Rose City Antifascists anger over Allerseelen Tour
Rose City Antifascists (RCA) have pressured an independent venue in Portland into cancelling a performance of Allerseelen, an Austrian band active in the industrial and apocalyptic folk genre since the late 80's. Portland, Oregon, USA. 18/12/2010.
The band, a project of Gerhard Petak (otherwise known as Kadmon and Gerhard Hallstadt) is currently on their northwest leg of their west coast tour with Portland Black Metal band Agalloch. The official tour started last night at Berbati's pan in downtown Portland.
The cancelled show was scheduled before the official Agalloch tour began and was set to happen at a small independent community venue for December 15th. Allerseelen and Waldteufel a Portland based folk, industrial band hailing originally from Germany were on the bill.
The person legally in charge of the space was harassed by RCA for the past week. Phone calls from a representative called repeatedly from a withheld number. The RCA provided information regarding the event and the possible queries they had in a polite manner to begin with later turning more confrontational. This all revolved around the band's so called European New Right associations, from a heavily one sided research piece by RCA.
It was made clear that if the show went on, RCA would publicise the info and blacklist the community space and anyone involved in it.
The brains behind Portland based Nanotear booking agency, involved with the show has also complained of harassment by the RCA. Contacting via withheld numbers, representatives wanted a response from him. The RCA proceeded to give out his private cell phone number to which he states he has gotten a wave of people calling him saying he is a fascist sympathiser.
"It is annoying and ignorant," he posted in dismay with the RCA. "Let's take them [Allerseelen] at their word and find some real bogeymen. I'll tell you where they are; in the US government."
In the RCA's 'extensive' research they claim the band is an "Austrian Far-Right music project." They state that, "Petak is not himself a neo-Nazi, his criticisms of Nazism - such as they are - betray broader Far-Right and fascist sympathies." They believe he is part of the European New Right.
They explicitly state, "it is worth noting that fascism has always been a syncretic ideological movement - one that attempts to fuse differing elements into a single whole."
Interestingly enough, that precisely describes the extent of the writing and research carried out by RCA in what many may view as an acutely targeted ignorant smear campaign against the band.
Arrowyn Craban the editor of bi-annual publication Hex magazine which also comprises of "an online community radicalising European traditions and giving voice to the modern Heathen household," exclaimed in a statement that "I do not use the techniques of what I oppose to oppose it."
She goes on, saying that according to the logic of the RCA, Hex magazine must be "run by people who deny the holocaust and must be fascists."
Apparently the RCA have intelligence that one of the founders of Hex, Arnie von Rautmann, was given tickets by her husband to see a talk from someone that denied the holocaust actually happened.
There is no denying that the band used a picture of Leni Riefenstahl, a German film director and actress for the cover of their single 'Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit'. Her most famous film was 'Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), a propaganda piece created at the 1934 Nuremberg meeting of the Nazi party. She had a friendship with Adolf Hitler. Most likely there are no political motives behind this and it is just an expression of art within the realm of music.
RCA exclaim that Allerseelen have released two split cd's with Michael Moynihan's band Blood Axis, whom they claim is an 'American fascist experimental band'.
Michael Moynihan, Fulbright scholar who also excels in the field of journalism and publishing, co-wrote Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise to the Satanic metal underground. It focuses on the rise of Norwegian Black Metal and the associated church burnings and murders that occurred in 1993.
Allegations that Moynihan is a Neo-Nazi are apparently seeded within a 1994 interview with No Longer a Fanzine, suggesting that he is a "major purveyor of Neo-Nazism, occult fascism and international industrial black metal music."
Statements have been sent to RCA from many including members of Waldteufel, Nanotear booking, Hex magazine and friends of Gerhard, all of which have been ignored leaving their biased rhetoric paramount. Anyone reading the RCA research and not knowing more on the matter would assume that the fascist link was true.
In the European Folk and Black Metal scene, Steinklang Industries label provides a platform for bands, also through Sturmklang which is focused on Black and Pagan Metal. So called 'Nazis' or National Socialists are welcome within this scene.
National Socialist Black Metal according to NSBM.org "is aurally hateful music that diminishes the listener and saturates them with isolationist and ancient mystical beliefs, separating the tribes so we may have our peoples remain unique and unmarketable."
Within the scene, although these NSBM bands have an alignment with certain ideologies they are not viewed as dangerous when compared to bands such as Skrewdriver, a white power skinhead band.
The independent community venue had no other choice but to cancel the show due to the mounting pressure from the RCA. Many see this as fascist in it's own right by limiting the freedom of others to perform or express themselves in the way they wish to do so.
The Safer Space Policy that the venue abides by seeks to create an atmosphere free of forms of oppression that would make people feel unsafe. These ideals are founded on tolerance and acceptance, with a process to acknowledge and neutralise any threats that may arise by removing those perceived to be a problem.
Holding the show here would provide an unsafe environment both now and in the future and it is feared RCA would dub those people involved as fascists in a 'guilty by association' manner.
As it turns out the bands moved location at the last minute to an undisclosed venue.
Last night Allerseelen kicked off the official tour at Berbati's Pan in downtown Portland with Agalloch and Aerial Ruin. The venue had received calls from the RCA and police were aware of the situation and on call should anything happen, but the gig went on unhindered.
Critical dialogue on the internet suggests RCA should not be able to limit the freedom of an apolitical musical event, submerging it deeper in the 'underground'. By doing this they are themselves carrying the same ideology of those they oppose.
Finishing with a statement from Allerseelen themselves, "the world of Allerseelen is so full of enthusiasm for art and music, mysticism and poetry, it is so much inspired by the beauty of so many cultures, landscapes, poems, songs all over the world, from California to Siberia, from the Orkney Islands to Malta - there is no space at all for ideologies or politics.
Allerseelen never used and will never use any political contexts in their work. Those who claim that Allerseelen are close to any political movement or ideology show clearly that they have no idea of the oeuvre of Allerseelen."
© 2010 Alex Milan Tracy. All rights reserved. Not for re-publication without direct consent from author. Alexmilantracy@gmail.com
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