How ANTIFA Almost Killed a Festival

UPDATE: February 2, 2017. Blastfest has been cancelled. 

Peoplclose to the festival lay part of the blame on the boycott, which lead to enormous financial pressures being placed on the festival, as well as diminished ticket sales.


Every city has a story, and Bergen isn’t the exception. A picturesque coastal town in Norway, Bergen played a big role in the shaping of black metal. This is, after all, where the famous Fanftoft Stave Church erupted into flames in the evening of June 6th, 1992, and whose tabloid, the Bergens Tidende, was instrumental in not only the first arrest of Varg Vikernes, but also in creating a big part of the mythology surrounding the genre. With explosive headlines all over the world about arson, murder and Satanism, Bergen was suddenly not only the setting of the story, but part of the story itself.

The charred remains of the Fantoft church, as portrayed in the cover of Burzum‘s Aske.

Since those early days of Norwegian black metal, things have quieted down a lot. The shock created by those young men who proudly stood as an affront to religion, tradition and even music itself, ended long ago. Black metal, as much as its fans would like to believe otherwise, is no longer surrounded by the controversy and fear that once existed. It is merely part of the landscape, with the corpse paints and shrieks that its founders were so proud of, being often used as mere punchlines for otherwise inane journalists and commentators. Its acceptance is such that Metallica’s use of its aesthetics in their video for “ManUnkind,” down to a decapitated pig, did not get any of the shocked reactions that something like this would have created 10 or 15 years ago. Nowadays, when it is not being used in earnest by black metal musicians themselves, corpse paint seems to be the darling of the many pointless Youtube makeup girls, who are happy to teach their tween viewers how to create the same kind of effect. For better or worse, it seems very clear that shocking an audience is now harder than ever.

It’s not only that it’s harder to shock people, but also that the things that shock and scandalize them have changed dramatically over the years. Inverted crosses and satanic imagery are so common that they almost go unnoticed. They pack none of the punch that they once did. While this could be the result of society as a whole dropping some its values and losing some of its dogmas, in reality it’s just that society became desensitized to these things. The shrieks, the black clothes, the satanic stuff, are all seen as merely parts of the angsty teen startup kit, and so nobody pays any attention to them. Sure, from time to time the occasional religious nutjob will protest a show, and so-called journalists will trample over each other trying to be the first to publish some clickbait nonsense where they get to mock them, but in reality, Western society does not see itself threatened by the values (or lack thereof) of black metal.

Nowadays the only sure way to get yourself a riot, a picket, or even just a lonely protester, is to have someone label you a Nazi or a fascist. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. If they are able to infer something from your artwork or your lyrics, your politics are not left enough, or you are not sufficiently apologetic about your ancestors, you will be given this label. Bands like Moonsorrow, Tyr and Skyforger learned this lesson long ago, when their use of Germanic runes and symbols was seen as sufficient by some ANTIFA groups to seek the cancellation of their shows. Even though no part of their music could be construed as being National Socialist in nature, the fact that they seemed to be too proud of their own countries seemed to have been enough for some ANTIFA agitators. It is no longer the stuck up, Bible-thumping maniac that wants to get shows cancelled; it’s the regressive part of the left that gave up all of its dreams of rebellion and of speaking truth to power, and who are content with trying to homogenize the public discourse. If you step out of what they consider to be acceptable, then they will unleash the hounds.

This brings us back to Bergen. Just like 20 years ago the city played a role in the birth of black metal, in 2016 it found itself at the center of what might very well be the death throes of the genre. Now, of course, the music itself, the melodies and the shrieks, will continue to exist. The underlying philosophy of rebellion, however, might soon be forced to disappear.

The Anonymous E-mails

Peste Noire are an underground black metal band from France that, to the delight of many, had been booked to play at the 2017 edition of Blastfest, in Bergen. Since Peste Noire have been accused many times of being Nazis or right wing extremists, their addition to the festival bothered some people, who did not think they should be given a platform. After Napalm Death decided to pull out of the festival in protest to the inclusion of Peste Noire, French ANTIFA groups then directed their efforts to the sponsors of Blastfest. Facing the prospect of either keeping them on the bill and having no sponsors, and thus no festival, Blastfest decided to drop Peste Noire.

Toni Törrönen, the Festival Manager for Blastfest, expressed to me his sadness at what, in his eyes, they had been forced to do. On the one hand, they liked the music of Peste Noire, and were adamantly against any kind of censorship; on the other, however, there was simply no way in which they would have been able to have a festival if they kept them on the bill.

There was an anonymous e-mailer that was contacting our partners, the hotel, the venue, and every single one of the sponsors and partners that appeared on our posters. Every single one of them was contacted with a very long e-mail saying that Peste Noire are extreme right wing and nazis.

We were given an ultimatum. Either you have a festival at the venue, or you don’t.” 

Asked if there had been threats of violence against the festival if Peste Noire was to perform, Törrönen refused to “reveal exactly what was written.” He did say, however, that although in the past Blastfest had occasionally encountered some controversy with the bands it booked, it had never been this “intense.”

The intensity that Törrönen was referring to is easy to understand when you consider the visceral hatred that some groups have against Peste Noire. Through a french ANTIFA organization known as “La Horde,” I got in touch with one of the people who were involved in the boycott against them at Blastfest.

Logo of an Anti Peste Noire site
Logo of an Anti Peste Noire site

Under condition of anonymity, Roger (not his real name) explained how thanks to what he labeled an “effective boycott,” Peste Noire had not been able to perform live before. By allowing them to perform at the festival, Blastfest were allowing them to have the kind of platform that, in his view, they should never be allowed to have.

“…far right ideology in music can not be treated like the others, the goal is to submit individuals, not emancipation for individuals…”

The method that they had taken to accomplish this was simple. He had personally alerted Napalm Death back in April about the presence of Peste Noire, and about their alleged ideology. Then, the festival and its sponsors were informed. “The info was reported,” he said; “easy & simple.”

On that point he was right. There are plenty of photos, interviews and assorted material all over the internet that would allow you to discredit Peste Noire. It isn’t hard to put it all together (perhaps filling some blanks with whatever interpretation you want to give) and send it away.

Whatever the exact wording was on their e-mails, Roger would not say. Törrönen had been equally cryptic, promising to forward them to me, but never actually doing it. We can safely assume that they were some variation of “Nice festival you’re having, it’d be a shame if people knew you’re sheltering a neo nazi”

A “Deeply Troubling” Ideology

I reached out to Napalm Death, trying to get their side of the story about what had happened. Through Century Media, their label in Europe, I received a statement from their singer, Barney Greenway that, although had been supposedly released months ago, does not seem to have been posted anywhere.

“Contrary to certain opinions sloshing around the internet, neither Napalm Death nor our agents did attempt to force the promoters of Blastfest 2017 to remove a certain band. Had we known they were playing beforehand, we would have declined the initial invitation to play on this occasion.

In as much as promoters have the right to book the bands they choose, Napalm Death also has the choice – as other bands do – to decline from sharing platforms with deeply troubling ideologies – i.e. ultra nationalism.

Nobody “gets it right” all the time, but we are loathe to bury our heads in the sand. To label outright the band in question as Nazis might be inaccurate, but where the separation is between that and an ideology which aggressively elevates an individual on national identity lines is for other listeners and observers to come to their own conclusions. We did. Thanks for your understanding.”

Toni Törrönen seemed to confirm Barney‘s version of events, explaining to me that Napalm Death said that they simply couldn’t perform at the same festival. “They told us that they would not play if Peste Noire played… [So] we let them go.”  This, of course, did not stop some media outlets from reporting, without citing a single source, a more combative version of events when news of the cancellation of Napalm Death first broke out.

But what is the ideology of Peste Noire?

Although nowadays their music seems to stay clear of being openly political, their 2001 demo Aryan Supremacy (featuring Neige, of Alcest, on drums) did not seem to have any qualms in doing so. Even if lyrically they don’t touch politics anymore, their imagery is evocative of neo-nazism itself. The band uses as its logo the symbol of the White Aryan Resistance movement, a neo-nazi organization from the United States formed by Tom Metzger, a former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan (because nothing says “this is a legitimate political organization” like having “dragon” as part of your title). Also, Famine, the singer and founder of Peste Noire, seems to surround himself with as much Neo Nazi and white nationalist paraphernalia as possible, from Celtic crosses overlapping the French flag, the Totentkopf of the SS, to the Wolfsangel rune (of Third Reich fame) as used by the controversial Azov division in Ukraine.

war-logo

In his rare interviews, Famine does try to dismiss the link between Peste Noire and National Socialism. When he does it though, it comes off more as the ramblings of a lunatic, going against the exact point he seems to believe he is making. In an interview he did with with now-defunct Diabolical Conquest magazine, for example, Famine stated that he is not racist, followed by comments about “black eyed, dark-skinned mongrels” and “cross-bred jewmerican liberalism”:

“When, in the past, I used swastikas or other Nazi symbols, it was exactly for the purpose of symbolism: the symbol for the final and decisive battle against all that is prevalent in today’s modern world: the irreversible victory of cross-bred jewmerican liberalism and everything it stands for, i.e. stupidity and the absence of values. Nazism, now more punk than ever, represents the perfect anti-symbol to present-day dominant ideologies (the masochistic human rights movement and cosmopolitan capitalism).”

Similarly, in an interview published in his own site, he speaks against “the Trotskyites of the National educaZION,” showing the same kind of subtlety that you can expect from a bleeding hemorrhoid. That is, none at all. This isn’t dogwhistle antisemitism; it’s bullhorn antisemitism.

While we might be able to have a debate about whether you can speak against “Jewmericans,” use Nazi symbols, and still not be called a Nazi, it seems to be the kind of discussion where the result doesn’t matter. Now, of course, the kind of idiotic hooliganism shown by Famine seems to be the kind of thing that the Third Reich would have labeled, at best, “Entartete kunst,” “degenerate art,” but it’s hard to see why that should matter. The issue for the critics of Peste Noire is not whether Hitler himself would have been a fan, but rather whether their values are similar to what people would mostly associate with neonazis. The answer, for better or worse, appears to be yes.

From his interviews, it seems clear that Famine puts forward a combination of juvenile misanthropy, the edgy 14-year-old-wearing-fingerless-gloves kind of misanthropy, combined with a pseudo-intellectual philosophical racist babble. It’s the kind of thing that will only seem deep if you’re either young, uninformed, or both. It’s not that he is wrong all the time (it’s great to see French people proud of their country, their history and their heritage), but neither is a broken clock.

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Early in our conversations it became clear that Roger hoped that we would simply publish his information about Peste Noire‘s ideology, without asking any questions. He wasn’t happy when I told him that I wanted more than that, and that we wouldn’t act as his echo chamber. I wanted to know the how and the why.

Roger, a Parisian man in his late 30’s working in the music industry, had gotten in touch with me in a rather strange way. After I contacted La Horde, he messaged me both through our site, under a fake name, and then with his real name through Facebook. I pointed this out to him, since even the wording of the messages had been the same on both places, but he pretended not to know anything about it. Until he finally admitted the truth, that La Horde had gotten in touch with him and given him my personal information, he just pretended that stumbling upon our site, and even my own personal Facebook, had been just a coincidence.

When he talks about what the ANTIFA accomplished, Roger does not even try to hide how proud he is about getting Blastfest to drop Peste Noire. “I boycott far right ideology in music,” he said; this time that boycott had taken the form of “alerting” the partners of the festival, the hotels, the catering and the restaurants, that they shouldn’t be associated with what Roger called “neo nazis.” According to him, this was “no ANTIFA terror,” it was merely a campaign of sharing information with the right people.

When I asked him specifically what he disliked about Peste Noire, the list seemed endless. He pointed, for example, at their use of weapons and neonazi symbols,” and how, even though they did not share it in most of their songs, their ideology represented a “risk” for “the public order.” It was bizarre to hear an ANTIFA speak about Public Order, and to see him decry violent symbols, considering the obvious links that ANTIFA organizations have with Punks and Anarchists. I pointed this out to him, but he didn’t see any contradiction. When violent symbols, or violent actions, were used by their side, they were the product of the “courageous ANTIFA collectives,” and so they could not be placed on the same level as right wingers and nationalists.

The cognitive dissonance that Roger demonstrated then, and which he kept up during all of our conversations, shows precisely why we have to be very careful when we deal with organizations which, like his, have taken it upon themselves to police morality and the “public order.” This isn’t mere whataboutism, it’s not that they are not protesting or boycotting other things, but instead that the things that they defend and justify in their own behavior, are the same that they attack in others.

ANTIFA’s acceptable violent discourse (Photo by Alex Ellinghausen, used under fair use)

The ridiculous use of weapons in Peste Noire‘s logos, for example, was seen as a terrible, threatening, thing, whereas the use of molotov cocktails, knives, etc., in ANTIFA imagery, was all acceptable. The same could be said of the calls for violence, which ANTIFA will justify and explain away as the “right” kind of violence.

The hypocrisy demonstrated by people like Roger, the ANTIFA collective that led to the cancellation of Peste Noire‘s shows, and the regressive sector of the left who jumps at the opportunity to censor others, is hard to overstate. In reality, it is not that they are against violence, discrimination, or hatred. Instead, they are happy to tolerate all of those things, as long as their targets are the kind of people they consider unacceptable. So-called progressive commentators, for example, are happy to promote music about “bashing” fascists, defining “fascism” in as broad a way as possible, but would recoil at the sight of a “Rock Against Communism” t-shirt.

 

ANTIFAS posing with what are presumably their anti violence sticks

Just like Nixon once famously said “if the President does it, then it’s not illegal,” these ANTIFA groups and supporters seem to be constantly saying “if we are the ones doing it, then it’s not intolerance, and it’s not violence.”

Killing Music and Killing a Festival

“What the ANTIFA are doing is that they are sabotaging Yngve’s livelihood,” said Toni angrily, referring to the situation of Ygnve Christiansen, the singer of Blood Red Throne and the man in charge of Blastfest. “He has everything on the line here. He has his house, his life, his car, everything. Every single thing. This is personal for him.”

For a group that lives hiding the identity of their members, ANTIFA do not share the same level of concern for the privacy of their targets. They had posted Yngve‘s personal contact information on ANTIFA websites as soon as the boycott started, and the whole thing had definitely taken a toll on him. People familiar with Yngve told me that the stress was getting to him. It didn’t help that dropping Peste Noire (and then losing Horna, who left in solidarity) had turned the festival into a sort of pariah. They were being portrayed as cowards, people who would not stand by their principles.

People don’t understand what we had to go through,” said Toni. “They just blame us for not standing up for this issue, but we were unable to do it. We cracked under pressure, true, but we wouldn’t have a venue if we had Peste Noire.

For many observers, sitting comfortably at home, it was easy to lay the blame on the festival, as if there had actually been many choices left to them. True, they could have given a big middle finger to all the catering companies, the hotels, the sponsors, and the venues, but then they’d be left with a very principled festival that could only take place inside their own heads.

The criticisms against Blastfest were also affecting ticket sales. People resented the actions of the organizers, and were then less likely to buy a ticket. There were also others who, seeing that Napalm Death, Peste Noire and Horna were now out of the bill, thought that it was only a matter of time before the whole festival went under. Ironically, Blastfest now even has a new investor behind them, but apparently there were many people out there who simply didn’t believe that it would happen at all.

There were also other problems, and which had to do with the lessons learned from the boycott. Going through something like this is bound to affect you, and with an organization like Blastfest, with investors and sponsors having an economic stake on the matter, it would be foolish to think that nothing at all would happen. I asked Toni whether, because of this whole ordeal, in the future they’d have to be more careful with the bands they book, perhaps staying away from the most controversial ones. He sounded grim as he said “this is what I’m afraid of. I have to think about the economics, the PR… it’s a bigger picture than being able to book the bands you want.”

Toni isn’t alone in this. I share his fear. I’m afraid that situations like what happened at Blastfest will create a kind of chilling effect among promoters and organizers, and who will then lose the incentive to book controversial acts. While in the marketplace of ideas it should be enough to know that there are people interested in hearing you, to be able to justify getting a platform, what the ANTIFA did with Blastfest, and which they have done in the past with writers, musicians, and politicians, is that they want to be the ones controlling who gets to speak.

Even though this story is about Anti-fascist groups, it is important to remember that it is not limited to them. The ANTIFAs base their boycotts (including those where they mistakenly call someone a “Nazi”) on the fact that they are offended by whatever ideas are being promoted on the stage. The issue is that once you accept “I’m offended” as a reason to cancel talks, cancel shows, and deny platforms to your opponents, you also have to know that it’s only a matter of time until the same justification is used against your people and your ideas. Heavy metal started as a rebellious art form, the devil’s music; from the onset it spoke truth to power, and it offended everyone. If we say that it is acceptable that a band like Peste Noire is dropped from a festival because we find their idiotic ideology offensive, how can we deny the same rights to the Christians, Jews and Muslims who might take offense to metal’s often anti religious message.

During one of our talks, Roger mentioned how revolution was a “national symbol” of France, proudly evoking the guillotine being used against their royalty during the French Revolution. Although in his mind the heroes of the French revolution were similar to his ANTIFA coreligionists, I think that his view is a bit shortsighted. Let us not forget, after all, how the same ideas that had propelled the French Revolution were later used in the fratricidal frenzy of the Reign of Terror, a time when the same people who had marched others to meet “the French razor,” found themselves facing it too. The question is whether these 21st Century revolutionaries, these warriors of the Internet, are willing to continue down that same path, and find their own ideas, in time, fall victims to the same guillotine they advocate for others.


We reached out several times to Peste Noire and Horna for comments, but did not receive any responses.

Correction: In an earlier version of this article Toni Törrönen had been listed as “PR Manager,” whereas his correct title is “Festival Manager.” The article has been amended to reflect this.
Update: Added a video companion piece reflecting on the reaction to this article (Jan 31, 2016)

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  • hurin

    I am a Danish citizen, runes are the original alphabet of my ancestors, and I am OK with Heavy Metal bands using them.

    And please tell ANTIFA to go fuck themself.

    • J_MetalBlast

      Hi Hurin, thank you for reading the article.
      The only people who politicize the runes are the ANTIFA who assume they are necessarily a symbol of Nazis.
      I’m sure you can tell them yourself to go fuck themselves though!

    • Steed

      Well said hurin. I am English; The runes are the original alphabet of my ancestors too. I also give Heavy Metal permission to use them 😉

  • popehentai

    And so it goes with all “social justice” groups… The fascism of “tolerance”.

    • J_MetalBlast

      Rowan Atkinson made a pretty good analysis of the idiotic “I’m only intolerant of intolernace” nonsense.

  • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

    I wholeheartedly share all of your fears in regards to the future of music festivals. I find Nazi/racist ideology completely repugnant, and I couldn’t care less about an (in this reader’s opinion) C-grade black metal band like Peste Noire, but I agree that them getting dropped from a festival like that creates a dangerous precedent. How long until a band that I actually like but has (admittedly) questionable morals (like Watain) receives the same treatment? I understand Napalm Death’s reluctance to share the stage with PN (considering their career-long held left wing beliefs) and thus their dropping out of the festival, but there is a difference between “I don’t agree with this, so I’ll see myself out” to the full-on sabotage that this “Roger” character perpetuated.

    As far as ANTIFA’s methods go, what can I say? How times had changed from the old days of having the bored wives of a bunch of politicians squawk about what they perceived to be Satanism and depravity in popular music. Now, we have these lunatics willing to use violence and even put innocents in harm’s way just because they disagree with something as asinine as a band’s imagery.

    And let’s not forget about the moronic ramblings of the so-called “Social Justice Warriors” (chiefly among them the uneducated and unscrupulous writers of a certain site whose name rhymes with “Petal Ducks”) who gleefully label others as “racist” with little to no evidence (only their biased, myopic views at times) just to get that sweet, sweet revenue. Idiots like them are only adding fuel to a fire that is sadly getting more and more uncontrollable.

    Great article as always, J.

  • StrongStyleFiction

    This seems to be a case of the cure being worse than the disease. I’m not a fan of black metal in general and I find Famine’s views repellent. I’m fine with NapalmDeath pulling out and refusing to share a stage with Peste Noire. They absolutely have that right. If these sort of tactics are normalized, they can have devastating consequences for creative expression.

    • J_MetalBlast

      I personally think that what Napalm Death did was the correct move. They are not comfortable sharing the stage with them, so why should they? They didn’t try to get the festival to drop PN (like Mustaine allegedly did once with Rotting Christ, for example), they simply exercised their right NOT to be part of the festival.
      The problem happens when it’s not enough for you not to listen to a certain band, or watch a certain movie; you want to make sure nobody else does it either.

      • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

        Actually, Mustaine did exactly what Napalm Death did. The guy had just converted to Christianity and was uncomfortable playing with Dissection and Rotting Christ, so he asked the promoter to drop Megadeth. However, since they were the headliner, the promoter found it way easier to just drop Dissection and RC.

  • Djordje

    What a great article, this is what journalism should be like.

    It’s very unfortunate that extreme left wing and extreme right wing had found it’s way to metal, the fact that even the genre i love so much got politicized is saddening.

    • J_MetalBlast

      It goes beyond politicization. It’s about accepting “I’m offended” as enough of a reason to deny OTHERS the right to listen to certain music.
      As I made clear in the article, I feel that PN’s politics are idiotic and childish; however, others have the right to listen to them. Plus, and that’s the worst part, PN’s lyrics do not reflect that ideology; are we really supposed to have “ideology tests” for musicians, regardless of what their music actually presents?

      As always, thank you very much for coming back to the site.

    • Politics were in metal from the start. Black Sabbath assured that by writing “War Pigs”.

    • Rivershield

      Stop this neutral stance bullshit. It isn’t even about left wing or right wing anymore, it is about nationalism vs globalism.
      I always thought that Black Metal is cringy and retarded as fuck, but if they want to be “shocking” and attention whores, they should literally be doing Nazi music.
      It is easy to attack christianity because christians don’t fight back, I wanna see now if those faggots have the balls to attack nowaday’s political stablishment.
      Maybe they can even help red pill people and gain some respect from decent, normal people.

      • J_MetalBlast

        The fact that you are a Christian and use “red pill” in earnest says you’re also not very bright.
        Christians have fought back plenty of times in history, what happens is that now they are mostly defeated.

        • Rivershield

          The inteligence of the nihilist atheist is glorious, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why Europe is celebrating its own suicide.
          I never heard of anyone getting arrested for creating Black Metal or founding satanist churchs. It is just that there’s nothing virtuous about satanism even from a non religous point of view, these guys are just a bunch of degenerates.
          I challenge you to take a political stance against today’s cultural stablishment, your band will be doomed, and depending on what you do you can even get arrested.
          You guys helped creating Antifa.
          Enjoy your so called liberty under cultural marxism.

          • J_MetalBlast

            Christianity has opposed science, literature, women’s rights and, basically, every part of society’s progress. It burned thousands at the stake… I mean, are you even serious here?
            Go back to reddit, you magnificent retard.

          • Rivershield

            You just fell for the meme that is the educational system in the west when it comes to history, that’s literally what we call “blue pilled”. It is pointless to argue with a zombie of the system. I’m just sad that the modern metal scene is full of faggots like you. Metal is dead.

          • J_MetalBlast

            In an unsurprising twist, a Christian goes against education.
            “Blue pill,” “meme,” “fag,”… It’s like you’re the illegitimate son of Reddit

  • Let’s hope they do continue, then we’ll be permanently rid of them as we’re rid of the revolutionaries
    No better example of the old standby ANTIFA is Anti-Life. And y’know what we do with those?
    ~signed, hardcore/street punks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8IrVt301UI

    You want to keep your scene and music, you violently eject them by any means! Retake the club!

    • J_MetalBlast

      I sincerely don’t know what is the point that you’re trying to make. Take a deep breath.

      • I’m just sayin’, they’re all a bunch of cowards. Keep abreast of what they’re doing and be ahead of them, so their organised protest meets organised resistance.

        When did they start showing up? When the scene started mellowing out!

        I was into punk when that got taken over, and then the SJs/antifa barged into Industrial a few years later. They all share the inability to create anything that’d stand the test of time themselves, so they must trash someone else’s interests rather than their own. (or when they do try to do something on their own, it typically ends with something catching fire)
        However as their local “slacktivist celebs” moved out of my old home and into industrial, some punks in Rostock started fighting back. Now the epicentre feels like it’s moved back to the good/bad old ‘Thatcher revolt’ days.
        I wonder how many of their parents are ‘those sorts’ of conservatives themselves, because it feels like they’re all about rebelling against their parents BY becoming their parents, just dropping the religious grounding for their moralising and puritanism.

  • The Wolf

    There’s that theory that politics is more a circle than a line. The Far Left and Far Right eventually meet on the opposite end of the centrist.

    • J_MetalBlast

      In many ways, you are correct. The Christian right was the section that loved shutting down concerts, boycotting musicians, etc. It’s incredible to see the left adopting those tactics. It’s not a new thing for sure, but it seems to be getting more and more popular.

  • nn

    Jeez. Being used to Metalsucks’ infantile dumb “liberal” style for years, now I’m stunned finding there is still some serious metal journalism alive. Great article. Thanks.

    • J_MetalBlast

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Jimmy Calhoun

    “…it’s only a matter of time until the same justification is used against your people and your ideas.”

    So true, and the precise reason why the whole overzealous endeavor is ultimately self-defeating. Shame how shortsighted some folks are.

    Not to mention that kicking one sketchy band off of one music fest does literally nothing to advance the (otherwise worthy) cause of social justice…

  • It’s amazing how they seem unable to figure it out. Bigotry “with good reason” is still bigotry. If your reaction to (what you deem to be) a hateful mob is to form another hateful mob, you’re not what you say you are. It always amazes me that more are not able to see through this altruistic smokescreen. Underneath all of this “protecting the rights of others” blather lies the truth, and that is “I don’t like this, so it’s got to go.”

    It’s becoming a cancer in society. People are entitled to how they feel, but to me it’s like saying it’s OK to be like the Nazis as long as you’re sure you have a better reason for your behavior than you think they do. Isn’t that exactly how Nazis feel? Don’t they feel their reasons justify their behavior? I’m not seeing how the same wrong mindset just turned against them is supposed to help anything. This whole “intolerant of intolerance” thing is just hypocrisy. It’s just another way of saying, “I can do this but you can’t.” It’s another of the many examples of the nearly-universal and almost totally un-self-conscious narcissism and hypocrisy we see on display in society. “It’s not OK for you to do this, but it’s OK for me because I have a good enough reason and you don’t. I’m right and you’re wrong.” How does this mindset finally resolve itself? Blanket justifications and echo chambers won’t always be enough.

    • J_MetalBlast

      Thank you very much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
      I think that the problem ends up being that they themselves follow a poisonous ideology. If their street tactics end up being no different from the people they despise (violence, shaming, threats, etc.), then it becomes much, much harder to justify what they do.

  • Mitchell Nolte

    I am certainly quite horrified by fascism and far right ideology but the actions of Antifa are also quite repugnant and really just off the mark, – far left violence is just as bad in dividing people and sowing hate as far right is, – Antifa folk seem more ready to use violence than far right activists even it seems, which i find so freaking annoying, because they just make themselves as bad as the people they want to combat. You dont combat fascism by going after the musical interests of people, – that is not where the real danger of fascism is, fascism is moving in corridors of power now, and not at general metal music festivals. I have never come across any BM band that was actually inciting anyone to violence or to go after minorities or such, mostly the music i find is metaphysical and esoteric in theme.

    • J_MetalBlast

      Their thuggery “with good intentions” is just thuggery, no doubt.

  • Anjordi

    bonjour, quelqu’un sait faire un petit résumé en français ?

    Merci beaucoup 🙂

  • Truth

    Antifa are brainwashed cucks controlled by brown racists.

  • valgor

    You are committing the fallacy of false equivalence in this post. You are assuming all
    violence is equal.

    For example, suppose a dude is beating and raping your mom/sister/wife/daughter/whatever. If you are like me, you would beat this dude so bad you might even end up killing him. Is the violence this guy is committing against your loved one the same as the violence you commit to him? I say no. They are different.

    I’m cool with every Nazi getting the shit kicked out of them today. But this violence is different than the violence they would inflicted on every Jew and non-white. There is nothing wrong with being Jewish or non-white, but there is something wrong with wanting hurt someone for simply being Jewish or non-white.

    That is ANTIFA thinking. Commenters on this thread are missing this point because they are either fascist or too busy with ad hominem attacks. ANTIFA are not “offended” by extreme right-wingism. They want to stop the spread of praise and support of fascism to avoid what happened in WWII.

    • J_MetalBlast

      You’re making a pretty big error there. You’re equating stopping a violent crime while it is being committed, with people giving themselves the rights to be ideological vigilantes. Good try though.

  • John Massis

    How can you act like it’s not a racist while he is being interviewed in front of a huge White Power symbol (talking about the video here)?

    Antifa is not an organization like any other. It doesn’t have leaders, nor bankaccounts. Antifa is just a collective name and symbol for all anti-fascist actions world wide. You make it look like there is a worldwide structured organization behind it; Easy to compare with the well known anarchy symbol. Not every action with that symbol is linked to each other. And for sure there is no structure behind it.

    “they could not be placed on the same level as right wingers and nationalists”
    Offcourse antifascist discrimination cannot be placed on the same level as rightwingers are hating other people based on force majeure

    Fascist Discrimination.
    Fascists discriminate – people -, based on force majeure ( = things they/we/you are born or grew up with: skincolor, heritage, sexual orientation, disability, native language, …), which is not acceptable, never, but especially not in a democracy.

    Antifascist Discrimination.
    Antifascists discriminate – ideas -, based on choice; Fascism, racism, sexism, … Which is acceptable, always, and even more in a democracy

    It’s the racist’s (or fascist’s) own choice to be a racist, only the racist can stop him or herself from being a racist. They do it to themselves.
    Females, blacks, latino’s, arabs, homosexuals, cripples,… All of them, didn’t chose anything, and no change is possible in that matter, so what’s the point in hating them for that?
    And what’s the point in tolerating blind hatred towards them?

    “kind of people they consider unacceptable” lol
    We live in a democracy.
    If you wanne play American football you need to accept the rules. If you wanne play democracy, you need to accept the rules. One of those fundamental democratic rules is that every person is a real equal human being, thus, free of discrimination based on force majeure in all times. As long you can’t accept that by stopping to discriminate people based on force majeure..
    We can’t accept yer free (hate)speech.
    You can’t play.

    “if we are the ones doing it, then it’s not intolerance, and it’s not violence.” lol
    Your freedom of speech is a worthless cause as long as freedom is defined by fascist ideology.

    It is really hard to read your column till the end. You keep on repeating yourself and you’re always not saying anything on what it’s really about.
    You don’t seem to understand that there is peace in a concertroom until someone starts to discriminate another based of force majeure. Then hell breaks lose, always. Who’s fault is that? The person who’s different? Or the one starting to hate that person for their difference?? What part of blind hatred ( = based on things you’re born with) don’t you understand?

    Stop hating people for things they’re born with (or stop using symbols that represent that) and no one will ever start to harass you because of the fact you speak you’re mind out loud on stage/in public. And only in that way will people be able to hear your concerns, instead of being distracted by the blind hatred or visuals lyrics that represent that.

    Besides that. There is a difference between having a rightwinger in a band, and spreading a blind hate rightwing message around the world through the music scene, on stage, to young kids… In a democracy, you cannot spread blind hate, it’s not democratic, and by spreading blind hatred you are not accepting the democratic fundamentals.. The fascists have lost the war a long time ago. It’s time to realize that.

  • John Massis

    Second time i post this; first time got deleted as spam. So far freedom of speech.

    How can you act like it’s not a racist while he is being interviewed in front of a huge White Power symbol (talking about the video here)?

    Antifa is not an organization like any other. It doesn’t have leaders, nor bankaccounts. Antifa is just a collective name and symbol for all anti-fascist actions world wide. You make it look like there is a worldwide structured organization behind it; Easy to compare with the well known anarchy symbol. Not every action with that symbol is linked to each other. And for sure there is no structure behind it.

    “they could not be placed on the same level as right wingers and nationalists”
    Offcourse antifascist discrimination cannot be placed on the same level as rightwingers are hating other people based on force majeure

    Fascist Discrimination.
    Fascists discriminate – people -, based on force majeure ( = things they/we/you are born or grew up with: skincolor, heritage, sexual orientation, disability, native language, …), which is not acceptable, never, but especially not in a democracy.

    Antifascist Discrimination.
    Antifascists discriminate – ideas -, based on choice; Fascism, racism, sexism, … Which is acceptable, always, and even more in a democracy

    It’s the racist’s (or fascist’s) own choice to be a racist, only the racist can stop him or herself from being a racist. They do it to themselves.
    Females, blacks, latino’s, arabs, homosexuals, cripples,… All of them, didn’t chose anything, and no change is possible in that matter, so what’s the point in hating them for that?
    And what’s the point in tolerating blind hatred towards them?

    “kind of people they consider unacceptable” lol
    We live in a democracy.
    If you wanne play American football you need to accept the rules. If you wanne play democracy, you need to accept the rules. One of those fundamental democratic rules is that every person is a real equal human being, thus, free of discrimination based on force majeure in all times. As long you can’t accept that by stopping to discriminate people based on force majeure..
    We can’t accept yer free (hate)speech.
    You can’t play.

    “if we are the ones doing it, then it’s not intolerance, and it’s not violence.” lol
    Your freedom of speech is a worthless cause as long as freedom is defined by fascist ideology.

    It is really hard to read your column till the end. You keep on repeating yourself and you’re always not saying anything on what it’s really about.
    You don’t seem to understand that there is peace in a concertroom until someone starts to discriminate another based of force majeure. Then hell breaks lose, always. Who’s fault is that? The person who’s different? Or the one starting to hate that person for their difference?? What part of blind hatred ( = based on things you’re born with) don’t you understand?

    Stop hating people for things they’re born with (or stop using symbols that represent that) and no one will ever start to harass you because of the fact you speak you’re mind out loud on stage/in public. And only in that way will people be able to hear your concerns, instead of being distracted by the blind hatred or visuals lyrics that represent that.

    Besides that. There is a difference between having a rightwinger in a band, and spreading a blind hate rightwing message around the world through the music scene, on stage, to young kids… In a democracy, you cannot spread blind hate, it’s not democratic, and by spreading blind hatred you are not accepting the democratic fundamentals.. The fascists have lost the war a long time ago. It’s time to realize that.

    • John Massis

      And screenshots taken

      • J_MetalBlast

        I don’t think you read the whole article, champ.
        Also, I didn’t delete your comments. The system picked them up as spam, so I’m guessing you shitpost in so many places Disqus labels it as spam

        Regardless, in a democracy, with freedom of speech, you can spread your ideas. Nobody needs censors like you to help them along decide how to exercise their own freedom.