"That dropped out for a while until about now.  "I think children seem to have a lot more truth in them than people who have been weathered by whatever our society says. And that's where it all started in the '50s, the teenage revolution," Kiszka points out. However, being on the road, both Kiszka and Forge see that tide turning. It's a mainstream thing again."
For those who are signaling the death knell of rock, Hagendorf and Kiszka point to Greta's Best New Artist nomination as the biggest sign rock is coming back in a big way. It's a movement to come together as a community and to inspire and create change." "People are craving intelligence and anthems. It's [about[ more than a band.
There are a lot of factors that can play into the renewed mainstream interest in rock, but many surmise that the current political discord, regardless of with which side of the aisle you align, is a factor. From Bob Dylan and Neil Young to Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine, rock has been the loudest purveyor of social consciousness in music, even if in recent years rap has challenged that title.
With reporting by Michele Amabile Angermiller ” />
"There are two young artists that I'm beyond excited about: Grandson and YUNGBLUD," she says. She sees the next wave of rock acts to blow up in 2019 as those also carrying a message.
"I think rock and roll, and there was music like that before that with jazz and blues, resonates in a very primal part of us needing to let go and at least for a few moments tap into the more primordial part of ourselves." Interestingly, Forge, who grew up in Sweden, also turns to the '50s to talk about the relationship between kids and rock and roll. "I think people still have the same need now as the kids in 1954 realized that they had when they heard Bill Haley," he says.
"Music with a message is very powerful and refreshing," says Hagendorf. And I can't say it enough, that live show is one of the best live shows period." "I describe Fever 333 as somewhere between Rage Against The Machine meets Refused with a little bit of Linkin Park.
"There's plenty of it out there, it's just not something that is mainstream." "People always say, 'Rock is dead.' We know that's not true," says Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet, the band that's been at the forefront of the new generation genre.
And maybe Ghost is also part of that. I definitely think having a band like Greta Van Fleet rising to such prominence is a good sign." Forge takes his theory further: "Maybe Greta is one of the first ones and the rest of them are being formed as we speak.
And that's probably gonna within a few years. And I think a lot of bands that didn't exist in 2000 were huge in 2003. "Statistically, theoretically, usually it goes in waves and that's how music changes," he tells Variety. "And just as in the beginning of the '90s, there were a lot of bands no one knew about in 1990, but in 1992 everybody knew about them. There will be a new branch of bands we don't know about." I'm talking about Coldplay, Muse, Kings Of Leon, Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs. Tobias Forge of Ghost believes time is right for the analog explosion.
Having won a Grammy with Ghost in 2016 for Best Metal Performance, Forge can attest to the branding power the awards have within the industry. "You're being given a box of tools via the Grammy nomination." "When you are a nominee or receiving in the Grammy sphere you're definitely being welcomed a sphere with promoters that wouldn't necessarily notice you before that," he says.
All three people interviewed for this story — Kiszka, Forge and Hagendorf — agree that the desire for social change will be a major factor if rock does indeed enjoy a commercial renaissance in 2019.
Part of what had driven rock to the underground was that it wasn't bringing in the youth that pop, rap and other genres were attracting. Another factor in the potential return of rock to the mainstream is new fans. Bands like Metallica, Guns N' Roses, the Rolling Stones, U2 and the Who have continued to be among the best-selling live acts while the legend of acts such as Queen and Led Zeppelin continued to grow, but a great deal of their fanbase was in the older demos.
The rise of acts like Ghost and Greta Van Fleet, reflected in this year's Grammy nominations, where Greta are up for the prestigious Best New Artist award, and Swedish hard rock outfit Ghost, the exciting Fever 333, Halestorm and Bring Me The Horizon are up for Best Rock Performance, is bringing new blood into the rock categories, and maybe a return to commercial prominence in 2019. Ghost scored a top five debut last year with their album "Prequelle," and went on to play arenas like Los Angeles' Forum and Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
"Rock is alive and well, it's just been underground," says Allison Hagendorf, Global Head of Rock for Spotify. "I'm out [in Los Angeles] at the Roxy and Troubadour every night. I'm seeing it."
Rock isn't dead. It's not on life support, either, and hasn't been for a single solitary second since Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and the forefathers of the genre brought it into the mainstream more than six decades ago.
It's been a minute since there's been a young rock band in that category. I think Bring Me The Horizon is actually gonna cross over this year, again helping this resurgence of rock, bringing it back into the mainstream." And then as far as having bands likes Bring Me The Horizon and Fever 333, both nominated for the first time — they're important bands for the genre and also transcending the genre. "I'm confident this will be a big resurgent year for rock," says Hagendorf. So already, that's a massive win. "And when I saw the Grammy nominations it basically just supported that — specifically having Greta Van Fleet in Best New Artist.

Kroq's Almost Acoustic Christmas continues on Sunday. Check back on Variety.com to read the review.” />
KROQ held the first night of its annual Almost Acoustic Christmas on Saturday at the Forum, and from new punk to ska to classics from the '90s, the Los Angeles institution served up a formidable line-up.
AFI had glam rock appeal and frontman Davey Havok, well, wreaked havoc with an impressive crowd-surf. KROQ has its share of regular performers at its annual shows — but hey, they're staples for a reason. Bad Religion threw a true-blue punk show, toning down the theatrics of some of the previous bands and still finding time for a Christmas song (because yes, Bad Religion really does love Christmas music).
Read highlights from night one of Almost Acoustic Christmas below: Smashing Pumpkins got top billing at the concert, joining groups like 30 Seconds to Mars, Bad Religion, Greta Van Fleet, and the Interrupters.
There's a lot to be said about being able to nab top talent and big names for an event like Almost Acoustic Christmas. But at its best, you'd hope there'd be an aspect of discovery for a radio station tasked with being a tastemaker in the L.A. Night one had no shortage of that, luckily, as it highlighted young bands that may have a single out, but aren't necessarily household names. area.
From one famous leading man to another, Leto gave way to Billy Corgan, who took the stage in a flowing red, white, and gold ensemble — for Christmas, we can only assume. It's of course memorable when Smashing Pumpkins rolls through hits like "Today" and "Tonight, Tonight," but guitarist James Ida really stole the show when he handled vocals on the band's cover of the Cure's "Friday I'm in Love."
Tried and True
He noted that they were just there to "f— around" that night, and they seemed to have fun with the gig, which was infectious. And while Third Eye Blind had the unenviable task of following Greta Van Fleet, it was hard not to join in as the crowd sang every word to "Jumper" and "Semi-Charmed Life" — to the point where lead singer Stephan Jenkins once just crossed his arms and let the fans do the work.
Each member had their moment to shine — guitarist Jake Kiszka played the instrument from behind his head at one point, and drummer Danny Wagner had an impressive solo in the beginning of their performance — and the combination of the group's young energy and classic style led to a refreshing set. A highlight from this highlight: the soothing, romantic, almost dreamy "You're the One."
Young and Hungry
The Great Greta
And even if it comes off as aggressive sometimes, it does work. Thirty Seconds to Mars was the group to really get the crowd on its feet, however. Thirty Seconds to Mars and Smashing Pumpkins were the final two acts of the night, following up a line-up that proved to be eclectic. Frontman Jared Leto, as he often does, made the whole set interactive, whether balloons were being launched into the crowd or he was inviting more than a dozen audience members on stage to dance.
Holiday Headliners
Greta Van Fleet who were just nominated for four Grammys on Friday including best new artist, stunned the crowd, fans and newcomers alike. The young group rocked the crowd with their Zeppelin-inspired sound (thanks in large part to Josh Kiszka's vocals) and undeniable energy.
As singer/guitarist Josh Katz marveled, "I haven't the slightest clue why we're here… Badflower was a solid choice to open the night, as local band put on a good-old-fashioned rock show. We can't even get 10 friends to come see us at the Viper Room." They were followed by AJR, whose "Sober Up" has seen some well-deserved radio play, and performed a presentation on how they produce songs on stage — a charming change of pace. When it came to raw energy, though, it's hard to beat the Interrupters, the ska band that joined up with Rancid's Tim Armstrong for a surprise rendition of "Tomb Bomb."

(laughter) That’d be a big one. But realistically I’d probably say I’d like to have Slayer before they go away. I sure as f— wouldn’t want to go on after them! Of course, I would say AC/DC because they’re the greatest rock and roll band in the world.
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What is the Foo Fighters aesthetic and how has it evolved as you’ve gotten older?
So Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates were the perfect people to resurrect Cal Jam, the massive festival held in 1974 (with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, the Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire and others) and 1978 (featuring Aerosmith, Foreigner, Heart and more), and last year when Grohl and the Foos flew the flag again, alongside Queens of the Stone Age, Cage the Elephant, Liam Gallagher and many more.
We started looking at all these classic festivals and one of the people we work with said, “Man, we should try to bring back Cal Jam because of how incredible it was back then.” That’s kind of where the idea was born. We got an email from a man whose father was one of the people that put on the first two Cal Jam festivals, and he said he was a little apprehensive about us bringing it back, but afterwards he was really happy that we brought the same vibe the original Cal Jam had. Those California festivals, the Us Festival and Cal Jam, they just looked so f—ing fun: hot and loud and dirty, and that’s how I like it.
What prompted the resurrection of the Cal Jam name?
It went haywire, but it was fun. We tried to do [The Beatles’] “Come Together” with Liam Gallagher. Dave Grohl: Last year we had Joe Perry from Aerosmith come up and jam with us — it was a little bit of a fiasco! But Heart are still f—ing amazing, they would be a great one. It could happen. Everybody loves a little bit of Foreigner now and then. I don’t doubt that any one of those bands could jump up on stage in between Japandroids and Greta Van Fleet and school everyone. We asked Joe about his experience in ‘78 and back then bands would take helicopters to gigs (laughs), so I asked him more about the helicopter than anything else.
Considering the success and visibility you’ve had, how can you use that to give back musically?
Here are the songs, here’s who’s going to produce it, we’d like to tour here and there.” Independence has always been important to us, but a lot of it goes back even before Nirvana, when I was in punk rock bands in Washington, D.C. We’re on our own label and have our own studio and basically just tell everyone, “We’re making a record. Independence is very important, because you want to control your experience and that’s basically what we’ve done for the last 24 years.
And I remember when he came to see Nirvana play before “Nevermind” came out — I mentioned it to him and he remembered, I couldn’t believe it. When Nirvana became popular we brought out the Melvins, the Boredoms, the Meat Puppets — bands that we loved and that influenced us, so hopefully our audience would get maybe a deeper understanding of where we come from. If somebody needs your help then you give it to them —the generosity of sharing with other musicians is really f—ing important. But also, Krist Novoselic’s band is playing on the [Cal Jam] bill, and I’ve got Josh Homme, Butch Vig — there’s a lot of history there in that lineup. Beyond Iggy [Pop] being an incredible influence musically, he also gave me one of the highlights of my entire life [when they performed together when Grohl was young]. That’s the sense of community I feel is important, and it can grow stronger because when you’re blessed with the opportunity to be able to expose your audience to bands they otherwise may not have heard, you invite your friends. It’s important for people to feel connected to the musicians that they share the stage with.
Who is the dream Cal Jam headliner?
This year he and Iggy Pop (who is reuniting the Queens of the Stone Age-derived lineup from his 2016 album, “Pure Pop Depression”), Garbage, Tenacious D, Greta Van Fleet and more will unite Saturday, October 6, in San Bernardino’s Glen Helen Regional Park for Cal Jam ‘18. Variety sat down with Grohl to talk about the festival, how Foo Fighters have stayed true to themselves for 24 years, and what he learned during his time in Nirvana about giving back to musicians.
A lot of the bands from the first two Cal Jams are still active. Who would you like to have come back?
To see a band as funky as Earth, Wind & Fire, and then a band as heavy as Black Sabbath, and then someone as mellow as Seals & Crofts and the Eagles, those were the f—ing days.” “When I look at that lineup, I think about the musicianship. “Talk about bringing the party,” he says of the original festivals.
If one thing is abundantly clear to anyone who’s ever spent time with Dave Grohl, it’s that he’s an even bigger music fan than he is a rock star. Whether talking about his favorite Van Halen album (“Fair Warning”) or getting to play drums as a teenager with Iggy Pop at a record release show in Toronto, he is as animated as he is on stage.