Can there ever be such a thing as totally new music anymore? We've had about 55 years of rock and roll music now. We've seen the original rockers like Elvis and Little Richard... the British Invasions and the hippie movement. We've seen AOR, glam rock, suffered through disco. Punk, post-punk, hardcore, new wave, no wave, post-hardcore, emo and the rest of the offshoots of the original 70s punk bands have come and gone. Grunge, alt-rock, shoegaze, Britpop, indie rock...
I could list every single genre of rock music since the Fifties but you get the point. It almost feels like we've run the gamut on rock and the possibility of a band creating wholly original music seems almost nonexistent. Perhaps the one thing someone could argue (I won't say whether I totally agree) is that rock music has always been reliant upon some outside influences... way back even to Elvis. It is, in a way, some great circle of variations on a single theme... the rock and roll dream, as it were.
Could this be the key to rock music staying with us for another 50 years? Punk music fans, one would think, would not advocate this as it seems to subvert the entire principle that punk was founded on... the concept of thinking and doing it in your way. I mean, could true punk fans ever go for, say, a Sex Pistols tribute band? Perhaps not. But maybe they would, the reasoning being that it is entirely subversive to like a tribute band.
Punk, in a way, is a lot like The Game. Once you start thinking consciously about it, you lose. Once you've singularly identified yourself as a punk and begin stylizing yourself as such, you've already subverted the meaning of what it is to be punk.
Perhaps the whole key to this is just not thinking about it. Inspiration will come and if one subconsciously taps into his influences to express his ideas, he could do no wrong (unless he subconsiously lifts the riff to "White Riot" or such). Then it'll be his fans and peers to judge for themselves whether one is being true to the "spirit", or selling out for his own particular advantage. One will be judged on Earth by his peers but true judgment will come at the gates of rock and roll heaven.