Independent rock is one of the hardest genres to explain. Bands trying to break into the music scene love to label themselves as indie. Critics love to scrutinize bands to truly sow if they are independent or not, utilizing certain criteria from back in the day. Then you have to consider mainstream success and major record affiliation. Indie bands that have gone this route are usually referred to as sell-outs. But does this make them lose their indie label? Well, I guess it is what you want to believe. In a way to celebrate the indie scene, I am going to speak about a few of the most famous indie bands.
This British indie rock band was established in 2002 in Sheffield, England. Band members included Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders, and Nick O’Malley. There was another band member, Andy Nicholson, who left the group right after their debut album, which received critical acclaim and was the fastest selling album in all of British music history. The album won the 2006 Mercury Prize and 2007 Brit Award for “Best British Album.” Arctic Monkey made history by being the first band in 2006 to win “Best Band” from the NME and “Best British Band.”
This American rock band was started in NYC in 1998 by Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond, Jr., Nikolai Fraiture, and Fabrizio Moretti. To date, The Strokes have released five album, with their first, “Is This It,” receiving rave reviews and earned them six awards, including “Best New Band” and “Best Act.” Their following albums weren’t as successful as their first, but did receive excellent praise. The band took a long hiatus, but came back together to release another album in 2013 called “Comeback Machine.” The Strokes have sold over four million albums.
The Killers is an American indie rock band out of Las Vegas, Nevada, of all places. The reason why I said of all places is because The Killers are known to sing about their religious views and beliefs. If you are familiar with the reputation of Vegas, then you know where I am coming from. On the music scene since 2001, band members are Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, and Ronnie Vannuci, Jr. The band’s name comes from a logo seen on a made-up band in another band’s (New Order) music video. The Killers have had four albums at the top of the charts: “Hot Fuss,” “Sam’s Town,” “Day & Age,” and “Battle Born.” They have sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Additionally, they have been nominated for seven Grammys, seven BRIT Awards, and 24 NME Awards
Even though independent bands use to mean groups that signed with independent labels, today indie bands include those who stray away from mainstream music. These groups tend to experience with new sounds, and while they might go mainstream at some point, indie bands tend to remain loyal to the independent label and loyal fans who were with them from the beginning.