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Indie RockTakes its name from "independent," which describes both the do it yourself attitudes of its bands/artists and the small, lower-budget nature of the labels that release the music.
Indie RockIndie rock includes any rock band that is either unsigned or is signed to an independent label. This category is dominated by bands still living the "do it yourself" lifestyle. These bands don't answer to major labels for sales or distribution--they are left largely to their own blood, sweat, and creativity to get their music heard. A few of the early indie rock bands were signed during the early 1990's, but none of them achieved any notable commericial success. Based on today's music business, rock bands that currently are signed to a major label, distributed by a major label, or previously signed to a major label and have seen ANY commercial success are not eligible for this category. They should seek inclusion elsewhere. Indie rock split off from the second wave of alternative music when Nirvana crossed over to the mainstream. Nirvana's success prompted a surge of major label signings of alternative bands and marked the point when alternative music became just a newer form of hard rock music. Bands that rejected that mainstream or were not commercial enough (or too weird or wimpy or poetic) to be mainstream were then considered "indie". The spirit of indie rock is the do-it-yourself ethnic, coupled with the philosophy that you should aspire to create your own unique sound--regardless of what is commercially successful.