Scene (subculture)

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Members of the scene subculture in 2008

The scene subculture is a youth subculture that emerged during the early 2000s in the United States from the pre-existing emo subculture.[1] The subculture became popular with adolescents from the mid-2000s[2] to early 2010s. Members of the scene subculture are referred to as scene kids, trendies, or scenesters.[3] Scene fashion consists of skinny jeans, bright colored clothing, a signature hairstyle consisting of straight, flat hair with long fringes covering their forehead, and bright colored hair dye.[4] Music genres associated with the scene subculture include metalcore, crunkcore, deathcore, electronic music, and pop punk.[5][6]

From the mid-2000s to early 2010s, scene fashion gained popularity among teens and the music associated with the subculture achieved commercial success in both the underground and the mainstream. Groups like Bring Me the Horizon, Asking Alexandria, Pierce the Veil, and Metro Station garnered mainstream attention and large audiences while still largely being tied to the scene subculture. In the mid-late 2010s, the scene subculture lost popularity; however, since 2019, there have been movements that have given it a slight revival.[7]


Example of scene fashion

Scene fashion is known for its bright colored clothing, skinny jeans, stretched earlobes, sunglasses, piercings, large belt buckles, wristbands, fingerless gloves, eyeliner, hair extensions, and straight, androgynous flat hair with a long fringe covering the forehead and sometimes one or both eyes. Scene people often dye their hair colors like blond, pink, red, green, or bright blue.[4][8][9][10] Members of the scene subculture often shop at Hot Topic.[11] According to The Guardian, a scene girl named Eve O'Brien described scene people as "happy emos".[10]


Scene people are associated with various styles of music including metalcore, deathcore, post-hardcore, crunkcore, electronic music, indie rock, emo pop, and pop punk. Artists commonly associated with the scene subculture include Cute Is What We Aim For, Asking Alexandria, A Day To Remember, Black Veil Brides, Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans, Bring Me the Horizon, Blood on the Dance Floor, Jeffree Star, Paramore, Mayday Parade, Suicide Silence, Andrew WK, the Medic Droid, Breathe Carolina, Escape the Fate, Falling in Reverse, Hawthorne Heights, Lights, Taking Back Sunday, Prima Donna, and Design the Skyline.[8][12][13][14][15][16][17][10][18][19] Many bands associated with the scene subculture gained popularity through the social media website MySpace.[20]


Crunkcore (also called crunk punk,[21] screamo-crunk and scrunk[22]) is a musical fusion genre that is popular amongst scene kids. Characterized by the combination of cultural and musical elements from crunk, screamo, pop, electronic and dance music,[23][24] the genre often features screamed vocals, hip hop beats, and sexually provocative lyrics.[23][24][25][26] Notable groups in the genre included Brokencyde, Hollywood Undead,[1] 3OH!3 and Millionaires.[23]

Neon pop-punk[edit]

Neon pop-punk a style of pop punk that was popular amongst scene kids.[1] Defined by a greater influence from pop and electronic music than was traditional in pop punk,[27] popular groups in the style during the height of scene included All Time Low, the Maine, the Cab,[27] Metro Station,[28] Boys Like Girls, Cobra Starship and Forever the Sickest Kids.[29]



The Blood Brothers were influential on the development of scene fashion

Scene originated from the emo subculture in the early-2000s across the United States. The name began being used around 2002, through the term "scene queen", a derogatory term describing attractive, popular women perceived by older hardcore musicians as only being involved in hardcore for the subculture.[1]

"Fashioncore" was an aesthetic originated by Orange County metalcore band Eighteen Visions that helped to originate the scene subculture. Originating as a way of purposely being confrontational to the hypermasculinity of hardcore, it used many aspects that would come to define scene fashion, such as eyeliner, tight jeans, collared shirts, straightened hair and white belts.[1] According to MetalSucks writer Finn McKenty, the quintessential scene haircut was invented by Eighteen Visions bassist Javier Van Huss. Huss, himself, had been inspired to create the haircut from seeing a poster of the band Orgy.[30] in Louder Than Hell by Katherine Turman and John Wiederhorn, Ryan Downey states "Javier [Van Huss] really led the charge with crazy hairstyles and pink and blond and blue chunks in their hair".[31] Though the term began as pejorative against fashionable people in hardcore scene, the style was eventually popularised in the early-2000s through the success of Eighteen Visions, Atreyu and From Autumn to Ashes.[32]

Sass music was also a notable origin of scene. Like fashioncore, Sass was also a deliberate confrontation to hardcore's hyper masculinity, with sass bands doing so through their use of overt homoeroticism. The fashion of many sass musicians, notably Johnny Whitney, lead vocalist for the Blood Brothers, were influential upon the development of scene.[1]

Mainstream success[edit]

Gabe Saporta, helped to define scene fashion by taking influence from rave and Harajuku street fashion

Scene entered popular culture following the mainstream exposure of the emo subculture, indie pop, pop punk, and hip hop in the mid-2000s.[33][34] The scene subculture is considered by some to have developed directly from the emo subculture and thus the two are often compared.[35] During the mid-2000s, members of the British and American scene subculture took inspiration from the deathcore music scene. In a 2005 article by Phoenix New Times, writer Chelsea Mueller described the appearance of the band Job for a Cowboy (a band that was deathcore at the time) by writing that the band "may look like scenesters with shaggy emo haircuts and tight pants, and may mock metal greats, but this death-metal band is for real."[36] Mueller described Job for a Cowboy as "five guys in girls' jeans and tight band tee shirts".[36] Another early deathcore group popular among members of the scene subculture is Bring Me the Horizon.[14]

In the following years, the spectrum of scene fashion broadened to include a number of sub-styles taking influence from a wide range of fashion styles. According to PopMatters writer Ethan Stewart, "the most renowned [sub-style of scene] was those who merged the subculture with brightly coloured party fashion", a style he attributed the beginnings of to Cobra Starship vocalist Gabe Saporta and his influence from rave and Harajuku street fashion. He also noted those who took influence from 1980s glam metal fashion, such as the members of Black Veil Brides, Escape the Fate and Falling in Reverse. He attributed the origin of this style to Blessed by a Broken Heart.[1]

Members of the subculture quickly began using MySpace. As the popularity of MySpace grew, the website began to develop some of the earliest internet celebrities, referred to as "scene queens".[37] Notable MySpace scene queens include Audrey Kitching, Jeffree Star and the members of the Millionaires.[38][39]

The music festival Warped Tour became popular with members of the scene subculture during the 2000s. Artists associated with the subculture would often play at the festival.[5] Bands influenced by crunkcore, electropop and Electronic dance music gained popularity among scene kids during the mid to late 2000s, including Cobra Starship and 3OH!3. Blood on the Dance Floor became especially popular, after Jayy Von Monroe joined as lead singer in 2009.[40][41]

During the late 2000s, similar subcultures emerged in Asia and Latin America, including the Shamate in China,[42] the Floggers in Argentina, the Coloridos of Brazil, and the Pokemón in Chile. Like their British and American counterparts, these scene kids wore brightly colored clothing, androgynous big hair and eyeliner, and identified with the emo pop, indie rock, hip hop, and EDM scene.[43]

By around 2014 the subculture had seen a decline in popularity,[2] while also being influential on the fashion and culture of Tumblr,[44] a website which would eventually develop a number of its own scene queens, such as Halsey.[45] Warped Tour had its last show in 2019 after running annually since 1995.


The late-2010s saw the growing popularity of musicians who had begun their careers as members of scene bands, most notably Lil Lotus, Blackbear, Post Malone, Mod Sun and Lil Aaron. Within this movement came the mainstream success of emo rap, itself influenced by scene.[1]

Beginning in 2019, there was several movements promoting the return of the subculture, such as #20ninescene (2019)[46] and the "Rawring 20s" (2020s).[47] Websites like SpaceHey and FriendProject,[48] which retain Myspace's early design, have gained popularity among teenagers,[49][50] and Social-media influencers on Instagram and TikTok have began adopting scene fashion.[51] Around this time, the subculture was also influential on the development of the e-girls and e-boys subculture,[52] and the development of hyperpop.[1]


Brokencyde was a popular scene band that received widespread criticism for their sound and fashion

According to an article by The Sydney Morning Herald from March 30, 2008, emo people have criticized the scene subculture, accusing scene people of "ripping off their style."[9] The scene subculture has also been the subject of criticism from members of the heavy metal subculture. Pejorative terms such as "myspace-core", "scenecore" and "mallcore" have been used to describe scene music and artists.[20] These terms mock the use of the suffix "-core" which has been used to describe genres related to the scene subculture such as metalcore, crunkcore, and deathcore.[53] Crunkcore has received criticism and the genre has been poorly received by music reviewers. The Boston Phoenix has mentioned criticism of the style, saying that "the idea that a handful of kids would remix lowest-common-denominator screamo with crunk beats, misappropriated gangsterisms, and the extreme garishness of emo fashion was sure to incite hate-filled diatribes".[23] Deathcore has been criticized by members of the heavy metal community for its use of breakdowns.[54][55][56][57][58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stewart, Ethan (25 May 2021). "From Hardcore to Harajuku: the Origins of Scene Subculture". PopMatters. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "The cringe things you'll remember if you were a scene kid in the mid-2000s". UK. July 5, 2017.
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^ a b "12 things all former scene kids know to be true". Alternative Press. April 3, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A Final Pilgrimage To Warped Tour, As Told By A Former Scene Kid". August 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "A History of Counterculture: Emo and Scene". College Fashion. November 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Dig out your studded belts and hairspray, it's the RAWRing 20s xD". Metro. 2020-01-02. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  8. ^ a b Palmer, Bobby (July 5, 2017). "The cringe things you'll remember if you were a scene kid in the mid-2000s". The Tab. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Marcus, Caroline (March 30, 2008). "Inside the clash of the teen subcultures". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Rogers, Jude (February 25, 2010). "From mod to emo: why pop tribes are still making a scene". The Guardian. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "2009: The Year That Broke The Scene". Vinyl Me Please. March 6, 2019.
  12. ^ D, Sergeant (January 4, 2012). "2012 State of the Scene Address: It's Cool to Be Tr00". MetalSucks. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  13. ^ Phillips, Marian (2020-10-20). "20 scene albums from 2009 that dominated your iPod playlists". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  14. ^ a b Rauf, Raziq (November 6, 2006). "Bring Me The Horizon: "It's just party music"". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Jeffries, David. "Evolution – Blood on the Dance Floor". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  16. ^ Penn, Farrah (June 18, 2016). "34 Songs All Scene Kids Definitely Had On Their Myspace". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Shotwell, James (August 17, 2011). "Review: Design The Skyline – Nevaeh". Under the Gun Review. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Castillo, Arielle (February 29, 2012). "Download: Lights – "Toes (Woodhands Remix)"; Culture Room Show March 11". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Shotwell, James (July 15, 2011). "Review: Falling In Reverse – The Drug In Me Is You". Under the Gun Review. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Irizarry, Katy. "16 Bands Who Got Their Start on MySpace". Loudwire.
  21. ^ Jeffries, David. "Brokencyde biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  22. ^ McDonnell, John (July 22, 2008). "Screamo meets crunk? Welcome to Scrunk!". The Guardian. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d Gail, Leor (14 July 2009). "Scrunk happen: man kids seem to like it". Boston Phoenix. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  24. ^ a b Cooper, Ryan. "Crunkcore". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  25. ^ Coquillette, Cici (April 27, 2009). "In Defense of Screamo crunk". Student Life. Washington University Student Media. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  26. ^ Lampiris, Steve (April 14, 2009). "Latest music genre unlikely to get many listeners 'crunk'". The Badger Herald. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  27. ^ a b "20 NEON POP-PUNK SONGS YOU PROBABLY FORGOT". Alternative Press. September 9, 2017. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  28. ^ Hall, Mackenzie (September 7, 2016). "10 NEON POP-PUNK SONGS YOU CAN HEADBANG TO". Alternative Press. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  29. ^ Shoemaker, Whitney (June 18, 2020). "10 NEON-POP BANDS WHO NEED TO MAKE A COMEBACK". Alternative Press. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  30. ^ McKenty, Finn (29 September 2010). "What is UR Favorite Classic Nu-Metal Band??". Metal Sucks. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  32. ^ Haenfler, Ross. Straight Edge: Hardcore Punk, Clean Living Youth, and Social Change. p. 17.
  33. ^ Marcus, Caroline (March 30, 2008). "Inside the clash of the teen subcultures". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  34. ^ Easterner Online
  35. ^ "11 Ways Emo & Scene Styles Were Different". Bustle.
  36. ^ a b Mueller, Chelsea (December 1, 2005). "Molten Rock". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  37. ^ MCCARTHY, LAUREN. "AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE MID-2000S SCENE QUEENS". Nylon. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  38. ^ Rex, Hatti (31 July 2016). "11 Mid '00s Scene Queens You Loved". Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  39. ^ Jones, Fionnuala. "Where are your favourite Myspace scene queens now?". Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  40. ^ Inked Mag Staff. "You Won't Believe What This Blood on the Dance Floor Singer Does Today!". Tattoo Ideas, Artists and Models.
  41. ^ "In Defense of Screamo crunk". 28 April 2009.
  42. ^ "Meet Shamate, China's Most Hated Subculture". BuzzFeed News.
  43. ^ Sousa, Pedro Mesquita de; Ferreira, Adriana; Martins, Alissan; Gubert, Fabiane; Scopacasa, Ligia; Mesquita, Jaislâny; Filho, Francisco Sampaio; Paula, Paulo Henrique de; Vieira, Neiva; Pinheiro, Patricia (November 11, 2011). "Adolescência, cultura Emo e saúde: o olhar de adolescentes em Fortaleza-CE". Adolescencia e Saude. 8 (2): 11–17 – via
  44. ^ Ewens, Hannah (7 July 2015). "emo was the last true subculture". i-D. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  45. ^ Serra, Maria (12 February 2021). "10 DRUM PERFORMANCES THAT PROVE JOSH DUN CAN REALLY PLAY ANYTHING". Alternative Press. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  46. ^ "People are Bringing Back Scene for 2019". PAPER. 2019-01-07. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  47. ^ "Welcome to the RAWRing 20s xD". PAPER. 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  48. ^ " | Make New Friends, Create Custom Profiles, Photos, Chat". Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  49. ^ "A Teenager Has Remade Myspace and Everyone Is Loving It". Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  50. ^ Merrilees, Kristin (2020-07-02). "Teens Are Joining a Myspace Look-Alike Called FriendProject". Medium. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  51. ^ "Emo Tik Tok Influencers Champion Scene Hair – the New Need to Know Trend Revival". Mane Addicts. 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  52. ^ Bassil, Ryan. "Introducing: The E-Boy". Vice Media. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  53. ^ Wilson, Scott A. (2015-05-26). Music at the Extremes: Essays on Sounds Outside the Mainstream. ISBN 9780786494507.
  54. ^ Wilson, Scott A. (2015). Music at the Extremes: Essays on Sounds Outside the Mainstream. McFarland. pp. 20–21. ISBN 9780786494507.
  55. ^ "A Deathcore Extravaganza". Review the World. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  56. ^ "Leave The Pig Squeals on The Farm". American Aftermath. September 26, 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-05-24.
  57. ^ "Why Do Metal Nerds Like All These Deathcore Bands????". Sergeant D from MetalSucks. May 16, 2012. I like this band OK, but I think it's really funny how when they first came out everybody was like "WTF this band sucks they are posers/not real death metal!!!" Then they put out their second album, which was basically generic late-90s death metal like any of the 8962323 jillion bands who ripped off Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation at the time, and then everybody was all "I guess they are OK this record is pretty sweet."
  58. ^ "Deathcore... and how hard it is to find good bands???". David Dawson. October 15, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013.

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