My Friends Don't Get My Favorite Band
In the last few years, I’ve gotten super into music. I like mostly indie bands, and I’m constantly trying to get my friends to come along with me to shows. A lot of times, they don’t—which I’m fine with. But they also make fun of my “pretentious” taste in music, which I’m not fine with. It really hurts my feelings. I don’t know why I love the bands I do. I just do! And to get made fun of about something that means so much to me is really hard. What should I do? Throw away my band tees? Delete my Spotify? Start listening to Shawn Mendes even though I'm a Mac Demarco girl?
Taste—whether it's the clothes you wear or the art you hang on your walls or the music you listen to—is something we can't help but feel a little defensive about. Because it's so personal, an attack on something you love can feel like a direct attack against you. Another thing about taste: It’s impossible to have a clear-cut definition about why something speaks to you.
Sure, the guitar lines might be on-point and the chorus might be addictive. But Pitchfork criticism and technicalities aside, a great song simply makes you feel great—and that’s the most special part about the whole listening experience. There’s a pretty good chance your friends are making fun of your (probably superior!) music taste because, deep down in the depths of their brains, they’re worried there’s something wrong with them for not loving these critically-acclaimed indie bands as much, or for discovering them first. They will never, ever admit this to you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
We’ve all found a band virtually unlistenable despite being beloved by all or having earned a breathless review in Rolling Stone. (If someone could explain the enduring appeal of U2 to us, we’d appreciate it greatly.) Everyone’s ears are different! But it can still be frustrating to wonder what you’re missing, and why you don’t ~get it~ (whatever itmay be). By now you probably know that insecure humans who aren’t all that comfortable in their own skin like to overcompensate by making fun of other people who either a) like things that might be a little left of center or b) don’t like the exact same things as they do.
So listen to the music that makes you happy. You can't make everyone happy, but you can make yourself happy. Of course, that’s not to say the happiness you get from music will entirely make up for the general bummerness that comes along with being made fun of, but it’ll come close.
Don’t settle for the Top 40s just because that’s what everyone else is listening to (that said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with loving pop music!). Bottom line: If you love a band, don’t feel bad about it! Listen to them, don’t be shy about telling your friends, and, even if they’re not a huge fan at first, don’t rule it out down the line. Just saying, it took forever for some of our friends to become as obsessed with, say, Years & Years or The 1975 (see baby Matty up there?) as we were. And if they don’t end up loving them as much as you, that’s fine too. After all, going to concerts alone is actually amazing.