Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures

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

Publication date: 4 June 2019


(2019), "Prelims", Hoad, C. (Ed.) Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures (Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xiv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © Selection and editorial matter Catherine Hoad; individual chapters their respective authors, published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing, 2019.

Half Title Page

Australian Metal Music

Series Page

Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture

Series Editors: Rosemary Lucy Hill and Keith Kahn-Harris

International Editorial Advisory Board: Andy R. Brown, Bath Spa University, UK; Amber Clifford-Napleone, University of Central Missouri, USA; Kevin Fellezs, Columbia University, USA; Cynthia Grund, University of Southern Denmark; Gérôme Guibert, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France; Catherine Hoad, Massey University, New Zealand; Rosemary Overell, Otago University, NZ; Niall Scott, University of Central Lancashire, UK; Karl Spracklen, Leeds Beckett University, UK; Heather Savigny, De Montford University, UK; Nelson Varas-Diaz, Florida International University, USA; Deena Weinstein, DePaul University, USA

Metal Music Studies has grown enormously over the last eight years from a handful of scholars within Sociology and Popular Music Studies, to hundreds of active scholars working across a diverse range of disciplines. The rise of interest in heavy metal academically reflects the growth of the genre as a normal or contested part of everyday lives around the globe. The aim of this series is to provide a home and focus for the growing number of monographs and edited collections that analyze heavy metal and other heavy music; to publish work that fits within the emergent subject field of metal music studies; that is, work that is critical and inter-disciplinary across the social sciences and humanities; to publish work that is of interest to and enhances wider disciplines and subject fields across social sciences and the humanities; and to support the development of Early Career Researchers through providing opportunities to convert their doctoral theses into research monographs.

Published Titles

Pauwke Berkers and Julian Schaap, Gender Inequality in Metal Music Production

Paula Rowe, Heavy Metal Youth Identities: Researching the Musical Empowerment of Youth Transitions and Psychosocial Wellbeing

Forthcoming Publications

Peter Pichler, Metal Music and Sonic Knowledge in Europe: A Cultural History.

Karl Spracklen, Metal Music and the Re-imagining of Masculinity, Place, Race and Nation.

Jasmine Shadrack, Black Metal, Sexuality, Subjectivity and Sound.

Interested in publishing in this series? Please contact Rosemary Hill and Keith Kahn-Harris

Title Page

Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures

Edited by

Catherine Hoad

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2019

Selection and editorial matter © Catherine Hoad; individual chapters © their respective authors, published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing, 2019.

Reprints and permissions service


Cover: Safdar Ahmed

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters' suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-78769-168-1 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-167-4 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-169-8 (Epub)


List of Figures vii
About the Editor ix
About the Contributors xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Critical Introduction: What is ‘Australian’ about Australian Heavy Metal?
Catherine Hoad
Part I: Australian Metal Identities: Masculine Genealogies and Trajectories
Chapter 1 Heavy Metal Kids: A Historiographical Exploration of Australian Proto-Heavy Metal in the 1960s–1970s
Paul ‘Nazz’ Oldham
Chapter 2 ‘A Blaze in the Northern Suburbs’: Australian Extreme Metal’s Larrikinish Lineage
Sam Vallen
Chapter 3 ‘We’re Just Normal Dudes’: Hegemonic Masculinity, Australian Identity, and Parkway Drive
Samuel Whiting, Paige Klimentou and Ian Rogers
Part II: Australian Metal Scenes in the East and West
Chapter 4 ‘ I Think Sydney’s Pretty Shit’: Melbourne Grindcore Fans and their Others
Rosemary Overell
Chapter 5 Frontierswomen and the Perth Scene: Female Metal Musicians on the ‘Western Front’ and the Construction of the Gothic Sublime
Laura Glitsos
Part III: Cultures of Resistance in Australian Metal
Chapter 6 Creeping Sharia: An Extreme Response to Islamophobia
Can Yalcinkaya and Safdar Ahmed
Chapter 7 ‘This is the Funeral of the Earth’: The ‘Dead-end’ Environmental Discourses of Australian Ecometal
Ian Collinson
Afterword Being Metal, Being Australian? Reflections and an Afterword
Karl Spracklen
Appendix Seminal Australian Metal Albums: A List by the Contributors 149
Index 151

List of Figures

Fig. 4.1. Lacan’s Borromean Knot. 77
Fig. 5.1. Sanzu Bassist Fatima Curley Playing Live while Pregnant. 104

About the Editor

Dr Catherine Hoad is a Lecturer in Critical Popular Music Studies in the School of Music and Creative Media Production, Massey University Wellington, New Zealand. She received her PhD in Cultural Studies from Macquarie University, Sydney in 2016. Catherine’s research focusses on constructions of gender, race and ethnonational belonging in heavy metal scenes. She is the treasurer for the Australia–New Zealand branch of the International Association for Studies of Popular Music, and serves on the editorial advisory board for Metal Music Studies. Her work has appeared in Popular Music, the International Journal of Community Music and Metal Music Studies, and her first monograph is forthcoming through Palgrave Macmillan.

About the Contributors

Dr Safdar Ahmed is a Sydney-based Artist, Academic and Musician. He is the author of Reform and Modernity in Islam (IB Taurus) and the Walkley Award-winning Villawood: Notes from an Immigration Detention Centre. He is a Founding Member of Refugee Art Project, and conducts regular art workshops with asylum seekers and refugees in Western Sydney.

Dr Ian Collinson is a Lecturer in Media, Cultural Studies and Environmental Humanities at the Macquarie University, Sydney. He is a Member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (US) and the Association for Literature, Environment and Culture (Australia).

Dr Laura Glitsos is an Adjunct Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Curtin University. Her first sole-authored book, Somatechnics and Popular Music in the Digital Context, is forthcoming through Palgrave MacMillan. She has also worked as a Professional Vocalist in the Perth music industry and is the recipient of two Western Australian Music Awards.

Paige Klimentou is a PhD candidate and sessional tutor at RMIT University, Melbourne. Her research focuses on fandom and embodiment as expressed through band tattoos in the Australian hardcore scene.

Dr Paul ‘Nazz’ Oldham is a Lecturer at the University of South Australia. His research focuses on Lobby Loyde, the Sharpie youth culture and Australian popular music and culture in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a Professional Journalist and a performing Musician for over 20 years, which is where he earned the nickname ‘Nazz’.

Dr Rosemary Overell is a Lecturer at the University of Otago, NZ. Her most recent work considers how gendered subjectivities are co-constituted by and through mediation. She draws particularly on Lacanian psychoanalysis to explore a variety of mediated sites. Rosemary has looked at media as varied as anime, extreme metal and reality television.

Dr Ian Rogers is a Lecturer in Popular Music at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is the Author of numerous articles on musician ideologies, music policy and local music history. His latest publication is Popular Music Scenes and Cultural Memory with Andy Bennett (Palgrave Macmillan).

Professor Karl Spracklen is a Professor of Music, Leisure and Culture based in the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts at the Leeds Beckett University. Karl is the Founder and Principal Editor of the journal Metal Music Studies, and an Ambassador for the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

Sam Vallen is a PhD candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. His research examines discourses of progressiveness in popular music, specifically analysing the experiences of progressive musical artists after the collapse of progressive rock in the late 1970s. He is a Member of Australian metal band Caligula’s Horse.

Samuel Whiting is a musician, researcher, PhD candidate and sessional tutor at RMIT University, Melbourne. His doctoral research focuses on the local music scene of Melbourne and its live music ecology, specifically the role of small live music venues in this ecology. His published papers explore issues of access, identity, heritage, and scenes through the lens of popular music studies.

Dr Can Yalcinkaya is a Turkish-Australian Academic in Media Studies and a Cartoonist. He is the Editor of Resist Comics, an anthology inspired by the Occupy Gezi Park protests in Turkey. He co-ordinates the Graphic Social Science Research Network, which aims to build and promote social science research communicated through the comics medium.


Much as I had hoped for this collection to problematise stereotypical imaginings of Australia, it originated in possibly one of the most Australian ways possible: at the pub, on a hot summer afternoon in Sydney, over beers. When I mentioned to my friend that I hoped someone would put together a collection on Australian metal one day, she looked at me in exasperation, and said ‘Why don’t you just do it?’. And so here we are.

This collection has been a labour of love for nearly two years, but my often-troubled love of metal in Australia goes back even further. It was a constant source of frustration during my PhD that there was so little research on metal in Australia. As I found myself at gigs in Sydney, where flags were draped across speaker stacks, and bands alternated between crows of ‘how ya goin’?’ and pointed criticisms of Australian politics, I often wished more people were writing about this scene, and engaging with this music. For all their often challenging, narrow conceptions of Australian identity, I also found my formative years in Sydney’s more ‘metal’ spaces – the Manning Bar, the Bald Faced Stag, the Oxford Art Factory, the Factory Theatre, among others – to be some of the most important moments in my academic career, and more generally, some of the most liberatory, eardrum-endangering, instances in my life. Those experiences spurred on my drive to bring more interest to Australian metal, both in my research, and more often by forcing recommendations upon anyone who would listen. In many ways I think those scenes, bands, fans and venues deserve the most thanks here, for sustaining a metal scene in a country where it is not always easy to do so – and indeed a city such as Sydney, which is increasingly being starved of live music and communal leisure spaces by rigid legislation, gentrification and privatisation.

I would like to thank the team at Emerald – the series editors, Keith Kahn-Harris and Rosemary Hill, and the editorial team of Philippa Grand and Rachel Ward – for all their encouragement and assistance with this project. I also want to acknowledge the staff in the Department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, and the School of Communication at University of Technology Sydney, for their support, as well as Andy Bennett, for the early guidance he showed in the nascent stages of the collection. Since beginning this collection, I have since moved to New Zealand, and I would like to thank my family back home for always being there for me, the School of Music and Creative Media Production at the Massey University for the opportunities they continue to offer me, and the friendship of my peers in the College of Creative Arts. A project on metal in Aotearoa seems like the next logical step.

Most of all, I want to extend a huge thank you to the authors who contributed to this volume – Nazz, Sam V, Ian R, Paige, Rosie, Can, Saf, Sam W, Ian C, Laura and Karl. They are all researchers for whom I have enormous respect; many of them are active metal scene members in various parts of the country whose bands I have been lucky enough to enjoy live; and, such is the case in both Australia’s academic and metal circles, they are highly valued friends. Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm throughout this project, and your continued willingness to give back to, and engage with, the Australian metal community.


November 2018