‘Anyone who calls Muse a Twilight band will be shot on sight’: Music, Fandom, and Distinction in the Twilight Franchise


This paper examines the routes that fans of popular music might take into their fandom, considering how this might be influenced by their use of other media texts. Theorists such as Matt Hills and Cornel Sandvoss have argued that fan studies needs to move away from viewing fans as people who are only fans of one text at a time. This paper seeks to consider this by exploring how fans of film and television programmes might find that their fandom leads them to discover particular types of bands and music, examining how such textual links are articulated. This will be undertaken through analysis of Twilight fans and the resultant fandom of artists who feature on the movie soundtracks such as Paramore, Thom Yorke, or Muse. In examining how online fan sites are used to discuss the soundtracks, the paper examines the distinctions and value judgements that might be made in such debates. Drawing on fan studies which have considered issues of distinction, taste and value, the paper aims to discover whether fans who have come to fandom via texts such as Twilight might be devalued by other fans of these bands. For example, are such fans devalued as inauthentic or as not being proper fans? How does this relate to common lines of division within fan cultures such as issues over age and experience, fandom longevity, and gender? Is this related to the way in which the bands themselves position themselves in relation to Twilight? The proposed paper thus aims to consider some of the fan practices and distinctions which operate when fans discover new music fan objects as a result of their interest in other media texts.

Rebecca Williams, Lecturer, University of Glamorgan