‘Kvlt-er than Thou’: Power, Suspicion and Nostalgia within Black Metal Fandom

Authored by: Ross Hagen

The Ashgate Research Companion to Fan Cultures

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409455622
eBook ISBN: 9781315612959
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043485

10.4324/9781315612959.ch16

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Abstract

In spring 1991, the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem’s guitarist Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth and singer Per ‘Dead’ Ohlin participated in an interview in the fanzine Slayer in which they positioned their band as spearheading a new direction in extreme metal (Kristiansen 2011: 209–11). The interview touched on a number of topics, including songwriting, politics, record contracts and business practices, but Euronymous reserved particular vitriol for the growing popularity of extreme metal. He waxes nostalgic for his favourite bands from the 1980s and details his wish to create a new scene ‘out of reach for normal idiots’ because he ‘refuse[s] to have anything to do with all the mainstream trendies in the scene today’. Euronymous laments especially that many of these trend-followers are starting ‘clone’ bands and zines. Dead echoes these sentiments, claiming that ‘everything has drifted away from what it once was, or should be’ and details in later interviews how his performing style, which included self-mutilation, was at least partly aimed at driving away casual listeners (Kristiansen 2011: 290).

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