Masculinity and underground music scene participation across time: a case study from Indonesia

Kieran James, Rex John Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Ujung Berung (Bandung, Indonesia) Death Metal scene arguably peaked in the years 2009-13. Based on personal interviews and conversations with musicians, we identify four factors adversely affecting the scene at present: (1) Decline in community nongkrong / relocation of Serak store at Jalan Cihampelas; (2) Those Left Behind – the disillusionment of the older second-division bands; (3) the new-generation’s attitude and perspective; and (4) the turn towards religion. We also explore whether Indonesian masculinity is in crisis, because of young Indonesian men’s subordinated place within global capitalism and the threat that capitalism poses to traditional hierarchies. Hyper-masculine Death Metal culture inspires because it is Western in origin, but not bourgeois – it is a mysterious mix of signs, symbols, sounds, and mythologies which attracts by its very obscurity; it quietly challenges, in its indirect way, the power of Indonesian hegemonic identities such as “pious Islamic family-man” and “businessman.”
Original languageEnglish
JournalMetal Music Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Oct 2021


  • aging and masculinity
  • Bandung music
  • death metal music
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • Indonesian popular music
  • maturation of music scenes


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