Whenever you ask a band what genre they are, they will tell you that they don’t want to be pinned down to just one genre.
They say that, but we can listen to their record and always know what their influences are if we have experience with different styles of music.
So even though they have no desire for a genre, a genre still exists for them.
How do we get to a point where we really have no genre? Can you make music that exists outside genre? Can we be free from influences?
I think we can’t. Any music that’s created can have a label. Maybe you’ll have to make one up, but stop telling your fans that you “have no genre.” Because you do.
I advocate using the term “genrequeer” or “genrefluid” for people who don’t want to be pegged down by a genre.
For instance, people have told me that Queen Antifa is a “death industrial” and/or “power electronics.”
None of our bandmates knew what death industrial was, or even how to go about making it. It just kind of happened. But that’s a label we have, and me telling you we don’t fit in a genre doesn’t do anything to communicate what it is we do.
I’m advocating for worthwhile communication. Tell people something meaningful. You can say things like Genrequeer to give off the idea you don’t stick to one genre, but you can also tell people what other bands influenced you.
Telling people you don’t fit in a box doesn’t communicate much. Thinking outside the box can mean a lot of things, and I feel like we should endeavor to have more meaningful connections.
My solo project is noise/No Wave/psych/modern classical, and I don’t people that I exist outside a genre. I know putting a label on my work be limiting. I tell people it’s abrasive and weird.
I’d like to see a world where bands can be more honest with fans. Telling us that you’re a “bunch of different styles” doesn’t help anyone.