We are the Sons of the Southern Cross

Gendered Nationalisms and Imagined Community in Australian Extreme Metal

Authors

  • Catherine Hoad Macquarie University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.v3i1.31133

Keywords:

Australia, extreme metal, scenes, masculinity, imagined community

Abstract

 

Australia's extreme metal scenes have developed largely in isolation from not only the rest of the world, but also one another. Nonetheless, extreme metal scenes throughout the Australian continent share common sentiments of national identity that allow for the formation of an imagined community across disparate locales. Such nationalistic sentiment, realized through the reiteration of the masculinist master symbols of Australian identity, enables an imagined community to be sustained across extreme metal scenes. This article explores how music functions as a medium through which communities can be imagined and boundaries between them drawn. Australian extreme metal scenes construct and maintain a sense of nationhood and community in exclusionary, rather than conciliatory ways. The particular experience of belonging offered by Australian extreme metal scenes is hence marked by rigid parameters of what, or who, may constitute "Australianness" in the image of such communion.

Author Biography

Catherine Hoad, Macquarie University

Catherine Hoad was recently awarded her PhD in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her doctoral thesis explores the processes through which discourses of whiteness have been deployed across heavy metal scenes in Norway, South Africa and Australia, and how such narratives are embroiled in broader regional trajectories of masculinity and colonialism.

References

Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities. London: Verso.

Bastardizer. 2014. Enforcers of Evil lyric sheet, LP inner sleeve. Nürtingen: Heavy Forces 029.

Bennett, Andy and Richard A. Peterson. 2004. “Introducing Music Scenes”. In Music Scenes: Local, Translocal and Virtual, edited by Andy Bennett and Richard A. Peterson, 1–16. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Berger, Harris M. 1999. Metal, Rock and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press.

Bhabha, Homi K. 1994. “DissemiNation: Time, Narrative and the Margins of the Modern Nation”. In Nation and Narration, edited by Homi K. Bhabha, 291–322. London: Routledge.

Bode, Katherine. 2006. “Aussie Battler in Crisis? Shifting Constructions of White Australian Masculinity and National Identity”. ACRAWSA e-Journal 2/1: 1–18.

Connell, R. W. 2003. “Introduction: Australian Masculinities”. In Male Trouble: Looking at Australian Masculinities, edited by Stephen Tomsen and Mike Donaldson, 9–21. Melbourne: Pluto Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1540-8167.14.s9.16.x

Dávid, László (transcriber) and Mat Maurer (interviewee). 2011. “Interviews: Mortal Sin” [interview transcript]. Voices from the Dark Side. http://www.voicesfromthedarkside.de/Interviews/MORTAL-SIN--6991.html (accessed 17 September 2015).

Dead Kelly. 2010. “About—Genre”. Facebook/Dead Kelly Official. https://www.facebook.com/deadkellyofficial/info/?tab=page_info (accessed 6 January 2016).

—2013. “Bio”. Triple J Unearthed. https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/dead-kelly (accessed 17 September 2015).

—2014. Sons of the Southern Cross lyric booklet. Independently released.

—2015. Facebook post, 29 May. Facebook/Dead Kelly Official. https://www.facebook.com/deadkellyofficial/posts/1117891894890845 (accessed 6 January 2016).

EvilG (interviewer) and Raul Alvarez (interviewee). 2003. “Dark Order—Australia’s Prophets of Thrash Metal. Interview with Guitarist/Vocalist Raul Ignacio Alvarez” [Interview transcript]. Metal Rules. http://www.metal-rules.com/interviews/DarkOrder-July2003.htm (accessed 6 January 2016).

Haun, Josh (interviewer) and Decaylust, Marcus Hellkunt, Ian Belshaw, Ben Wrecker and Glenn Destruktor (interviewees, all pseudonyms with the exception of Belshaw). 2010. “Metal Scene Report: Australia” [Interview transcript]. Invisible Oranges. http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2010/08/metal-scene-report-australia/ (accessed 17 September 2015).

Homan, Shane. 2000. “Losing the Local: Sydney and the Oz Rock Tradition”. Popular Music 19/1: 31–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0261143000000040

Johns, Amelia. 2008. “White Tribe: Echoes of the Anzac Myth in Cronulla”. Continuum 22/1: 3–16.

Kahn-Harris, Keith. 2002. “I Hate This Fucking Country: Dealing with the Global and the Local in the Israeli Extreme Metal Scene”. In Music, Popular Culture, Identities, edited by Richard Young, 133–51. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

—2007. Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge. New York: Berg.

Maurer, Mat. 2012. “Mat Maurer’s All Time Top Ten Mortal Sin Gigs”. Mortal Sin (official Facebook page). https://www.facebook.com/MortalSin.Band/posts/10150985717913163 (accessed 17 September 2015).

Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. 2005. “The House that Jack Built: Britishness and White Possession”. ACRAWSA e-Journal 1/1: 21–29.

Ngolls, Josh [interviewer] and Mark Howitzer [interviewee]. 2003. “Gospel of the Horns” [Interview transcript]. Tartarean Desire Webzine. http://www.tartareandesire.com/interviews/goth.html (accessed 6 January 2016).

Nichols, David. 2011. The Bogan Delusion. Melbourne: Affirm Press.

Overell, Rosemary. 2014. Affective Intensities in Extreme Music Scenes: Cases from Australia and Japan. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137406774

Peterson, Tristan. 2014. “Album Reviews: Dead Kelly—Sons of the Southern Cross”. Metal Obsession. http://www.metalobsession.net/2014/03/20/dead-kelly-sons-of-the-southern-cross/ (accessed 6 January 2016).

Phillipov, Michelle. 2008. “Metal ‘Downunderground’: Mapping the Terrain of the Great Southern Wasteland”. In Sounds of Then, Sounds of Now: Popular Music in Australia, edited by Shane Homan and Tony Mitchell, 215–30. Hobart: ACYC Publishing.

Schaffer, Kay. 1988. Women and the Bush. Melbourne: Cambridge.

Spracklen, Karl. 2010. “True Aryan Black Metal: The Meaning of Leisure, Belonging and the Construction of Whiteness in Black Metal Music”. In Metal Void: First Gatherings, edited by Niall R. W. Scott, 81–92. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Straw, Will. 1991. “Systems of Articulation, Logics of Change: Communities and Scenes in Popular Music”. Cultural Studies 5/3: 368–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09502389100490311

Sunter, Anne Beggs. 2001. “Remembering Eureka”. Journal of Australian Studies 25/70: 49–56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14443050109387705

Vasta, Ellie. 1993. “Multiculturalism and Ethnic Identity: The Relationship between Racism and Resistance”. Journal of Sociology 29/2: 209–225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/144078339302900204

Wallach, Jeremy, Harris M. Berger and Paul D. Greene. 2011. “Affective Overdrive, Scene Dynamics, and Identity in the Global Metal Scene”. In Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music around the World, edited by Jeremy Wallach, Harris M. Berger and Paul D. Greene, 3–33. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/9780822392835-001

Wallach, Jeremy and Alexandra Levine. 2013. “I Want You to Support Local Metal: A Theory of Metal Scene Formation”. In Heavy Metal Controversies and Countercultures, edited by Titus Hjelm, Keith Kahn-Harris and Mark LeVine, 117–35. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.

Walser, Robert. 1993. Running with the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press.

Weinstein, Deena. 2000. Heavy Metal: The Music and its Culture, rev. edn. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press.

Published

2016-07-21

How to Cite

Hoad, C. (2016). We are the Sons of the Southern Cross: Gendered Nationalisms and Imagined Community in Australian Extreme Metal. Journal of World Popular Music, 3(1), 90–107. https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.v3i1.31133

Issue

Section

Gender, Popular Music and Australian Identity