We recently came across the question, “Is glam metal still alive and relevant today?” What makes it so appealing after all these years? This question seems to be popping up a lot on the internet these days. So, we decided to analyze it and found seven reasons that prove glam metal is still rocking today, although not in the same volume as its heyday in the 80s. However, that’s fine because neither is rock as a genre.
Before we start analyzing, let’s clarify exactly what we are talking about. When someone discusses music genres, it can be a little tricky. However, whether you call it glam metal, hair metal, sleaze glam, 80s metal, 80s hard rock, or simply metal, it doesn’t change the main focus of this conversation. So, we can say that everything from Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Poison, and Guns N Roses until today is the main subject of this topic.
Catchy songs, big choruses, mighty shredding guitars, hairspray, no hairspray, makeup or no makeup, spandex, leather, scarves, old school or modern sounds, party time lyrics or serious topics – yes, we are talking about those bands!
Without any further delay, let’s start our analysis. Here are the seven important reasons why hair metal is still relevant and present today.
1.Bands from the 80s are still present
The original bands that started it all are still playing live and releasing new music. Okay, some of them may not have the original members anymore, and some of them might not sound as great live as they used to, but their continued presence after so many years truly demonstrates their greatness at their peak. Selling millions of records back then actually meant something. We all know it wasn’t just about partying, sex, and booze. Playing in stadiums, arenas, and headlining big festivals these days indicates that there was a significant musical substance, both back in the day and today.
Take a look back five to ten years and see how many great new records were released by bands like Def Leppard, Skid Row, Scorpions, Winger, LA Guns, and many more. It’s always a pleasure to hear something new from these legendary bands of the genre, and this trend is not going to end anytime soon.
2.The 2000s bands at their best right now
The new generation of bands such as Hardcore Superstar, Crashdiet, Crazy Lixx, Santa Cruz, The 69 Eyes, Backyard Babies, Buckcherry, and more are currently at their best. They consistently release great albums, some of which are probably among the best in their careers. When it comes to live performances, they deliver some of the best shows out there, and we’re not saying this without reason. Just ask people who attended MORC cruises and similar events about the best live bands, and in most cases, you’ll get the same response. Currently, these bands are in their prime, ensuring the genre remains strong and appealing to newer audiences.
Their contribution is also incredibly valuable, especially considering the time when they emerged. While some of these bands formed in the 90s, it was during the first half of the 2000s that they truly gained traction among the new generation of sleaze glam fans. They skillfully blended the best ingredients from their 80s idols and infused them with the undeniable presence of 90s alternative tones.
3.There are still young new bands emerging
Over the past five to ten years, we have witnessed an explosion of new rock bands, especially in the New Wave Of Classic Rock category that emerged on the scene. This trend is still ongoing as you read this. New acts like Lost Hearts, Tuk Smith, Stolen Prayer, Scarlet Rose, Budderside, Dorothy, Wildstreet, Midnite City, Dirty Honey, and many more are just some examples. Some lean more towards glam and sleaze, while others less so, but their influences are rooted in the bands from the original era. They carry the torch with some modern adjustments, and that’s exactly what keeps this genre alive, well and exited. They are the frontrunners of the anti-“Rock Is Dead” way of thinking right now.
4.Younger musicians stepping into legendary bands
If you believe that this isn’t an important factor in preserving this music, then you are simply wrong. Look at examples like Skid Row and their new singer Erik Grönwall, or Brett Carlisle of Great White. Erik has propelled Skid Row back to the top of the world after a long time! And there are other examples, such as Sam Bam Koltun joining Faster Pussycat as their lead guitar player. This guy is a phenomenal talent, and Faster Pussycat has never sounded better than they do now. Tanya O’Callaghan and Dino Jelusic in Whitesnake, Richie Faulkner in Judas Prist, Nita Strauss in Alice Cooper…
There are many more examples, and it’s not necessary to mention them all. But whenever you see younger musicians joining legendary bands, know one thing: new blood is injected, and you can only expect great live performances and a ton of fresh ideas for new music. Isn’t that what makes this genre great and cool still?
5.Labels supporting this kind of music
Even though we are living in a different era in terms of music distribution, it’s always nice to have record labels that care about their bands, especially in our case, hair/glam bands. Labels like Frontiers, Golden Robot, Perris Records, DDR Music, or even bigger ones like Nuclear Blast or AFM have made all these CDs, cassettes, and vinyls available over the past decade or more. How important is to have at least some form of support behind you, you can ask the 80s bands to tell you how they felt in circa 1993.
6.Hair/Glam metal fandom is one of the best
If not the best fandom ever. We can argue, but here are some facts. This fandom genuinely cares about their beloved bands. They don’t hesitate to speak up if something is genuinely bad (like Motley Crue backing tracks issue, for example).
How many great websites, social media groups, forums, podcasts, YouTube channels, written books, or similar things about hair/glam metal have you come across lately? The common thread among them all is that, after all these years, they continue to celebrate their favorite bands and musicians with the same passion and attitude.You will find people discussing music, ranking albums, musicians giving interviews, telling their own stories from the heyday or simply chatting casually with fans on all of these platforms. The list of great places to hang is wo long that is not the point to name them. Follow us and we will provide you things like that.
Furthermore, It doesn’t matter if you are older or younger, if you dress casually in a shirt and shorts or you like Tom Keifer from 1986, in this fandom you won’t be called a poser, that’s guaranteed. New and younger fans are welcomed into the community without gatekeeping or similar attitudes.
So many bad things have been said about glam metal over the years, especially since the ’90s. Even the notorious term “hair metal” was given to discredit the entire genre. Surprisingly, it seems that these criticisms have actually unified the fans even more and just made them more dedicated to this genre than any other. All the stigma that existed and was unfairly assigned to this hair metal has only made it bigger and stronger over all these years in terms of fans appreciation. The real fans of course.
7.Endless amount of bands to discover
And the last thing that makes this genre so beautiful is the multitude of bands you can discover and listen to today. What do we mean by this? It’s a situation where you can mention a band from the Strip that was once “unknown,” a band without any media or label coverage at the time, and people today would still cherish these kinds of groups on the internet. Go mention Glamour Punks, Blackeyed Susan, Swingin’ Thing or Blackboard Jungle in one of these Facebook groups or on HairMetal subreddit, and you’ll see people reacting like crazy—positively, of course! Then go to some other genre, and you’ll probably see billions of posts about their Big 4 or something like that. We don’t have the intention to discredit other genres, but this is precisely where the superiority of hair/glam metal lies. No matter if the band sold millions of records and had a radio hit power ballad, or if it was a struggling club band on the Sunset Strip (or the East Coast), fans give the same love and excitement to any of these groups. So yeah, get ready to discover and don’t hesitate to share it with other fans because they will love it! The same goes for the next generation of Scandinavian Glam Sleaze bands from the 2000s until today.
We could actually mention other reasons as well, such as nostalgia, timeless appeal, glamour and image, guitar shredding, popularity, and influence on contemporary bands. And those things are essential for hair metal in terms of it’s legacy and overall impact on the rock music in general. But in this article we just wanted to focus more on the fans perspective rather than the overall music standpoint.
All in all, glam metal, or whatever you may call it, continues to exist today through generations of different bands and fans. Celebrated and glorified, and then challenged and belittled, glam metal remains in the spotlight of rock music fans worldwide and finds its place in this modern era of the internet. Whether you are a fan of this music or not, one thing is certain: glam metal is still relevant, and that is undoubtedly not without merit.