The terms emo and goth were both born out of specific music genres. These terms are used to describe the people who devoted themselves to change their appearance and the culture around them to suit the music subculture.
Emo vs Goth
The difference between emo and goth is that the former pertains to a subculture that follows the “emotional hardcore” subgenre. At the same time, the latter is used for the individuals who support the “gothic rock” music genre.
Emo is a subculture that became fairly popular in the late 1980s, and the word “emo” is related to the “emotional hardcore” music genre. Many also say that emo was born out of the “post-hardcore” music subgenre.
Goth or “gothic” is a subculture born out of the “post-punk” subgenre, and belonged to the group of people who enjoyed “gothic rock”. They began to grow in number during the early 1980s.
Comparison Table Between Emo and Goth (in Tabular Form)
|Parameters of Comparison||Emo||Goth|
|History||The emo subculture came to rise in the late 1980s with the end of the hardcore rock era.||The goth subculture was born when “gothic rock” became an established music genre in the early 1980s.|
|Subgenre||The emo subculture is typically associated with the “post-hardcore” music subgenre.||The goth subculture is usually associated with the “post-punk” music subgenre.|
|Meaning||The followers of this subculture, or “emos”, follow the concept of “emotional hardcore “ music and change their attitude accordingly.||The followers of the goth subculture follow the gothic rock music concept, associated with violence at times as well.|
|Appearance||Here, we see multiple accessories, dark skinny jeans and skirts, studded belts and a fitting emo hairstyle to go along.||Here we see fetish wear with Victorian and steampunk fashions, alongside sportcoats, tight pants, corsets and lace petticoats.|
|Type of music||Here, a lot of the emo based music revolves around teenage romance and pop-punk/hardcore elements.||The type of music that one sees here draw elements of fantasy, literature, and even from the supernatural.|
|Bands||Bands that belong to the emo music subgenre are MCR, Fall Out Boy, Rites of Spring, and Jimmy Eat world||Bands that belong to goth subgenre are The Cure, Joy Division, The Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.|
What is Emo?
The emo subculture came to be during the late 1980s and was prominent in between the years 1985 to 1991. With the rise of bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace, a fan following began around the post-hardcore music subgenre.
People belonging to the emo community, commonly referred to as “emos”, based their following around the “emotional hardcore” music concept. The music here was of a very emotional type.
One thing to note here is that the music consisted of elements such as lyrics about teenage romance with some pop-punk/hardcore mixed into the song.
The type of music here is the reason why the dominant demographic consisted of teenagers, and one can rarely see and emo adults.
In terms of attire and appearance, we can notice that many emos have a unique style and look, that usually has elements such as multiple accessories, dark skinny jeans and skirts, studded belts or wristbands, and emo hairstyles as well as piercings around their face.
Since bands like Rites of Spring and Embrace, there has been a significant rise in the number of emo bands, such as My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, and Jimmy Eat World.
What is Goth?
The Goth subculture came to be during the early 1980s, and was seen directly after the punk era, hence why the subgenre followed here is “post-punk”. One of the first bands to introduce the goth era were Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and The Cure.
Followers of goth belonged to a community that devoted themselves to the “gothic rock” culture. Since Goth music was seen to be darker and with a hint of violence involved, the followers based their appearance and behaviour to suit the lifestyle.
In regards to appearance, we see fetish wear with Victorian and steampunk fashions, alongside sportcoats, tight pants, corsets and lace petticoats.
But there were still other elements in goth music that made it fascinating to so many, such as drawing in elements of fantasy, literature, and even from the supernatural.
The goth culture did not revolve around anything childish, so the key demographic here consisted of adults more than teenagers.
The bands that belong to the goth genre are Christain Death, The Mission, Fields of the Nephilim, and Killing Joke.
Main Differences Between Emo and Goth
- Emo subculture came to be in the late 1980s at the end of the hardcore music era, while goth was born at the start of 1980s, and was introduced as “gothic rock”.
- The emo subculture is typically associated with the “post-hardcore” music subgenre, while goth is associated with “post-punk” subgenre.
- Emo Followers or “emos” follow the concept of “emotional hardcore “ music, while the goth followers follow goth rock music culture.
- Bands that belong to the emo genre are MCR, Fall Out Boy, Rites of Spring, and Jimmy Eat world, while those of goth genre are The Cure, Joy Division, The Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.
- Emo music genre revolves around teenage romance and pop-punk/hardcore elements, while the goth music genre draws in elements of fantasy, literature, and even from the supernatural.
Both the emo and goth subcultures have grown and died over the last couple of decades, but there is still a substantial fan following to this day. Emo was associated with “emotional hardcore” music that incorporated a lot of teenage romance lyrics. Goth music revolved around “gothic rock”, and the songs consisted of fantasy and literature.
Even when it came to their appearance, emos preferred to wear darker clothing with a lot of accessories and unique hairstyles, while goth fans followed Victorian and steampunk style fashion. Each of these subcultures has shown their unique characteristics over the years and have amassed several followers as well.