cfp: Perfect Beat

Special Edition: Metal and Hardcore in Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands

Perfect Beat: The Asia-Pacific Journal of Research into Contemporary Music and Popular Culture 

This call for proposals is for a special edition of Perfect Beat, focused on heavy metal and hardcore music, scenes, practices, and cultures in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Metal and hardcore have a long and nuanced history in Aotearoa, where scenes have interfaced with localised aesthetics and histories, and responded to urbanisation, deindustrialisation, and globalisation in complex and multi-faceted ways. Moreover, metal and hardcore’s relationship to Māoritanga is similarly significant, despite only recently coming into greater international focus with the success of Alien Weaponry’s use of Te Reo Māori. Heavy metal and hardcore’s history in the Pacific Islands is deserving of further attention, particularly given the growth of bands such as Kūka’ilimoku in Hawai’i, the recent staging of Metal United World Wide in Papua New Guinea, and the established history of metal in the Solomon Islands.

Work in this issue will explore the position of Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands within the wider geographical flows of metal and hardcore music where, as Wallach, Berger and Greene argue, scenes in diverse settings have ‘sounded their own particular aesthetics and sociopolitical concerns’ (2011, 8). However, this collection will also remain cognisant of cultural tourism’s propensity to ‘create and affix identities’ (Baulch 2007) and thus map the conflict and fluidity of ‘localness’ and ‘foreignness’, and their representations therein, as they emerge in metal and hardcore scenes in the region. This special edition will make a strong contribution to Metal Music Studies, as the field increasingly engages with the nuanced and complex ways in which metal and hardcore are experienced across diverse locations, and further expand an established body of work engaged in popular musics as they are experienced in Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands. 

This call invites proposals for both full length academic articles (max. 8000 words) and shorter Riffs (2000 words). Collaborative pieces with scene members, artists, and industry figures are encouraged, as are reviews, visual essays, and provocations. 

Please send proposals of 200 words (plus references) with author details (affiliation and contact email) to by Monday September 20th, 2021. Full manuscripts will be due in February 2022 for review, for publication in mid-2022. 

For more information about the journal, please visit Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions. 


Baulch, E. (2007). Making scenes: Reggae, punk, and death metal in 1990s Bali. Durham: Duke Universty Press. 

Wallach, J., Berger, H. M. & Greene, P. D. (2011). Affective Overdrive, Scene Dynamics, and Identity in the Global Metal Scene. In J. Wallach, H. M. Berger & P. D. Greene (Eds.), Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World (pp. 3–33). Durham: Duke University Press.