of “serious” artists, this is not necessarily the case today.
“Pop has risen to the forefront of really interesting and important creative expressions,” she says. “And rock has turned somewhat into a dinosaur.”
But for Deanna Adams, author of several books on the subject, “rock is not only rock”: it is also a certain idea of innovation that will outlive its pioneers.
“It is painful to see so many artists leave us or fall ill,” she told AFP. “We fear losing part of us when they are sick. And when they die, we mourn the loss of their music, the concerts that we cannot go to see anymore.
What the Expert Says
“It also makes us more aware of our own mortality,” continues this sixty-something woman, according to whom the influence of rock on other musical genres gives it a kind of immortality.
“There would be no metal, punk or hip-hop without rock’n’roll,” she said. “Rock will never die because it is a broad and solid branch on a very old and very robust tree”.