While it may seem that new dominant music scenes occur overnight, it's often not as simple as that. In fact, there's usually a bit of a free for all in the time before a dominant musical scene comes to the forefront where several different styles of music vie to be the new top dog as the previous top scene starts to fade out. In this feature, we're looking at the scenes that were coming to the forefront right before nu-metal took over in the late '90s and what happened to each of those scenes.

We're talking about that period surrounding Soundgarden's split in 1997, which many point to as the end of the grunge era, and when Korn "got the life" a year later, one of many songs and acts that signaled the birth of the next big music movement. It was a period flush with musical options, as no fewer than five scenes were represented at rock and alternative radio as well as on MTV, leading to a melting pot of influence. And that's not to say that nu-metal was non-existent pre-1998 either as there were already hints of what was to be the dominant sound of the next half-decade or so.

Yes, each of these scenes took a bit of a pause once nu-metal arrived, but the stall of momentum was merely temporary for some scenes while others abruptly seemed to drop off the map altogether. So let's look at 5 scenes stalled by nu-metal.

1. Electronica

While there have been various periods of electronic music presence over the years, 1997 leading into 1998 seemed to be a breakout period for '90s electronica. A wealth of new acts emerged while several other performers who had earned some respect in the electronic community were now getting their shot at a more mainstream spotlight. One sign showing the new significance placed on electronic music was that MTV decided to launch their new show Amp, which much like Headbanger's Ball and 120 Minutes, put a dedicated spotlight on a certain style of music. Amp, which ran from 1996-2001, helped bring many of electronica's bright new stars into the spotlight. Of all the scenes mentioned in this piece, electronica seemed the most developed and primed to take over prior to nu-metal's emergence.

Who were the lead acts?

The Prodigy's third studio album, Fat of the Land, proved to be their breakout moment. It was also their first to feature vocalist Keith Flint, who joined Liam Howlett and Maxim Reality on such hits as "Firestarter," "Breathe" and the controversial "Smack My Bitch Up," which had a video relegated to late night MTV viewing. Their hard-driving aggression and rock sensibilities made them a natural to break down barriers at alt-rock radio.

The Prodigy, "Firestarter"

The Chemical Brothers were the other major 1997 breakout with their second album Dig Your Own Hole, and while not experiencing the breakout success of The Prodigy, the duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons have become one of the most consistent top performers to come out of the '90s electronica era. "Setting Sun" introduced them to many audiences, but they've since followed with a string of hits including the Grammy-winning "Block Rockin' Beats," "Hey Boy Hey Girl," "Let Forever Be" (with Noel Gallagher), "Star Guitar," "The Golden Path" (featuring Flaming Lips), "Galvanize" (featuring Q-Tip), "Wide Open" (featuring Beck) and more.

Chemical Brothers, "Setting Sun"

Norman Cook started his career in rock, playing bass for U.K. act The Housemartins, before adopting his DJ persona Fatboy Slim. Finding his way with a big beat sound, Fatboy Slim enjoyed two major late '90s offerings with Better Living Through Chemistry and You've Come a Long Way, Baby. The Who-sampling track "Going Out of My Head" was his introduction to many, while songs such as "The Rockafeller Skank" and "Praise You" helped him carve out a place at alt-rock radio as well as on MTV.

Fatboy Slim, "Going Out of My Head"

The French duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo made an immediate impact on electronic music in 1997, carving out their own niche for Daft Punk with a sound influenced by disco, funk, techno and house music. They would become one of their more influential acts in the genre, with a nearly two decade career that continued to evolve with each release. Their debut album, Homework, put the band on the map with "Da Funk," "Around the World," "Burnin'" and "Revolution 909."

Daft Punk, "Da Funk"

Moby had already established himself as one of the brightest stars of the '90s electronic music scene, but with electronica suddenly pushed to mainstream attention his Play album arrived with much fanfare. And it did not disappoint, yielding eight singles including "Bodyrock," "South Side" (with Gwen Stefani), "Natural Blues" and "Porcelain." Moby would continue to thrive up to present day.

Moby, "Bodyrock"

What was the immediate impact?

The breakout of electronic music in 1997 opened the door for many acts, with Crystal Method, Underworld, Orbital, Death in Vegas, The Orb and Faithless all now finding radio play with ease. In addition, established rock acts such as David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins all allowed electronic music to impact some of their sound in the late '90s.

Beyond the initial wave of electronic acts, you also had the aptly named Air, the Daft Punk-influenced Stardust and the house and big beat duo Basement Jaxx emerging on the scene.

Basement Jaxx, "Where's Your Head At?"

How did things evolve post nu-metal's arrival?

Initially it didn't appear that nu-metal's dominance had much affect on the flush of electronic artists at radio, but by 1999 many of the alt-rock stations flipped their formatting to focus on the influx of nu-metal acts, squeezing out the availability of airplay for electronic music. Even MTV's Amp, which had been a vital platform for electronic acts, was eventually canceled by MTV in 2001.

The acts that did emerge after the arrival of nu-metal seemed to be less rock influenced. Chicane scored a dance hit with of all people, Bryan Adams, Apollo 440 enjoyed some success with their Fatboy Slim-esque, "Stop the Rock," and perhaps the most interesting electronic act to emerge in the nu-metal era was the sample heavy Australian outfit Avalanches. The stars of the genre managed to evolve and endure in the new musical landscape, but the electronica boom essentially faded out as nu-metal's stranglehold on rock radio took hold.

The Avalanches, "Frontier Psychiatrist"

2. Pop-Punk

Pop-punk really broke out big in 1994 with Green Day and the Offspring enjoying breakout success with their Dookie and Smash albums respectively. While they would continue to thrive in the years to come, a second wave of '90s pop-punk would arrive around 1996 and 1997, seemingly predicting a breakout to come. But it's arguable that prediction was just a little bit early as the early boom of nu-metal would just delay the pop-punk explosion to come ever so briefly.

Who were the lead acts?

While there were a slew of acts that emerged from that 1996-1998 pop-punk wave, there was really only one act that emerged from that era to really break out big. The trio of Blink-182 really solidified with the addition of Travis Barker on drums. Their second album, Dude Ranch, featured an amalgamation of infectiously poppy punk riffs with a lyrical sense of humor and relatability that instantly connected with a new generation that had already embraced Green Day. "Dammit" and "Josie" would give the group their initial inroads at radio with bigger things still to come a few years later.

Blink-182, "Dammit"

What was the immediate impact?

As stated, Blink-182's arrival came alongside quite a few other pop-punk acts that had modest success. MxPx, Zebrahead and the Marvelous 3 all scored alt-rock radio hits, while Aussie rockers The Living End sounded like a throwback to a more '70s-style of punk rock. But for the most part, pop punk was playing second fiddle to nu-metal save for a few exceptions.

Just as nu-metal was starting to take hold, this fresh wave of pop punk did yield some breakout stars. Lit had one of 1999's biggest hits with "My Own Worst Enemy," while Sum 41 added elements of rap and hard rock into their punk-driven "Fat Lip." New Found Glory and Mest also showed promise right as nu-metal started its ascent.

Lit, "My Own Worst Enemy"

Sum 41, "Fat Lip"

How did things evolve post nu-metal's arrival?

While several of the scenes mentioned here saw their decline start with nu-metal's arrival, the pop-punk dip appeared to be only a blip on the radar, with the turn of the decade bringing a wealth of pop-punk arrivals. Good Charlotte, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan, Sugarcult, Saves the Day, American Hi-Fi, Fenix TX, Something Corporate, Midtown, The Starting Line and more would all emerge in the first few years of the 21st century.

Much like electronica had MTV's Amp, pop punk had its major launching platform as well with the Vans Warped Tour really coming to prominence at the end of the late '90s and enjoying its peak with the influx of pop-punk acts in the early 2000s.

Rather than fading out, pop punk just restocked and it started to evolve with emo being considered part of the family tree and branching off acts such as Paramore, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance that would come to the forefront in the mid-aughts. If anything, pop punk was the scene that most rivaled nu-metal after the turn of the century.

Good Charlotte, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"

Paramore, "Misery Business"

My Chemical Romance, "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"

3. Ska-Punk

While ska first emerged in the late '70s and early '80s, a fresh take on the style started to take hold in the mid-'90s. Ska-punk, as the title suggests, blended elements of ska with punk, making for a really catchy sound. Running concurrent with the pop-punk boom, ska-punk led to a major '90s punk revival.

Who were the lead acts?

Anaheim-based rockers No Doubt were one of the breakout acts from the burgeoning SoCal '90s punk scene. Led by singer Gwen Stefani, they arrived with the female empowerment ska-punk anthem "Just a Girl." Their Tragic Kingdom album went on to spawn seven singles, including the chart-topping "Don't Speak" and "Spiderwebs." After 2001's Rock Steady and a hits collection, the band's career has been mostly on hold as Stefani pursued solo opportunities.

No Doubt, "Just a Girl"

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones had already established themselves as leaders of the ska-punk sound when that sound finally seemed prime for the mainstream in 1997. Their fifth studio album Let's Face It spawned their biggest single "The Impression That I Get" that topped the Alternative Airplay chart and hit Top 20 on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40. After minor hits with "Where'd You Go," "Someday I Suppose" and "Kinder Words," 1997 felt like everyone finally caught up with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, but this would prove to be the peak of their career.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Impression That I Get"

Sublime's success story is a bittersweet one. The SoCal outfit had garnered acclaim locally with their 40 oz. to Freedom and Robbin' the Hood albums, but hadn't quite had their major radio breakout until 1997 when their self-titled release arrived. Sadly the album was released shortly after the death of singer Bradley Nowell, who never got to see the band reach new heights with the singles "What I Got," "Santeria," "Wrong Way" and "Doin' Time."

Sublime, "What I Got"

What was the immediate impact?

Ska-punk seemed primed to be the next big thing thanks to acts such as Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Suicide Machines, Reel Big Fish and Buck-O-Nine. Goldfinger, in particular, would receive a big boost for their career with their inclusion on the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game soundtrack.

Following on the heels of those bands, there was also Smash Mouth and Save Ferris arriving on the scene in 1997 and continuing to find success as the '90s continued.

Smash Mouth, "All Star"

How did things evolve post nu-metal's arrival?

While you can say that pop-punk only grew stronger in the years shortly after nu-metal's arrival, the same can't be said for ska-punk. It largely started to tail off post-2000, and even No Doubt's final album from their initial era ventured outside of their ska-punk roots to explore more dancehall and electro-pop stylings.

There were minimal ska-punk breakouts post-2000 with Slightly Stoopid and the Sublime spinoffs Long Beach Dub All-Stars and Long Beach Shortbus enjoying the most success.

Slightly Stoopid, "2AM"

4. Swing Revival

Who saw this one coming? As grunge started to fade, music listeners dipped way back to a style first popularized in the '30s and '40s. Though swing was front and center, the swing revival sound also incorporated elements of rockabillly, jazz, ska and punk. If you're looking for the platform that brought it back to the spotlight, look no further than the big screen. '90s films Swing Kids, The Mask, Swingers and Blast From the Past all featured either swing music or scenes of modern swing clubs.

Who were the lead acts?

The California collective Big Bad Voodoo Daddy got their start playing clubs and lounges, but caught their big break when they were featured in the 1996 film Swingers. They were the featured act at the Brown Derby in the film, with the songs "You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3," "Go Daddy-O" and "Mr. Pinstripe Suit" all landing on the movie's soundtrack. They parlayed their fame to a spot in the Super Bowl XXXIII halftime show. While they've released nine studio albums, their star was never brighter than coming off their Swingers association.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3"

Brian Setzer already had enjoyed major success as the frontman for Stray Cats, the rockabilly-influenced '80s hitmakers. But the music world circled back to Setzer in 1998 when his swing and jump blues outfit The Brian Setzer Orchestra covered the Louis Prima classic, "Jump, Jive an' Wail." The song won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo. The BSO has continued to record and tour in the years since, but their biggest success still remains 1998's The Dirty Boogie album.

Brian Setzer Orchestra, "Jump Jive an' Wail"

What was the immediate impact?

In addition to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Brian Setzer Orchestra finding radio play, you could also hear Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Zoot Suit Riot" and Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Hell" bringing swing to the alt-rock radio airwaves circa 1997 and 1998. Royal Crown Revue, The Atomic Fieballs, The Lucky Strikes and more also emerged playing swing music during that time period, capitalizing on the new popularity.

Cherry Poppin' Daddies, "Zoot Suit Riot"

How did things evolve post nu-metal's arrival?

While swing had its revival in 1997 and 1998, that revival was short-lived from a commercial standpoint. By the time that nu-metal started to take over the radio airwaves, the days of swing music on those same airwaves had pretty much come to an end and there was no next wave of acts to carry them through.

5. Trip-Hop

Trip-hop emerged in the early '90s out of the U.K. as a fusion of hip-hop and electronica, often with a slower tempo and/or psychedelic sound. Early pioneers included DJ Shadow and Portishead with their groundbreaking 1994 album Dummy. But as the '90s started to turn to the back half of the era, trip-hop started to emerge with a fresh wave of acts pushing for more attention.

Who were the lead acts?

Tricky actually started as a member of the other major trip-hop act listed here, Massive Attack. After branching out on his own, this rapper and music producer wowed critics with his 1995 debut album Maxinquaye, featuring the haunting single "Hell Is Around the Corner."  Continuing to evolve his sound, Tricky has continued to release music into the 2020s, with Nearly God, Pre-Millennium Tension and Blowback amongst his best works.

Tricky, "Hell Is Around the Corner"

Though the lineup has changed over the years, Massive Attack have continued to be one of the most influential trip-hop acts. With the critically-hailed 1991 offering Blue Lines and its 1994 follow-up Protection, Massive Attack were primed for exposure in 1998 with their Mezzanine album as trip-hop finally started to find a more mainstream audience. Their career has yielded such standout cuts as "Teardrop," "Protection," "Unfinished Sympathy," "Safe From Harm," and "Karmacoma."

Massive Attack, "Teardrop"

What was the immediate impact?

With DJ Shadow, Portishead, Tricky and Massive Attack doing the heavy lifting in the early '90s, the door was open for a fresh wave of acts to take advantage. Between 1996-1998, trip-hop influenced acts Hooverphonic, Sneaker Pimps, White Town, Olive, Propellerheads and Mono all found homes on alt-rock radio, pushing for a potential breakout of the scene.

Hooverphonic, "2wicky"

Sneaker Pimps, "6 Underground"

How did things evolve post nu-metal's arrival?

While most of the scenes mentioned here have loose ties to harder rock music, you could argue that trip-hop would be the exact opposite of nu-metal. Once alternative radio flipped to feature more nu-metal bands and heavier rock, any momentum trip-hop had garnered on the airwaves was quickly pushed aside.

Leaning primarily on MTV and other radio outlets for exposure, a few new acts started to arrive as champions for the scene, including Dido, Zero 7, early Goldfrapp, Rob Dougan and the Damon Albarn-led animated outfit Gorillaz. Though trip-hop has continued to evolve with select acts finding pockets of success, the scene never quite matched the promise and popularity that was happening pre nu-metal's arrival in the mid-'90s.

Zero 7, "Destiny"

Gorillaz, "Clint Eastwood"

So there you have it — five different music scenes that were vying to be the next big thing circa 1996-1998 before nu-metal eventually took over as the most prominent scene in all of music. Some were definitely affected more than others, but nu-metal seemed to have an impact on how each scene progressed heading into the 21st century.

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