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Why This Pop-Rock Band Got Hate For Starting On YouTube

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Photo credit: Unclear Magazine

Before the invention of TikTok, many music artists gained popularity through YouTube. However, similar to the TikTok stars of today, people in the music industry saw ‘YouTube bands’ as lesser because of how they became popular. Against the Current is one such band.

Who is Against the Current? Against the Current (ATC) is an American pop-rock band that formed in 2011. The current members include Chrissy Costanza on vocals, Will Ferri on drums, and Dan Gow on guitar. Since their formation, they’ve released two full-length albums and many singles. They’ve also had the chance to collaborate with Riot Games for three different League of Legends championships.

For the first few years after its formation, ATC focused on its YouTube presence. Their videos included both their original music as well as covers of famous songs. These covers were often collaborations between other YouTube musicians, like Alex Goot. 

All of this proved successful. In fact, they became so popular that by 2015 they signed to the record label Fueled By Ramen. Other artists Fueled by Ramen have worked with include Paramore and Twenty One Pilots. After signing, ATC released their second EP “Gravity,” and, subsequently, went on a tour through Europe, North America, and Asia.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

ATC’s success didn’t come without problems, of course. People in the traditional industry often looked down on them. Not because of the music they made, but because of where they made it. ATC, like many YouTube bands, was not considered a “real band” because of its online presence. 

These criticisms didn’t stop once they had a record label, nor when they went on their four-month tour.

Others didn’t like that ATC was playing sold-out shows, even if the places were small venues. “They thought we needed to pay our dues, to play to 30 people a night,” says Costanza during an interview. She then points out that they have played those kinds of shows before, but that didn’t matter to other bands.

ATC thought they would catch a break when they were invited to the Warped Tour traveling punk festival in 2016. That wasn’t the case. During the festival, ATC ran into multiple bands that said this tour was a chance for ATC to play for real and ‘earn their cred.’ 

In the band’s interview, Costanza admits that it was frustrating to have the band’s achievements dismissed and looked down on over and over again. All because people didn’t like “how [they] did things.” 

And this trend continues with TikTok stars today. Costanza believes that the content industry gets so much criticism because people “hate what they don’t understand.” 

Despite the criticism, ATC is still thriving today, both online and offline. 

What can we learn from ATC’s past? 

Well, just because someone’s journey is different from the norm, that doesn’t mean their method is any less valid. Maybe, you can even learn something from them to help your own journey. 

If you’d like to listen to Against the Current, check out their latest music video at the link below!

(Source for info & quotes)