Panel 08: Authenticity and Appropriation in Popular Music

Abstract Title

“Get Up, Get Up, We are Chinese”: The Representation of National Identity in Chinese Metal

Presenter Information

Yu ZhengFollow

Start Date

14-2-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

14-2-2015 3:20 PM

Abstract

Along with the rapid expansion of metal music and its subculture over the world, more and more Chinese metal bands had the opportunity to go abroad and play on some global stages. Thus, how Chinese metal bands use different ways to represent their Chinese identity become a serious question. In this paper, I will explore an interpretive framework that Chinese metal bands use to create their overall image as bands from China by examining four categories – music, performance, language, and content, including both external presentation and internal ideological symbols. Through analyzing these four areas, I will argue that metal music in China has been deeply localized and combined with Chinese culture. Chinese metal bands never stop adding different elements from traditional Chinese culture and their personal experiences in the context of contemporary Chinese society into their bands’ name, logo, music, lyrics, and performance style to express their emotion and interpret their thoughts toward the entire world.

However, since metal is a globalized music genre originated in western countries, metal bands in China also cannot ignore the principles of metal subculture and some international elements in order to consider the authenticity of the music and involve in the global scene. In this case, I will finally illustrate that Chinese metal bands apply the collaboration of national and cosmopolitan identity in their daily practice of metal subculture to represent metal in China are actively involved in both local and global metal scene.

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Feb 14th, 2:00 PM Feb 14th, 3:20 PM

“Get Up, Get Up, We are Chinese”: The Representation of National Identity in Chinese Metal

Along with the rapid expansion of metal music and its subculture over the world, more and more Chinese metal bands had the opportunity to go abroad and play on some global stages. Thus, how Chinese metal bands use different ways to represent their Chinese identity become a serious question. In this paper, I will explore an interpretive framework that Chinese metal bands use to create their overall image as bands from China by examining four categories – music, performance, language, and content, including both external presentation and internal ideological symbols. Through analyzing these four areas, I will argue that metal music in China has been deeply localized and combined with Chinese culture. Chinese metal bands never stop adding different elements from traditional Chinese culture and their personal experiences in the context of contemporary Chinese society into their bands’ name, logo, music, lyrics, and performance style to express their emotion and interpret their thoughts toward the entire world.

However, since metal is a globalized music genre originated in western countries, metal bands in China also cannot ignore the principles of metal subculture and some international elements in order to consider the authenticity of the music and involve in the global scene. In this case, I will finally illustrate that Chinese metal bands apply the collaboration of national and cosmopolitan identity in their daily practice of metal subculture to represent metal in China are actively involved in both local and global metal scene.