Let’s start with a small note from one of the greatest rock stars this planet has ever seen – Jimi Hendrix who said ”Rock is so much fun. That’s what it’s all about — filling up the chest cavities and empty kneecaps and elbows.”
Rock music, undoubtedly, is the most popular form of music worldwide. Rock fans are there everywhere – omnipresent at every nook and corner of the world. Events like the Woodstock 69, live forever in the memories of even those who weren’t present there at the time.
Transformation and fusion has always been an inherent part of the Rock music. Its not an understatement to state that these genres go into hundreds, often into thousands too. Originally rock had very few genres such as classic, punk, metal, blues, hard and gothic. The beauty of all these genres is that they can be further classified into hundreds of sub-genres as far as Japanese Hard rock or pop punk and numerous others. Every band also sometimes develops its own style. In addition to genres, rock has always seen movements such as the progressive movement of the 70s made famous by bands such as Queen and Pink Floyd.
Fusion is the soul of rock music. Without it, rock couldn’t have become so popular throughout the world. Nearly every band develops its own style by bringing in the culture of their respective countries to the mix. Some examples in point are Gazette (Japanese), Nulltarif (Germany) and Latin rock bands from Mexico and Spain etc. Closer home, Indian rock scene is no different. Bands such as Indian Ocean, Parikrama etc have a huge fan following owing to the fusion of Indian classical with western rock. Those who are familiar with the music of Indian Ocean swear by its songs which have an amazing mix of guitar as well as a tabla. Apart from these, Bangla rock bands such as Fossils have also carved out a niche. Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru have become the hubs of Indian rock scene.
Fusion has seen many new genres of rock being created. For example: Alternate rock made famous by bands such as Coldplay and The Verve. Another one of many examples is the categorization of metal rock into hard metal, death metal, punk metal and so many more. Hard rock also sometimes borders on metal mix. Linkin park, Dream Theater, Oasis etc bands are good examples.
The only drawback of this process is the classification of bands. You can’t really put a band in one single category. Take Poets of the Fall; they can be considered a hard rock band as well as a gothic rock one. Some of their songs are soft rock too; i.e. no clear demarcation. However, to an average rock fan; it doesn’t really matter as long as the bands experiment successfully.
Rock music is soul for many people around the world. True rock fans dismiss the “sex, drugs and rock n roll” image of rock music that some of the earlier bands created. Most of the present bands such as U2 and Coldplay engage big time in charity. Musicians like Bono (U2) have even been nominated for Nobel Peace prize.
Rock has the power to bridge divides and heal a nation. People use rock to relate their emotions with, such as love or hate. Rock is a passionate medium to shout your heart loud. When Bon Jovi sang “it’s my life” in 1984, millions got a new anthem. When Linkin Park makes music, thousands vent out their anger through them. That’s the power of rock.
No amount of words can describe what rock means to people. In the end, all that’s left to say is ‘Long live rock; long live its fusion’.