'Guitar Music Is Definitely On The Way Back'

Bosses at the biggest radio network in the UK say they expect rock to make a big comeback soon. Does it prove that the naysayers who said 'rock is dead' last year were wrong?

Ultimate Guitar

Bosses at BBC Radio, the biggest radio network in the UK, have said that guitar music is "definitely on the way back."

Director Andy Roberts said the current UK obsession with Euro pop could come to an end with a new wave of guitar bands.

"We're probably waiting for guitars to come back," he said in an interview with Music Week. "We're due guitars [again] but I think they'll be a fusion of something we [radio stations] will all be able to play."

His colleague George Ergatoudis who is programme director at their flagship Radio 1 and 1xtra Stations tweeted a link to the interview, adding: "Guitar music is definitely on the way back."

In late 2011 and early 2012, there was a series of comments that "rock is dead" because of the popularity of dubstep artists like Skrillex. The debate was so intense that in January we investigated whether rock was really dead after all, concluding that sales were down, but with several high profile reunions the rock scene could soon prove to be stronger than ever.

Of course, naysayers had predicted that rock was dead several times in the past. Here's a few links to remind readers:

2003: 'Rock Is Dead?' 2005: 'Is Rock Dead?' 2011: 'Twisted Sister Guitarist: Rock Is Dead' 2011: 'Queensryche: Rock Is Pretty Much Dead'

It's an ongoing debate, but communities like UG prove that guitar music is as popular as ever.

What do you think? Will it last forever in some form, or does it show that rockers are hesitant to adapt and change with the times? Share your opinion in the comments.

174 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Is Bach bringing it back??
    1962: "Guitar groups are on the way out" - Decca Then the Beatles found a different label and started a revolution. Let hope Radio 1 is less wrong...
    As long as there are pissed-off teenagers with electric guitars, rock will remain
    Radio one usually don't support or fall for homogenization,so yeah hopefully this'll happen very soon
    Yeah, this is what I immediately thought about. I really don't think the word of a record label means much. Especially one that thought guitar was dead up until a few minutes ago.
    All my favourite rock bands are modern rock bands. Rock might be not as popular as it used to be, but it's still going strong.
    what bands?
    Porcupine Tree, Biffy Clyro, Muse, The Pineapple Thief, Alter Bridge, John Mayer.. to name a few.
    PT and AB, respect
    Alter Bridge ****ing blow. I just have to say it. It's like saying the band Red is metal if you're saying AB deserves any respect. John mayer too, except that man is simply the best lead guitarist I have ever heard in my life. And you have no idea how much it kills me inside to say that
    Alter Bridge is one of the most talented and honest modern rock bands out there. They're the nicest dudes in the world and they're really passionate about their music. They had to but themselves 2 times out of a record label with their own money because they didn't like the direction they were being pushed. They might not be your cup of tea, but if there's a band that deserves respect, it's Alter Bridge.
    Haters gonna hate. If you think Alter Bridge blow and ignore Mark Tremonti's prowess on the guitar and say John mayer is the best lead guitarist you've ever heard then you've never ****in listened to AB. Simple as that. Wheres your successful band that deserves more respect?
    Yeah give Middle Class Rut a listen. They are a really good modern rock band with awesome lyrics. Thats the main problem with modern rock, the shitty ass lyrics
    I agree to an extent, I still conside bands like Machine Head and Metallica to be my tops but I don't listen to them as much as I do say bands like Godsmack or Shinedown or Stone Sour. I guess I have to be in the mood for 8 minute epics.
    man they ain't new bands..... like all the gr8 rock songfs came in the 70's 80's and ewarly 90's now every1 just history re writing itsself. think this is the first year i did not find an album i wanted so bad. next year you have sabbath, metallica motorhead
    Sabaton's new album? Epica's? Might not have been abundant but there was some solid releases this year
    Maybe the new rise of guitar music is the moment of great change the Mayans predicted all those years ago
    'You can't kill the metal, the metal will live on'
    True man, Im just very ashamed on where the metalcore subgenre is being taken to. All That Remains, for example is churning out some of the worst music in metal (and theyre still considered a metalcore band). I mean theyre radio-friendly is what im trying to say. Theyre basically the Hinder of metal to me. On top of that, theres so many newcoming metalcore bands like Woe Is Me, and Like Moths To Flames following the footsteps of a bad metalcore band like Attack Attack! Just saying, its very disappointing to see these bands come out. Its all too generic, and no one is being different. All chugs, all negative, bs. I want some of these newer bands to put out something groundbreaking to look forward to. Someone to take lessons from some of the veteran metalcore bands like As I Lay Dying. Alright, there i go on with my metalcore rant. The end. lol.
    agreed dude. As I lay Dying & Parkway Drive are just setting the standard for metalcore bands right now.
    yea man i consider them, August Burns Red, and Texas In July to be the only reliable metalcore bands nowadays. And say what you want to say but I enjoy the new The Devil Wears Prada.
    "Metalcore veteran" "As I Lay Dying" PLEASE. Converge is a Metalcore veteran, 10 years before bands like As I Lay Dying came around and turned a good Punk sub-genre into the commercialized wannabe-Metal trash it is today. Metalcore is not Metal, it is Punk. Has been since the early 90s.
    I love Converge man, but dont need to take what i said as not noteworthy. I mean i obv kno that Converge is but then the 2nd trend of bands came out and AILD was one of them, along with Killswitch, All That Remains, Trivium, Underoath, and Every Time I Die. Im just giving an example is all im trying to say. Dont need disapprove my statement.
    Rock always has a way of coming back stronger.. Like the end of the 80's, BAM!!! Grunge scene, ect. Rock will never Die completely
    The popularity of it comes in waves though. The only reason why Grunge 'killed off' rock is because MTV and record labels were shutting down every band that wasn't grunge. That's a big reason for the lack of diversity today in the music industry
    I believe the "next beatles" is coming, just imagine if a group like the black keys but with balls hit the scene
    Black keys with balls = Old black keys. Absolutely brutal, lo-fi guitar music
    true but isnt just so cliche that we sound like hipsters when we say it? even though its not about popularity its about the actual music itself haha
    Couldn't have said it better. The people that call you a hipster for saying something like that are actually the ones who are concerned about the music's popularity.
    I've happened to stumble upon this comment while listening to 'Rubber Factory' for the first time. An amen to you, sir.
    El Camino is the only Black Keys album that lacks balls.
    Also I just want to clarify that by balls I dont mean that it has to heavy, I just want to feel like the song is expressing something true and real.
    Don't know why you got so many dislikes, I agree. El Camino is just a collection of classic rock cliches, with crappy production. Background party music. Plus almost every single chorus has a ****ing choir layered on top of Dan Before ya'll dismiss me as a hipster, I think Brothers is one of the Keys' best albums
    In my opinion "Little black submarines" is one of Black key's best songs, and that's on El Camino!
    You can't kill rock'n roll. You can kill lazy bastards that hit play on their PCs in front of thousands.
    My Last Words
    On the way back from what ? I don't really recall guitar music being pass at all..
    When was the last time you heard a catchy guitar riff on the radio?
    Who cares about the radio? Even if Rock gets back onto the radio, it'd still only be the crappiest/most accessible of the bunch. You'd still have to look for good music. It was like that even when Rock was popular, and it will always be like that regardless of what type of music is popular.
    Everyone always likes to act that back in the day radio only played great rock music. That everyone listened to only this great rock music. But this is a lie. Rock was never really the major centerpiece of music for most of its history, that would be pop (which basically cops the lcd of a more inventive genre, right now pop is aping dubstep). And then, the rock music that did get played was usually pretty crappy. Thats not to say there were never any great bands on the radio but they were fewer then we like to imagine.
    This is true, like glam and nu metal back in their times. They also went out of fashion again
    They're few and far in between, but there are some decent new bands out there.
    Idk man, looking to the stuff they play on the radio for rock stations mostly play classics (at least where I live). If anything the new bands being played Saving Abel, Cavo, Art of Dying, Halestorm, My Darkest Days, Pop Evil, and Sick Puppies. Those are the key main newer rock bands being played. Imo, none of those bands REALLY stand out for me, but theres some that ill enjoy every once in awhile, but overall, yeah i see no new rock bands really stepping up to the plate and putting out 'groundbreaking' music.
    Take all those bands you listed (Saving Abel, My Darkest Days, Sick Puppies... Three Days Grace, Shinedown to add a few more for a good survey of whats popular right now). Now ask yourself "What makes this rock music?" Can you take any run of the mill pop song, add a distorted rhythm guitar to the backround of the chorus, and then call it rock music? To me, that's what 90% of modern rock radio is right now (assuming you even still have modern rock radio in your area). And the sad thing is, this music passed off as "rock and roll" is much less creative and imaginitive then most of what you would hear on regular pop radio. Until this DRASTICALLY changes, true rock music and just guitar music in general will still be in exile
    I see what you mean, modern rock right now is quite dull, where it's most interesting is where it's just forgetting all the old rock cliche's and making something completely new, for example the latest radiohead album had great guitar work (although most people didn't recognize it as was not exactly traditional rock riff fodder) and was musically one of the most interesting things I've heard yet, rock is about saying screw it and diving into the great unknown not recycling the same ideas over and over again. We just need some creative guitarist's and keyboardist to use some of the entire world of underused sounds there are out there figure how to make those sounds rock in a way no ones heard before. and honestly I think rocks doing fine right now, personally I'm wondering where funks at, it's kinda sad that the only place I'm hearing good funky syncopated danceable music is in electronic music (and sadly not the shit they play at clubs) and the red hot chili peppers and when was the last time they released an album?
    I don't think guitar music ever went anywhere. I'm not that old, but I can remember when Spice Girls were the biggest band in the world. A lot of people look back now, and say "how the **** did that happen?", but it did. But at the same time, the Foo Fighters were pumping out their first albums. And then the Spice Girls were lost to the oblivion of flash-in-the-pan-shit and the Foo Fighters are still going strong (just on a hiatus at the moment). The same happened with the boy band craze...how are N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys doing these days? What about 98 Degrees? Musical fads come, and they go just as quickly but guitar music just keeps on truckin'. Maybe its not at the top of all the charts, but for the true fan, he or she can always find rock to satisfy their need. Some good examples have already been id'd in this thread. I would add Rival Sons, Graveyard, Gary Clark Jr. to name a few. Good rock music is out there, and it always will be, you just may have to wade through some shit to find it.
    This guy has a point and really It's always been like that.....Disco then rock then glam then punk and grunge, then the mickey mouse club, then post grunge like Staind now electronic and then came what?.....I think region plays an overlooked issue as well in who gets discovered because in the late seventies through the eighties it was the Sunset Strip, then in the late eighties it was Seattle and Anaheim and now from what I see Austin has some good bands but they go with that Mumford wave of music and then of course blues and country.
    They mean real guitar music right? Not like... Lil Wayne "playing" guitar
    I seriously will never get the mentality that when a certain genre leaves the mainstream it's automatically pronounced "dead". Everyone said metal was dead after the 80's. Look where it is now.
    If you're from the UK like me, you'll understand what BBC Radio 1 are on about. Seriously, I'm seeing on their 'Now Playing' Twitter feed fill up with more rock bands every day. And not just big ones, in fact, mainly British talent, at midday. I think even the DJs are getting fed up with the same out crap the industry throws at them with the same old tunes now.
    Metal and rock have never been dead just underground. They are just no longer in the mainstream. However if you are willing to look hard enough there is still a lot of good metal out there as well as some big rock bands still touring or working on a reunion. I believe that the mainstream will become too saturated by pop and rap and will give way to rock. Electronic music is still a growing genre that may become popular and eventually will be seen side by side with rock and metal.
    Rock not being played on radio stations doesn't mean it's dead.
    Radio 1 definitely does not support guitar music. It probably is one of the main causes of it's decline.
    Why do you say that? I'm not doggin on you or anything I just want to know your opinion.
    If you take a look at it's radio playlist you can see what I mean. Filled with the typical stuff. It also has a festival here in the U.K called 'Radio 1's Big Weekend' it has barely any guitar acts, and if they do perform, they're very low down on the bill and get little coverage from the BBC's TV Network.
    Just like how the Foo are the only band that performs at the Grammy's or on MTV.
    Yeah pretty much, Foo Fighters are really popular with Radio 1 too, but that's about it. It's strange how the Foos have managed to stay alive, in spite of everything.
    Last time I listened to it, 99% of what was played was mainstream pop music. They play N-Dubz.
    So lemme get this straightThey just "expect" it to come back soon? So there is no evidence behind this? Just some guy who says that they're due guitarists? Riiiiight
    Guitar music is certainly making its way back, it just isn't Led Zeppelin or Aerosmith that's doin it. It's Mumford and Sons, Black Keys, Jack White, and Florence that are bringing rock, or rock-influenced music, back.
    A lot of bluesy-based bands there. Mostly indie rock. Havent seen a new rock band making very good progress tho.
    radio stations serves no need for me. **** all bs radio shit. if i want to listen to music i decide my self what and when i want to hear it, i don't sit around waiting for shit to be played. radio as a authority on what is hip and in and what should be played is just bs. radio is for lame ass saps with no real taste in music or just can't be arsed to get a record and turn it on them selfs. bbc radio/any other radio corporate puppet piece of shit station can suck ....!
    Do you not drink water because it's too mainstream?
    if you think water is too mainstream great for you. most of us though, do know the necessity water serves to the human race. so yeah nitwit i drink water and it has nothing to do with commercial radio, what's considered mainstream or not. you probably figured that already, duh!
    I think the fact a stream or a river has water in it, Radio 1 is garbage, but dismissing all radio stations to be mainstream is the sign of a small minded miserable Tw@
    Rock will not be in the mainstream again unless they promote bands that are actually unique, not like alternative but something less recycled, not run of the mill bands like Alter Brridge and The Black Keys. Not saying they are bad bands persay but they bring nothing new to the equation. Bring on the downvotes.
    Rock isn't dead, and 'guitar music' will never die. But the reality is labels make more money off the radio friendly pop rubbish they put out and will continue to shove it down our throats. There are plenty of great bands out there with truck loads of talent, unfortunately Gaga is a better investment in the industry today.
    Don't radio stations have an option on what they play? I'm not sure how that works, honestly, but if they seriously want "guitar music" to come back, maybe they should quit playing nothing but POP. Seriously, there are THOUSANDS among THOUSANDS of bands that are worthy of being on the radio, yet they don't get played. It's the radio stations fault.
    I work on campus radio which is a completely different realm of how things work compared to comercial stations but everything depends on one thing.....demographics and profit. The station has to play a format that will reach out to what their target audience wants to hear, and be able to gather enough listeners to continue with that format. Since people won't necessarily listen to something they haven't heard before, rock stations play classic pop rock and thats why it's hard for new bands to pop up on the radio.
    How could one be in the same continent as the Scandinavian countries and think that guitar music has faded?
    Rock will never die, even if it's only me and you listening to it. Long live rock!
    Look to Canada friends. The Sheepdogs, Black Mountain, Deep Dark Woods, Great Lake Swimmers. Hard rock seems to be either dying or fusing into metal. I'm seeing a lot of these 60's 70's folk, southern, influenced bands coming up, and it's awesome.
    I know Radio One plays a lot of shite, but I don't get why they'd say Guitar Music is "on its way back". I mean, this is the station that has got behind bands like the Vaccines, Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, The Kooks, Pigeon Detectives, Kaiser Chiefs etc. etc. as well as promoting solo artists like Ed Sheeran. They've never really shied away from artists who use guitars.
    to be fair, they played hacktivist on the sarah cox show, which to everyone who don't know that band, they're a rap-djent crossover (yes, i used the d word, someone find a better way of explaining it)
    Yeah they play a lot of different types of music, mostly garbage, but they've never stopped playing guitar music. I mean, they still do Radio One's Big Weekend, which has lots of bands playing.
    I think more acoustic-like bands are doing well like Mumford and Sons, the Shins, and .....gotye. These bands aren't really my taste but they are or were doing well so at least "bands" are still around that play instruments. That being said I think the last time I heard new and awesome riffs on the radio was in 2011 from the Foo and then in 2006 from the Pep's. There has to be more bands with that chemistry for good, catchy and DISTORTED guitar music. I think we relied too much on these bands and they are getting old and now we need a new wave of bands influenced by the nineties or seventies or sixties, just please not 80's inspired bands like ****in poison or def leppard, although I'm perfectly fine with Journey.
    itll never be the same is all I gottta say. modern rock hardly cuts it for me. what I would like to see in the mainstream is less production. something that comes out Thats nothing but the artists. itd bring back that true emotion to music. itd never happen but like I said Id love to see it.
    Im not fussed about guitar music coming back into the mainstream. Infact its not a good thing. What i want to hear is that "Good" Music is coming Back. Not all guitar music is good. Bands like Paramore for instance. I'll be happy to see this horrible "Brostep" Subgenre of Dubstep gone. Its just made people have the wrong idea about dance music. No music is about just Dancing and Rocking. Music is about beaing creative.
    Yea fight the power....
    yeah fight the power! ber original using led zeppelin's name as a nickname. btw, yeah contains an H at the end and the proper way to end a sentence is with one single ".". people might mistake you for a 14 year old.
    Suddenly everyone in the UG community is a psychic. You're clearly all wrong because the world is ending in a month. Duh.
    I agree zero, rock might not be coming back but they did say it was guitars coming back People who know anything about Matthew Bellamy is that he has modified his guitar to make more electronic noises, like Plug in Baby, Madness obviously has other influences for the sound it uses. Also Tom Morello uses many pedals and techniques on his guitar for other effects to perform as a sort of DJ. Dubstep as far as I can remember was around in the late 80s or early 90s, it's only become popular in the last few years for some reason, the mass consumers get bored of the same thing after years (I think). There'll always be a 'New' top genre but it's just constantly changing
    "but with several high profile reunions the rock scene could soon prove to be stronger than ever." That can actually prove that rock is dead. If you are a rock fan and an old band reuniting is the biggest musical news of the year then your genre is no longer relevant.
    I don't think rock ever died, looking at my younger self i always thought i was part of a minority, how very wrong i was! Unfortunately this is like everything, it is starting to become fashionable to like rock again. On the plus side this could mean that a truely great band is discovered again so this could be a very good thing for us die hard rock and heavy metal fans. Plus, the sooner Nicki Minaj disappears forever the better!
    Rock can never die. I enjoy metal and rock, but I also enjoy dubstep. They can coexist without snuffing each other out. I do see rock and guitars making a comeback after being cast to the wayside. What could help with the comeback is the emergence of the subgenre electronicore, which combines electronic music like trance, house, and dubstep with metalcore and other kinds of extreme metal. this way, the two styles can coexist. some notable bands of this style are Enter Shikari, I See Stars, and Attack Attack.
    rock is not dead for this reason alone
    Someone thumbed down this Wonder Years vid so I cancelled it out purely because I love this band, but on reflection, this spirit at their shows can never die.
    lamb of dog
    Rock is not a thing or a fade that you can kill or take away its an emotion, a way of expressing oneself,u cant kill it.
    Mr. Dragon
    Nope, it is time for the electric guitar to go digital....no point in milking it these dry utters
    I think the fact that the controllers think rock music is "due" tells you a lot about the supposed deaths of rock. Just like other media forms (e.g. fashion, films), the different genres and themes go through cycles. That's part of the reason radio stations always have new music: they exhaust one particular genre for a year or two, then do the same to the next genre along. But I reckon that's a good thing. When a certain genre gets less airtime on stations, older acts take a backseat and newer ones have their crack at making a name for themselves. That way there's always new bands/names/albums to get that crucial airtime, and move said genre forward when it becomes popular on radio again!
    personally Alter Bridge, Taddy Porter, Gary Clark Jr theyre all modern bands with great music.