For the music industry, the internet era has lead to an insurmountable increase in artists. Music-making is more accessible and attainable than ever before. And while this creative democracy has done wonders to diversify what listeners are hearing, experiencing, and being exposed to, it alternatively floods the musical marketplace with so much talent that it gets difficult to discover, and even define, where and when quality artistry arises. One reaction is the ever-increasing plethora of genre terminology—indie, rock, you name it. Underneath its intricate umbrella, each genre now holds hundreds of sub-genres that young and eager musicians are aiming to emulate. It's a genre trap.
In December, office chatted with Virginia Beach-born Turnover and Quebec-hailing Men I Trust during their North America tour, which has since wrapped. These two bands stand out starkly especially amidst the genre conversation, because they have little to no interest in genre classification. Each group has been labeled by music media as everything from indie to electronic, to hardcore and pop—and they have shifted significantly in their sound since their respective starts: with Turnover softening the edges of their music, making their way closer towards what would be considered indie rock from their first “pop punk” releases, and with Men I Trust incorporating guitar as well as other elements to their more classic electronic sound for a gentler energy overall.
There is no guiding force telling these musicians to change their sound to stay relevant. This has been organic, a flow founded in their personal journeys and environments. It hasn’t been brash or overwhelming—their core sentiment remains the same, and the shift was born of organic, environmental roots. Read our chat about staying calm on the road, the benefits of being friends with your bandmates, and getting away from genre below.