But the golden era we’re talking about isn’t the dawn of the modern music video in the 1980s. Or the onslaught of grunge and hip-hop videos in the ’90s.
No, we’re talking about the 2000s, right after the turn of the millennium, when videos from emo and pop-punk bands started surging. It was just before the internet swallowed music videos whole, and MTV subsequently started to seemingly only air Ridiculousness reruns.
Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday — these linchpin outfits and more were prime movers and shakers in the emo video era. (In the latter band’s case, it was a time when involving hip-hop star Flavor Flav in a video could help attract more viewers.)
But even though those days now seem long gone, the impact those videos made on today’s artists remains. Especially when it comes to acts such as Save Face, a band that’s blossomed under the influence left by the groups who created those classic clips.
Speaking to Rock Sound about their new album, Povanda says, “I honestly can’t believe that we were able to do this. In a world where every other thing feels fucking terrible, it’s nice that I can make something and feel that fucking good about it. Listening to these songs is sometimes the only time in my day where I feel good.”
That’s emo. For more, scroll down for a trip through the memory lane of 2000s emo/scene music videos. Povanda (pictured above in foreground) has given commentary on the 10 he thinks are the most iconic.
Save Face’s ‘Another Kill for the Highlight Reel’ is out now. Get your copy here and follow the band on Twitter, Instagram and Spotify. Watch the “GLITTER” video below.
Save Face, “GLITTER” Music Video
Table of Contents
Paramore, “Decode” (2008)
Out of the many Paramore videos I could pick, “Decode” is the most iconic to me. The song paired with the forest and the Twilight tie-in — love it or hate it (I love it), it was an essential product of its time.
Hawthorne Heights, “Ohio Is for Lovers” (2005)
This Hawthorne Heights video is iconic for the hanging microphone alone, so nothing else needs to be said.
Story of the Year, “Until the Day I Die” (2005)
This Story of the Year video is a quintessential example of band somehow inexplicably playing a show in an abandoned warehouse. This kid Shawn at my school showed me this song, and I had it burned on my Walkman and listened to it on the bus every day. It was also the first video that my friend Yanko saw someone do a guitar spin — so yeah, iconic.
AFI, “Miss Murder” (2006)
The theme and narrative of this video is so distinct that it stuck with me forever. There was nothing like it when this was running on MTV. In a sea of frontpeople adopting a very similar “emo” aesthetic, I think AFI‘s Davey Havok had his own, striking presence.
My Chemical Romance, “Helena” (2005)
Alright, every one of My Chemical Romance‘s videos is iconic and I was going to pick “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” but then I remembered all the cool “Helena” choreography. Still, “The Ghost of You”…nevermind, let’s move on.
Underoath, “Writing on the Walls” (2006)
This video was was the first time I realized that [Underoath drummer] Aaron [Gillespie] was doing all of the band’s clean vocals. My mind was blown. The house with all those rooms, though — like 15 years later I still don’t know what it means. But I fucking love this band, and I was obsessed with this video.
The Used, “All That I’ve Got” (2004)
This The Used video has so much depth and many cool aspects with the combination of live action and illustration.
Thursday, “Understanding in a Car Crash” (2002)
The fact that MTV often played videos that looked like they were shot on camcorders — such as this one from Thursday — is one of the things that made me connect with a lot of bands. Watching this as a kid made me feel like this was something I could be a part of; it didn’t have the veneer of some calculated, big-budget video. The authenticity of this song and the video was so visceral and alluring, and it is still is!
Taking Back Sunday, “You’re So Last Summer” (2003)
Flavor Flav! Also, at around 1:45 in this Taking Back Sunday video, that guy does the jump-through-the-leg thing, I think that’s like a TikTok trend now.
The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (2004)
I’m partly adding The Killers for people to get mad that this song or band isn’t emo or something. But this is easily one of the most memorable and iconic videos ever, and for an equally iconic song. Also, what’s up with those two random cymbal crashes in the beginning?