History has it wrong. History claims the alt scene of the early 90s belongs to Gen X-ers. I disagree. Sure, those bands were mostly comprised of artists who were Gen X-ers and possibly older. But there was a gap in there, a whole generation of kids that history forgot. History says Gen-X ends around the 80s and the Millennial generation begins. I disagree.
There was a forgotten generation. A ten year gap. A generation of dark, caring, serious youths. We were the ones that embraced the early 90s alt. We were the ones that bought the grunge albums. We were the ones that wore the flannel shirts and questioned everything. We were the grunge generation. And we have been completely forgotten by history. History has decided to toss us in at the end of Gen-X like some kind of unimportant afterthought, while Gen-X proudly claims they were responsible for the amazing early 90s alternative rock movement. History is wrong.
We were the angry hippies. We were the generation that gave a fuck. In hindsight maybe too much of a fuck. We weren’t lazy, we rebelled by opting out, and Cobain was our leader. If you were a teenager in the early to mid-90s you were in the grunge generation. Grunge belonged to us and us to it.
Many people wonder why this music matters so much 25 years later. Many people will scoff at these ideas and laugh at Teen Spirit in 2016. These people will never understand because these people didn’t live through that time period as a teenager. These artists made music that mattered. They wrote about things that came from a pure place. They weren’t trying to party on stage or throw cakes or dance and be happy. They were writing songs about things that really mattered to them and it resonated with a forgotten generation of kids that didn’t understand the excess of the hair rock and just wanted something REAL. Something pure. Something that said fuck you to all of the bullshit that they saw in the world around them. That’s why this music still matters 25 years later, and sadly that’s why there will never be a movement quite like it again.
It’s extremely sad when you consider that the entire alt rock movement of the early 90s was over in less than 5 years. Just enough time to influence one high school generation. That same generation went on to give the world nu-metal. I don’t mean Limp whatever, I mean real nu-metal. Deftones, early Korn, SOAD, the real stuff. We built on grunge and made it our own, and again sadly that too was over by the late 90s thanks to Brit Brit and the dancing stync boys. Fine, whatever, I get it, times change. Everything comes back around or so they say. I won’t hold my breath.
There were some unsung heroes that should be mentioned. Bands like The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., Soul Asylum, the list goes on and on of these great mostly ignored alt/indie bands from the 80s. These are the bands that were the most directly responsible for all of that great music in the early 90s. Even if you never listened to them the bands you loved listened to them and you were influenced by them even if you didn’t know it. These bands gave a fuck. These were the grandfathers of grunge. If you’ve never heard Tim or Bug or Hang Time you should do yourself a favor and jump on Spotify and give those albums a listen. That’s how it’s done in 2016. No need to take more than 10 seconds to find amazing music, just point and click and forget. No need to actually feel anything.
Nirvana’s music matters 25 years later because it was music that made you feel something. It wasn’t easy to understand. It wasn’t easy to digest. How many parents cringed at Rape Me and scolded their kids for listening to it? All he’s doing is yelling my dad would say. How can you listen to this? How many bands can you say that about in 2016? No one yells anymore. No one rocks anymore. Emotionless auto-tuned garbage love songs are 90 percent of what I hear in the mainstream. Where are the songs that actually make you FEEL something?
If you want to understand why Nirvana’s music still matters 25 years later. Maybe you should start by actually trying to understand the generation that made it popular. We weren’t Gen-Xers we were the grunge generation. We wanted to hear music that made you FEEL something. Because we actually felt something. We were generation grunge and we don’t give a fuck if you don’t understand why Nirvana still matters 25 years later. Here we are now, entertain us.