#AlternativeFacts Podcast: 'Washed Up Emo' Founder Tom Mullen Defends Genre's History in New Book

Courtesy Photo
"Anthology of Emo: Volume 1"

Anthology of Emo has a nice ring to it. It’s the first book from Tom Mullen, a marketing VP at Atlantic Records who’s better known online as the blog/podcast/DJ night Washed Up Emo. After years of interviewing countless voices from the scene, he’s included highlights from 10 seminal emo artists for the very scholarly looking compilation

“It’s a joke and serious at the same time,” Mullen says of the Washed Up Emo moniker. “Ten years ago, I started it because the bands I loved weren’t online. I know that sounds crazy today, but there actually weren’t any articles about American Football, Elliott or any of these bands I thought should be mentioned.” 

As the years passed, classic bands reunited, the 2010s class of “emo revival” bands gained notoriety, and Mullen’s brainchild grew. In this week’s #AlternativeFacts podcast (our last of 2017!), host Chris Payne chats with Mullen about the new book and how Washed Up Emo has been able to keep it real for the past decade. 

“If someone comes up to me at DJ night and wants to hear the Starting Line, of course,” he says. “If you wanna hear Foxing, awesome, or if you wanna hear Rites of Spring, all of those fit. It’s when it’s a copy of a copy of a copy, that’s when it starts to deviate for me… you [should] understand there’s a history and a length to the genre, and you’re not just attaching yourself to it for gain.”

Previous Episodes: The Front Bottoms | Zola Jesus | Weaves | The Movielife | Vagabon

Volume One includes interviews with the likes of Dashboard Confessional, the Get Up Kids, the Promise Ring, Rainer Maria and more.

Says Mullen, “I had all these people online going like, ’Where’s the Rites of Spring interview?’” [Laughs]. Like, it’s not a history book! It’s volume one!” 

He does, however, hint at future Washed Up Emo interviews, and it sounds like he’s at least been thinking of getting in touch with a member of the D.C. emo forerunners. Hear it all in the episode below. Pick up the book here.

#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.


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