Maximum the Hormone… And metal singalongs?

For my digital artefact I really wanted to explore the world of Japanese metal, focusing on bands like Crossfaith, Maximum the Hormone and Babymetal and how these bands have helped shape and expand a market flooded with J-Pop. I am very interested in the ways bands like these have blended Eastern cultural aspects with more Westernised metal elements to really push their music and the boundaries of where it can be taken.

I am going to put my artefact together in the form of a Prezi slideshow because I feel that this can effectively show the transitions of Japanese metal, and can help me to successfully compare Japanese and Eastern metal with the growing Westernised metal trends, where Japanese metal fits into all of this and how Japanese metal bands like the aforementioned have managed to develop their own style and hold their own amongst the biggest metal bands of today.

I wanted to start by exploring this video by Japanese band Maximum the Hormone:

From an autoethnographic point of view, this music video both intrigued me and made me question what it was I really knew about Japanese popular music, and Japanese metal. It starts off as a very extreme and hard-hitting performance and gradually transitions into a very poppy, sing-along and culturally influenced song which is where I began to question what I knew about this genre.

The ending of this song really made me rethink the ways in which I perceived Japanese and Asian heavy music, and what I thought I knew about popular Asian music. It seems that even the fans of hard-hitting metal are bopping along to Maximum the Hormone’s outro-styled chorus sing-alongs, and are obviously much more open to the possibility of strange and exciting twists in the music they’re listening to.

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