Q Magazine

Why Is Norma Jean (and 2000s Christian Metalcore) Trending on X (Twitter)?

Fans duked it out over the band's legacy in response to a vintage concert clip from 2002.

Norma Jean
Source: MEGA

A vintage video of the Christian metalcore band Norma Jean has stirred up a debate on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

By
Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Norma Jean and other bands from the 2000s Christian metalcore movement have unexpectedly become a controversial topic on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The group from the Atlanta suburbs was trending on the morning of Dec. 13 as music fans debated its legacy.

The discourse began with a vintage 2002 video of Norma Jean playing their track "I Used to Hate Cell Phones But Now I Hate Car Accidents" in a church hall. The musicians were going as hard as ever, but the audience seemed a little confused by the performance.

Article continues below advertisement

"Your band could never be as cool as 2002 norma jean," the original poster said of the time capsule. But many commenters didn't agree. "S–ts I take are cooler than Norma Jean," one said. "I’m begging you to listen to any other band," said another. "Bruh every local hardcore scene had their version of Norma Jean in the early 2000s it’s not like this s–t was hard to do lol," a different commenter said.

The group had its defenders, as well, both in the original thread and a series of fresh reaction posts. "What’s with all the Norma Jean hate? Bless The Martyr was a good album," one person said. "When did everyone get too cool for Norma Jean lmfaooooo everyone is so f--king weird," said another. "Feel how you want about the music. they lived for that s–t," a different commenter said.

Article continues below advertisement
Norma Jean
Source: MEGA

Some people love the band, but others hate it.

The band's popularity made it a frequent target for online naysayers in the early Internet era, but in recent years a wave of nostalgia for the 2000s has generally softened opinions about Christian metalcore. That's why some X users were shocked the band was considered controversial. "Maybe I was hanging around the wrong crowd but I swear not this many people disliked Norma Jean 6 years ago (I’m on neither side)," one person said. "Babe wake up Norma Jean is on the timeline again and it wasn't me who posted it this time," said another.

"I Used to Hate Cell Phones" was on Norma Jean's 2002 studio debut Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child. It was the only release to feature founding vocalist Josh Scogin, who was also at the helm of the group's precursor Lutti-Kriss. The earlier band trafficked in more of a nu-metal sound before shifting toward metalcore on their sole studio LP Throwing Myself. The group ended up changing its name due to avoid confusion with the rapper Ludacris, who was also popping off at the time. The updated moniker was a reference to Marilyn Monroe's birth name.

Article continues below advertisement
'68
Source: MEGA

The video included founding vocalist Josh Scogin, who was featured on the band's studio debut.

After leaving, Scogin founded a new Christian metalcore band called the Chariot, which has its own set of die-hard supporters. Although the two groups have similar sounds, their fanbases don't always overlap. "Norma jean was/is bad but the chariot was good thank you good night," one X user said. The Chariot has since called its quits, and Scogin is now the guitarist and vocalist for the noise rock duo '68, which opened for Corey Taylor's band Stone Sour back in 2018.

Since Scogin's departure, Norma Jean has had a revolving cast of members centered around the group's new frontman Cory Brandan. He's appeared on every release since the band's sophomore effort O' God, the Aftermath in 2005, which made it to the No. 1 spot on the Top Christian Albums Chart. Two more of the band's LPs earned that title, including 2013's Wrongdoers, which also peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard 200. Its most recent album Deathrattle Sing for Me came out in August 2022.

Article continues below advertisement
'68
Source: MEGA

He's since gone on to create the Chariot, another metalcore band, and a noise rock duo called '68.

Norma Jean's sudden social media notoriety led X users to discuss other Christian metalcore bands, including Underoath, Coalesce and As I Lay Dying. Although these bands benefitted from their association with the Christian music industry, many members have distanced themselves from religious labels in recent years. That includes Brandan. "I can’t say that we’re a full-on Christian band," he told Heavy Mag in 2015. "I’m a Christian. I can speak for myself, but that’s all I can speak for."

Advertisement

Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More