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Emo vs Goth – 10 Ways to Know the Difference

Emo Gothic style! This is a term that we hear a lot lately. Nevertheless, the addicts belonging to each community clearly state that an Emo is an Emo and a Gothic is a Gothic. There is no combination of words, no style.

Although Emo and Goth have striking similarities, they have differentiating criteria that deserve to be stated. One thing is certain, Emo and Goth are both unified through a primary root: punk rock. However, they are two different kinds of music. Emo expresses the emotional hardcore of punk rock, while Goth relates to Gothic rock music. Through this article, let’s review 10 ways very concrete to differentiate them.

Historically speaking

As previously stated, the term gothic is a subculture of punk just like Emo. Goth or gothic rock gained a solid and remarkable reputation at the end of 1980. This year also marked the end of the hardcore rock era. Dubbed “post punk”, the gothic subculture quickly won over many fanatics, the vast majority of whom were hardcore rock enthusiasts converted to this new state of mind and music genre.

In the mid-1980s, the term Emo also appeared, but only found its place in the punk world a little later in 1990. Already called Emo at that time, the term comes from Emocore, which is an abbreviation of the term emotional hardcore. Many people say that Emo is a musical sub-genre of “post-hardcore”.

Type of music and the message conveyed

Both Emo and Goth have the same musical influences. However, they differ in their rhythms and lyrics. Emo, also known as Emocore, has quite violent rhythms as it is characterised by strong emotions. The guideline of this music is based on emotion and evokes teenage romance. These are the hardcore Pink pop principles.

On the other hand, although Goth appeared before Emo, it was much more detached from the original punk and opted for the electro style.Gothic lyrics rather convey an atmosphere of horror, darkness and morbidity through literature and architecture.

Themes attached to each subculture

The Goths love all that is dark and that which is attached to darkness. Therefore, they get involved with witchcraft, black magic and vampirism. The gothic spirit then rallies to the morbid and it is so visible in everything they do. They love to connect with the spiritual world and take on diabolical models.

Emo does not pay attention to this and adopts a different, more open theme. Even though they focus on the colour black, they do not focus on one type of emotion, but deal with various emotional characters. They select a variety of colours to make their appearance complete. This is what makes its name emotional hardcore.

Preferred colour

Emo and Goth are two types of people who worship rock. The flagship colour for rock fans is black, but even black can take on two different ideas. Emo adopts the colour black, but combines it with other fluorescent and bright colours, such as pink or purple. This colour combination is a trend in Emocore. Moreover, it is a sufficient way to mark the total dissimilarity with the Goths. The Goths, on the other hand, make a strong statement about the colour black without any other colour features.

Emo and gothic appearance

At first sight, it is rather difficult to distinguish Emo from Goth by their appearance. This difference becomes so obvious if you pay more attention to detail. Emos show their reputation with patch accessories, pins and bags. Gothic clothing is a bit brighter. Morbid motifs, skulls or crosses are added to this. Sometimes you can also see astral motifs like stars or the moon. Extravagant jewelry and fashion accessories are an integral part of their dress code.

Accessories are therefore a major differentiating factor in the Emo and Goth look. You need to have the right accessories to avoid a faux pas when choosing your punk subculture style.

Typical emo and gothic outfit

For Emo, the outfits are not just black. They use dominant yet mysterious colours. This means that their clothing can be any colour other than black. They do not follow a special trend. Instead, Emos wear simple, soft clothing such as vintage t-shirts, v-neck jumpers, fleece jumpers, skinny jeans and scarves. The Emo’s even wear soft shoes with converse or creepers on their feet.

The Goths, on the other hand, wear only dark-coloured clothes with plenty of black. They choose the materials from which their clothes are made carefully. Leather, lace and suede are essential elements to complete a gothic garment. These are the specificities of the gothic style. Mini-skirts and mini-shorts are also a feature of Goth clothing. They tend to show their corpulence especially in the middle of summer.

Their own behaviour

Emo behaviour is similar to extrovert behaviour. They show their feelings without hiding and without worrying about what others may think. They then advocate their ideologies and assume them with fervour. Emos are thoughtful, sensitive and emotional beings. Most of the time, the violence they convey through their words has considerable effects on their behaviour. Most of the time, the behaviour of Emos is associated with sadness, loneliness, anguish, depression.

At the same time, the Goth has an attitude consistent with loneliness. They are introverted and behave in the same way as pensive and isolated people. This makes them strange personalities in the eyes of the community.

The particularity of emo and goth bands

Gothic bands are the ones that sing of melancholy and hum the darkness of the music. Here we are not talking about black music, which is something else altogether, but about music in its darkest form. Let’s mention the following gothic bands:

  • Mercy et Bauhaus
  • The Cure
  • Joy division

Emo groups, in turn, are dedicated to expressing the emotions, the personal problems that everyone has, but which they hide behind the problems of society. These Emo groups include :

  • Rites of Springs
  • Jimmy Eastwood
  • MCR
  • Fall out Boy

Every subculture has its own culture

Emos are intellectually resilient and loyal to their community. No one can influence them to change their style or convert to any other ideology than their own, no matter how specific it may be. Emos simply say, “I take my style and express myself, take on who I am without worrying about others. Any self-respecting emo dresses in their own style without pain or worry. Black is their favourite colour. Emos have their own distinctive hairstyles with a side border. For the Emo culture, black is not a goal, but it is the basis for expressing what is wrong. Accessories are an inseparable part of the culture and cannot be separated from Emo.

Goth surrounds itself with punk rock music and focuses on the dark genre. Besides, the people who dominate the gothic world are almost adults. In other words, their words and ideas are not of much interest to most teenagers. Goths have had their initiations since Victorian literature. Being Goth, the manifestation of Gothic culture through dress is important. The same goes for morbid make-up. Goth is distinguished by dark looks like black and its music is also called cold and dark music. All these movements point to the influence of literature and gothic culture.

Their degree of popularity

These two sub-genres of music have each achieved immense popularity in the hearts of punk fans. However, in the US it was Emo that made the difference. Later it spread to Western Europe and reached the hearts of young people with its expressive appearance in the UK and France. Goth has spread worldwide. We see young goths in every country. There are not so many of them, but they make a statement with their outfits, their skull and crossbones accessories and with the black colour that is visible on them from head to toe.

Emo vs Goth represents similarities, but it is better to differentiate them. Although they come from the same musical influence; their states of mind are quite different. After deconstructing these 10 differentiating traits, Emo and Goth are totally different and the colour black is not enough to say that they are similar. An Emo person does not share the same ideologies as a Goth person. So, are you Emo or Goth, or what suits you best? Claim to belong to one of the two subcultures punk rock, emo and goth !

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