Bandom (music source text)

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RPF Fandom
Name(s): Bandom
Scope/Focus: bandfic
See also: Music RPF, Bandom Terminology Debate
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The term bandom is used to describe RPF fandoms based around real-life musicians and bands, mainly North American and European rock bands. The term is applied somewhat inconsistently, but does not usually include kpop, jpop, jrock, or boyband slash.[1]

Two Bandoms, Both Alike in Dignity

The term bandom has been used by different groups of fans to refer to different fandoms. See Bandom Terminology Debate.

There are complex distinctions between this general usage and that of Decaydance/MCR Bandom, a fandom that arose in 2006-2007. At that time the distinctions were especially confusing because Decaydance bands and MCR were some of the most popular bands around, so fans using different definitions of "bandom" might still be writing or reading fic about the same bands. However, general bandom fan Hector_Rashbaum commented,

Bandom (as I use it) is a broad term, and what it really covers are a lot of niche fandoms. My fannish experience has been 99% on RockFic (the other 1% is from many years ago before I knew there was any sort of community surrounding the hot sexxorz I was reading), where it's not entirely atypical to dabble in six or seven (or more, if you're a nut like arrys_girlie ;]) fandoms that aren't really yours. So the experiences are a little more muddled - but you still come to the table with one or two bands that are, y'know, your fandom.[2]

(By contrast, Decaydance/MCR Bandom was a single fandom with a single shared cast of characters.) Hector_Rashbaum also argued that Decaydance/MCR Bandom was part of a Media Fandom tradition, whereas general bandom had its own music RPF culture unconnected to Media Fandom.[3][4]

The general definition of bandom would include bands like Bon Jovi, The Beatles, Metallica, and Green Day[5], along with peripheral bands in Decaydance/MCR Bandom like The Like, plus really any band that someone wanted to write RPF about and call it bandfic.

Another Definition

Just to make things even more complicated, the word bandom has been used not only as the name of a fandom consisting of all bands, but in a slightly different sense as a general term referring to any fandom for a band. So instead of saying "I like this fandom", you could say "I like this bandom".[6][7] See The Fanfiction Glossary's 2005 definition of bandom:

A punnish nickname for fandoms centering around fictionalizing real-life bands like the Goo Goo Dolls, Good Charlotte, Nirvana, etc. Term said to have been coined by Raedyn.[8]

Original Definition?

Wiktionary provides an entirely nonfannish definition with usage examples that precede the earliest available (?) fannish definition: The condition or quality of being a band.[9] No RPF fan uses this definition, and it's not clear who does, given that there are only three quotations.

Communities and Archives

Meta/Further Reading


  1. ^ A fandomsecrets thread, What is bandom?, 2013-03-17, discussed what did and did not count as bandom. jpop and jrock fans voiced the opinion that their fandoms were not bandom. I'm a J-rock/visual kei fan and have never seen anyone refer to our stuff sa bandom either. (We just call it J-rock fandom.) I've always pretty much associated the term with the My Chemical Romance/Fall Out Boy/Panic! at the Disco-type bands
  2. ^ hector_rashbaum. Race, Gender, Bandom, 26 April 2008.
  3. ^ hector_rashbaum. Bandom Bandom, 30 April 2008.
  4. ^ This understanding may or may not have been based on partly_bouncy's questionable fanthropology essay posted a month earlier: History of BandFic, an overview, 3 March 2008.
  5. ^ all requested bands for xmas_rocks 2006. Nominated in color!, Archived version, 2006.11.02
  6. ^ For example: I do enjoy this bandom despite the wank comment by slam_girl in chemicalromance, 15 August 2007. archived
  7. ^ Another example: Do you plan on making another guide for some of the other bandoms? Such as The Who, The Beatles, The Monkees, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Queen, etc.... 10 December 2007 comment by arenee1999 in a newbieguide post. Fandom: Bandom: FOB, MCR, P!atD + AAR, BN, CS, GCH, MCR, MSI, TAI, TBS, TC, THS, TS, TU, SR. - The Newbie's Guide to Fannish LiveJournal, Archived version
  8. ^ (Wayback Machine 2005 copy]
  9. ^ bandom (accessed 6 July 2018)