When we talk music, Steampunk is a relatively new genre to the game. Barely more than a decade old, it has entrenched itself in the imaginations of a growing subculture throughout North America, England, and is now spreading throughout Europe. The curious thing, Steampunk doesn’t have any real defining characteristics besides a theme…a future that might have been. The music itself can be folk, ragtime, use grand orchestral arrangements, rock, or many other things not even closely related to the ones I just mentioned. I think the most important classification is Steampunk fans like it. And it’s growing. Worldwide. Beyond the borders of lands we normally associate with Steam. In this article, I would like to briefly introduce some bands from around the globe that are helping to fuel the train, and turn Steampunk into a global phenomenon.
Strange Artifact — Japan
Japan has a long history of underground scenes. Metal, Punk, and Goth all thrive within this society. It was only a matter of time before Steampunk reached the land of the Red Sun, and Strange Artifact has the prestigious honor of being Japan’s first Steampunk band. With DIY apparel and accessories, vocalist MaRy and musical mastermind 130JET are blazing the path for future bands to follow. Their sound is similar to J-Rock, but they combine strong elements of engine inspired industrial sounds, and hints of Victorian pianos. Their sound is considered by many to be infectious, and they are beginning to gain international attention.
Artefactum Vapore — Chile (Featured Image)
Steampunk is alive and well on the western southern strip of South America. Not only is the culture growing in Chile, they have several Facebook pages dedicated to Chilean Steampunk with thousands of likes. Artefactum Vapore hails from this land, and are quickly gaining popularity. Their music is more traditional turn of the century ragtime. They forgo the electrical instruments, and go straight for the violin, piano, and stand up bass. Artefactum Vapore are prone to comedy, and fully embrace the more whimsical side of Steampunk…the Vaudeville.
Alex the Kid — New Zealand
This Auckland band fully embraces the futuristic themes of technology and robotics. Their style can be considered more Electro-Punk. They use a combination of vocoders, synthesizers, guitars, and sequencing to create an infectious sound many new wave bands would be proud of. Steampunk is rapidly growing in the neighboring island to the land down under, and Alex the Kid is helping to lead the way. If you want to spend an evening of post-apocalyptic fun with a twist, definitely check this band out.
Sunday Driver — India
If you are familiar with the band Sunday Driver and are reading this, you are probably shouting, “They are not from India!” You would be correct. Sunday Driver is a unique blend of Steampunk themed Victorian rock, British folk, and traditional western music. They use instruments like the sitar, tabla, and clarinet to create a sound that can most be compared to World Music. Sunday Driver’s members reflect their style, and are a blend of Indian ancestry and Anglo-Saxon British. Although this band is from the UK, they are quickly catching fire in other parts of the globe, especially in their fusion inspired country of India. When you can expand the culture of Steampunk in a land that represents almost one seventh of the world’s population, you deserve a mention in this article.