Emo is a genre of music while scene is a fashion and fad. Emo has been around long before scene came out.

Comparison chart

Emo versus Scene comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartEmoScene
Definition A style of music which was originally a subgenre of punk rock and post-hardcore with emotionally charged lyrics. Originally short for emotional hardcore, it was remade in the 1990s with a more indie/pop punk style. A label used on people who tend to wear neon colors, neon drainpipe jeans, hoodies, slogan-shirts, crazy and straight hair with a fringe, shades, gauges, neon hair dye, hats and many accessories especially ones listening to pop/crunkcore/dance music.
Stands for Emotional hardcore (origin) Scenester
Prominent in Mostly USA and more prominent in states of Washington DC, NJ, Midwest, Long Island and the West Coast USA, originally referred to a Chav subculture in United Kingdom
Related to Punk rock, indie rock Prep, emo, socialites
Music Emo, indie rock, post-hardcore, hardcore punk, punk rock, alternative, pop punk Crunkcore, Electropop, electronica, techno, rave, pop, crunk
Typical Instrument Guitar, bass, drums Not really a music genre but "scene music" tends to have synthesizers and electronics.
Roots Post-hardcore Originally was referred instead to a Chav subculture from the UK in the late 1990s, then changed completely later on.
Bands/artists Thursday, Policy of 3, The Hated, Sunny Day Real Estate, Senses Fail, Hawthorne Heights, Dashboard Confessional, Texas is the Reason, The Promise Ring, Mineral, Rites of Spring, Saves the Day, My Chemical Romance Brokencyde, 3OH!3, Blood on the Dance Floor, Jeffree Star, Scene Kidz, Dot Dot Curve
Year of origin 1985 Mid-late 2000s; original form was the late 1990s
Taste of appearance Lots of straight hair (with a fringe) which was often black, thick-rimmed glasses, mouth piercing, studded or white belts, tight jeans, band shirts, converse and Chuck Taylor all-star shoes. Crazier and often neon emo hair (lots of straight hair with a fringe), gauges, tattoos (boys), makeup (girls), sunglasses, neon colors, neon shirts with designs or slogans, hoodies, baseball caps, neon drainpipe jeans, piercings
Rise in fame Early 2000s with emo bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids and Dashboard Confessional, but became extreme and had a major time in 2004. 2009
Emotional perspective Hate the human race but love nature Similar to a hipster; doesn't prefer to fit in with "mainstream" trends.
Derivative forms Screamo Screamo
Clothing Skinny Jeans (Black) Band Shirts Vans or converse Pretty much the same as the emo style, but with a lot more colours.



Emo first was a subgenre of post-hardcore and stood for emotional hardcore (or emocore). It began in 1985 in DC and Maryland with bands like Rites of Spring, Embrace, The Hated, Policy of 3 and Moss Icon, who tended to be signed to the punk label Dischord Records. Emo began in June 1985 as Rites of Spring took the punk and hardcore style and influence of post-hardcore bands like Hüsker Dü and The Minutemen and some inspiration from DC hardcore bands like Minor Threat with lyrics full of emotion. Dischord Records owner Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) then went to form his emo band Embrace. Many of these bands shortly were around. Then Guy Picciotto from Rites of Spring joined Ian MacKaye's post-hardcore band Fugazi.

A drawing by an Emo enthusiast in Canada.
A drawing by an Emo enthusiast in Canada.

Emo kind of died out in the early 1990s, even though the band Policy of 3 was still around. Although, Jawbreaker, a regular punk rock band, became more emotional during their second album. Their last album "Dear You" was instead 100% emo.

While emo was faded, in the 1990s, emo instead was remade. During the 1990s, bands who were part of the regeneration of emo sounded nothing like punk rock and more like indie rock (Sunny Day Real Estate, Weezer, Braid, Texas is the Reason) or pop punk (Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Midtown). In the early 2000s, emo became popular with bands like The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional. Then many more emo bands got some fame. Some of these bands originally started off with an old-school emo sound. For example, My a Chemical Romance first sounded like Rites of Spring and Texas is the Reason on their debut, then became popular with their second album "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge" which was where they made their own style of emo. They later on went more pop punk. Some of these bands, such as Silverstein even fused post-hardcore with indie rock or played both. Emo pop then became popular with bands like Fall Out Boy, who had one EP that sounded like Jawbreaker, but then went more poppy with their debut album. Paramore, another band, began with an indie rock-emo sound but on their second album as they became mainstream they became emo pop. Another band, The Used, originally had a 1990s emo style with some screaming and influences from screamo but then changed. The band Hawthorne Heights, an emo band originally called "A Day in the Life", released their debut album "The Silence in Black and White", which had lots of 90s indie rock/post-hardcore/emo characteristics with some screaming. By their second album, they grew more poppy and even more with the third album. When it comes to emo purism, emo purists tend to reject newer emo as emo, as 1980s emo fans rejected 1990s emo as emo for not sounding punk enough.


Screamo was a hardcore punk-influenced genre of emocore which had some screaming in it. It began in 1991 in San Diego with the band "Heroin". Many 1990s screamo bands were nicknamed "skramz". Other screamo bands include Saetia, The Saddest Landscape, Neil Perry, Pg. 99, Orchid, I Hate Myself and Antiotch Arrow.


Scene first was used for a Chav subculture that was around in the late 1990s in United Kingdom. In the mid to late 2000s, it changed completely. Instead, it was a label for people who had straight, crazy hair with a fringe (sometimes dyed bright colors), neon clothing, gauges, baseball caps, tattoos (guys), makeup (girls only), neon skinny jeans, hoodies, sunglasses, slogan shirts, hair spray, etc. Scene then became a fad in around 2009.


Emo bands/artists

"Scene" music

Although scene isn't really a type of music. This is what scenesters typically enjoy:




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