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‘I Think Sydney’s Pretty Shit’: Melbourne Grindcore Fans and their Others

Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures

ISBN: 978-1-78769-168-1, eISBN: 978-1-78769-167-4

Publication date: 4 June 2019


In this chapter, the author considers how Melbourne’s grindcore metal scene produces itself as coherent, authentic and masculine through the discursive positioning of Sydney’s scene as lacking, inauthentic and feminine and/or homosexual. The way Melbourne scene-members talk about Sydney in ethnographic interviews and online, indicates how Melbourne’s grindcore scene identity rests on a particular striving towards – and fantasy of – a bounded, comprehensible masculine identity anchored in Symbolic/linguistic signifiers of homophobia. Building on my previous research on Melbourne’s scene, the author utilises a Lacanian perspective to argue that the masculinist talk of Melbournians works as a response to the affective experience of enjoying grindcore music. Here, the author departs from my earlier work, where the author used Deleuzian/Massumian understandings of affect to suggest that affect works to construct community belonging in grindcore scenes (2014). Instead, the author uses Lacan’s approach to affect to suggest that Melbourne grindcore fans construct their identity via furiously producing a fantasy of Sydney fans as ‘Other’. They Symbolically construct Sydney as a ‘cultural wasteland’ populated by ‘poofter[s]’ (Melbourne Grind Syndicate, 2016) who are imagined, and positioned as, inauthentic due to their affective enthusiasm for grindcore. Here, affect works to exclude and Other grindcore fans rather than as a force for collectivity.



Overell, R. (2019), "‘I Think Sydney’s Pretty Shit’: Melbourne Grindcore Fans and their Others", Hoad, C. (Ed.) Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures (Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 73-90.



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Copyright © 2019 Rosemary Overell