Published Mar 24, 2015H&M recently licensed some merch from Metallica and Slayer, but the world of heavy metal isn't exactly embracing the clothing giant. After all, the retailer has just become the butt of an elaborate prank after unveiling a clothing line with a series of fake band logos.
Here's what happened: H&M began selling heavy metal-themed items displaying band names like Mortus, Motmros, Blast, Grey, YVAEH, Lany, Crepuscular and more. The thing is, none of these bands actually exist, so a collective of metal fans decided to prank H&M (and in turn the rest of the world) by actually creating these bands.
They made a mock record label called Strong Scene Productions and devised biographies for the supposed bands. They even recorded some fake songs.
And just to make H&M look really bad, the pranksters made the fictional bands in question as distasteful as possible. For example, a fake bio for Lany is decorated with Nazi imagery, the cover of a supposed Motmros LP called Holocaust Tomb shows a priest being assaulted by a phallus-wielding demon, and a Crepuscular press photo shows a dude with a gun and bullets.
These bands even have some fake songs. Below, watch a trailer full of fake music, press photos and more. It's part of a playlist with a number of fake songs, including one by YVAEH called "Vaginal's Juice Driping into Cadaverous."
One of the dudes who has claimed responsibility for this prank is Henri Sorvali of the Finnish bands Moonsorrow and Finntroll. He spoke with Noisey about the campaign.
Sorvali said that the purpose of the prank was "to create discussion on the fact that metal culture is more than just 'cool' looking logos on fashionable clothes, and has many more aesthetic and ideological aspects in different subgenres than what some corporations are trying to express. The metal scene is varied, controversial and a sort of a wolf you can't chain into a leash and expect it to behave on your terms like a dog."
He described their activities as "cultural jamming."
Certainly, it was a very successful stunt, since it has created a lot of confusion. Many news sources have written about the story, with some reports suggesting that Strong Scene was working directly with H&M or that the clothing company was in some way involved in the creation of these fake bands.
Check out Strong Scene's Facebook page here. Meanwhile, the offending clothing items are still available from H&M.