When you think of pop punk, Green Day immediately spring to mind. They helped popularize this sub-genre of punk rock that adds a little more melody to the driving tunes. They've been massively popular since they put out their breakthrough album Dookie all the way back in 1994. They've been able to stay relevant all this time, releasing the landmark punk rock opera American Idiot in 2004 and landed at number one on the Billboard chart with their most recent effort, 2016's Revolution Radio. Also, they look like they haven't aged a day in all that time.
While they've kept a high profile, whatever happened to all the other bands during the pop punk boom of the early 2000s?
If you didn't immediately think of Green Day when you heard pop punk, you likely pictured Blink-182. These guys were everywhere at the turn of the millennium, with hits like "All The Small Things," "What's My Age Again" and "The Rock Show." Then, while still on top of the world, they suddenly broke up in 2004.
Since then, they reunited, broke up again and reformed then put out a new album with a different guitarist. Most of their issues revolved around the founding guitarist of the band, Tom DeLonge. Long story short, he became a bit flaky and got really into aliens. He believes "Aliens Exist" and knows everything there is to know about Area 51.
Right on the heels of Green Day and Blink-182's popularity was Sum 41. This Canadian group burst onto the scene with their hit albums Half Hour Of Power, All Killer No Filler and Does This Look Infected? which were all released in back to back to back years. These young punks seemed like they could do no wrong.
Then, they just sort of... faded away. In 2006 the band went through some lineup transitions as original members left. The band went on a hiatus after lead singer Deryck Whibley fought off some personal demons, but came back in 2016 with returning members and a new determination.
BFS is another band that never really went anywhere. They never even went on hiatus. Though they never again reached their earlier success, they've remained prolific over the years. They just released their 17th album, Drunk Dynasty, that they funded through crowd-sourcing.
New Found Glory was probably the most popular band for folks who didn't want to seem too mainstream by admitting Green Day or Blink-182 was their favorite band. They were a gateway into finding new pop punk bands, as they sounded similar to more well-known groups, but their guitar riffs were a bit more complex and vocals a bit more nasally. They let us know there was a whole world of pop punk out there besides the big two bands. Who can forget their singles "Hit or Miss" or "My Friends Over You?"
Like Bowling For Soup, New Found Glory is still putting out albums and touring to this day. Must be something lucky about pop punk bands with three words in their name. Then again, maybe not that lucky. They had to drop guitarist Steve Klein after some legal trouble he got himself into.
You know how great Yellowcard was? They were considered punk even though they had a freaking fiddler in their band. That's how great they were. But it's hard to deny their talent when you still sing along to "Ocean Avenue" to this day.
Finally, we reach the more emo spectrum of pop-punk. My Chemical Romance is a little hard to categorize, as they have emo lyrics with pop-punk rhythm but also Queen-inspired solos. Their albums Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade were smash hits that catapulted them to super-stardom, even in pop-punk circles that looked down on most emo.
Then, out of the blue, they split in 2013. Since then fans have been hoping for a reunion, but it doesn't seem too likely, as lead singer Gerard Way has been extremely busy. He's become an Eisner Award-winning comic book writer, and a few of his books are being turned into series and movies. While we miss the music, it's nice to see when famous folks are able to find success in other careers.