The 15 most hated bands of the last 30 years

Perhaps the only time you'll see Limp Bizkit, Lana Del Rey and Insane Clown Posse on the same list VIDEO

Topics: Video, Music, hated bands, pop music, rap, Rock, icp, limp bizkit, matchbox 20, goo goo dolls, 90s music, creed, Nickelback, Editor's Picks,

The 15 most hated bands of the last 30 yearsDave Matthews (Credit: AP/Robb Cohen)

In order for something to be hated, it must first be loved; that love is what gives the hatred its roots. There will always be those unfathomably popular bands and singers that get an inordinate amount of airtime, and are loved by obsessed, cultish fans, only intensifying the hatred of those who realize one objective truth: that when you get down to it, the music isn’t even good. In fact, it downright sucks.

In the last week, Rush and the Eagles have been reappraised and argued about on Salon. We wondered which recent bands we might all be fighting about in 20 years. (When, by the way, they’ll still be terrible.)


Hating Nickelback used to be cool, but it’s so easy that it’s kind of just a fact, now. It’s sort of like hating Jonah Lehrer, partially because, like Lehrer, Nickelback plagiarizes itself and somehow still has fans. Oh, and also, Nickelback sucks.

98 Degrees

Even in the 1990s, there were only so many mock turtlenecks and cargo pants the front cover of Tiger Beat could handle before fans revolted against the fashion. In a musical genre already dominated by the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, Nick Lachey’s ersatz boy band never really had a chance.

Smash Mouth

Smash Mouth is what would have happened if Limp Bizkit made love to a Lisa Frank poster. In theory, that sounds kind of amazing. In practice, it is not.

Black Eyed Peas

If the Black Eyed Peas, the creators of nonsensical hits like “Boom Boom Pow” and “My Humps,” qualify as music, then any kid with a Barbie Mix It Up DJ Turntable is Mozart. Who needs vocals when you’ve got auto-tune?

Insane Clown Posse

“The Most Hated Band in the World” gave birth to the most obnoxious fans in the world, the Juggalos, who are virtually a gang at this point. But at some point, founders Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope sort of lost their way and now this is all that’s left of them:

Hootie & the Blowfish

If music on the radio in the early 1990s all sounded the same, that’s because it was All Hootie & The Blowfish, All The Time. The band’s bland music had no real edge and just enough melody to have comfortably become background noise, except then the booming baritone voice of Darius Rucker came on and bore into your skull like a drill. Twenty years later and chances are that you can still hear Rucker rattling around there in your brain.

The Goo Goo Dolls

Interchangeable with Matchbox 20, but technically not Matchbox 20. They are allegedly a different, other hated band.

John Mayer

John Mayer is that insufferable bro — you know, the one who wears a pukka bead necklace, is always shirtless, toting around a guitar at that house party you didn’t want to go to, anyway. He’ll suck the humor out of a joke and ruin the punch line every time, but no one else seems to care, because he’s a shirtless bro with a guitar. He probably likes Dane Cook. And misogyny.

Dave Matthews Band

Thirty-something adults who now now roll their eyes at Drake’s “YOLO” are no better: Chances are good that they used to follow around the cultish Dave Matthews Band 10 years ago, imparting profound, oft-quoted wisdom like “eat, drink and be merry” and “life is short but sweet for certain” while living it up in the suburbs and broadening their worldview by sneaking in SoCo and taking road trips to the Jersey Shore.


Listening to even one song by Creed invokes a sea of nausea, as if your brain is fried from watching “Two and a Half Men” reruns for 24 hours. As Spin magazine put it, they’re like “Nickelback before there was Nickelback.”


Basically the Goo Goo Dolls of the next millennium.


Reflecting on Phish’s 30 years of music, Grantland’s Steven Hyden puts the problem best: “In order to like Phish, you must consciously decide to like Phish.”

Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit is one of the rare band names that could not be made any more ridiculous if it were spelled “LiMp b!ZKiT,” an observation that makes the band’s unchecked anger so hard to take seriously. I mean, really, was the “he-said-she-said bullshit” that rage-inducing, Fred Durst?

Blink 182

Blink 182 began as an attempt to wean tweens off of boy bands, except they soon turned into self-parody when teenagers began to like them in earnest, ushering in an unforgivable era of wannabe-pop-punk rockers like Good Charlotte, Avril Lavigne and Jimmy Eat World.

Lana Del Rey

It’s not that Lana Del Rey is bad, per se, it’s that her music seems fraudulent when compared to the ’60s-era musical acts she’s invoking. Her emotionless performance on “SNL” cemented her reputation as robotic, the product of overly manufactured pop perfection. She’s another reminder that we live in a post-Black Eyed Peas era.

Dishonorable Mentions not on this list: Kid Rock, Linkin Park, real Matchbox 20, Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler … rest assured you are all hated, as well.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...