ADL Warns of Upcoming Hate Music Festival Issues;
New York, NY, October 23, 2001 ... Racists and anti-Semites, including well-known organized hate groups, increasingly use hateful rock music to draw young people to their cause. On the eve of one of the largest annual hate music festivals in the United States, Hammerfest 2001, scheduled for October 27-28, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has issued a list of bands that promote racist, bigoted or hateful ideas.
Bigots Who Rock: An ADL List of Hate Music Groups identifies 541 bands, primarily based in the United States and Europe, who espouse hateful lyrics or have active links to organized hate groups. Links to additional information on the hate music scene, extremist groups and the burgeoning hate recording industry can also be found on the website.
"In making this list available to the public we hope to raise awareness among young people and parents about the dangerous message of these hateful groups," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "In some cases, hate bands have names similar, or even identical, to those of mainstream rock bands. Parents, educators and concerned adults need to be informed about the difference between bands that merely appeal to teenage rebelliousness, and those bands that promote bigotry and hatred."
Hammerfest 2001, which is scheduled to take place October 27-28 in Bremen, Georgia, is the third annual festival sponsored by Hammerskin Nation, a well organized neo-Nazi group that uses hardcore music as a vehicle for white supremacist beliefs. Hammerskin Nation previously held shows near Bremen in October 2000 and October 1999.
Hammerfest 2001 includes a roster of notorious hate bands. The headliners include "Mistreat," a popular white power band from Finland; "Youngland" of Orange County, Calif.; "Bully Boys," a major American white power band from Texas; "Intimidation One" of Oregon; "Max Resist," a longstanding hate rock band from Detroit; and "Nemesis," a Scottish white power group. According to the Hammerskin Nation online bulletin board, people wanting to attend the concert will be e-mailed a map of the location only if they can prove they are bona fide "movement activists" or have friends in the bands or the recording industry.
Violent Lyrics, Hateful Ideas
Given the violent and racist lyrics of white power music, it is not surprising that previous Hammerskin concerts have been associated with violent incidents. On December 10, 2000, in Jacksonville, Fla., three 20-year-old racists who met at Hammerfest 2000 - Jacob Laskey, Edward Fix and Robert Parrott - allegedly beat and threatened a 44-year-old African-American, John Newsome. Newsome told police that when the trio attacked him, one of the men yelled, "There's one, let's get him!" According to Newsome, the men chased him and beat him in the parking lot of a restaurant while threatening him with death and shouting racist comments. When questioned by police, the assailants admitted that they had been driving around the city purposefully looking for Blacks. The men were charged with battery and commission of a hate crime.
According to various estimates, previous Hammerskin Nation concerts have drawn as many as 400 to 500 attendees, including some foreigners. The organization lists active international chapters in Canada, England, France, the Netherlands and Germany.
A Burgeoning Industry
Hammerfest 2001 comes at a time of increasing profitability for hate record labels, as enthusiasts take advantage of the relative anonymity of the Internet to purchase albums and send messages to like-minded followers of the bands. Resistance Records, the leading American hate rock label and distributor, reportedly ships an average of 50 orders each day, with each order worth about $70. Owned and operated by the National Alliance, the nation's leading neo-Nazi group, Resistance Records could gross more than $1 million in revenues this year. Hate rock concerts in the United States regularly draw many hundreds of people, and similar concerts in Germany have attracted upwards of 2,000.
Since the 1960s, when racist country music singer Johnny Rebel recorded songs such as "N--- Hatin' Me," more than 500 hate rock bands have formed worldwide. Nearly all of these groups were formed after 1982, when the late British singer, songwriter and guitarist Ian Stuart Donaldson turned his band Skrewdriver into a mouthpiece for hate. A significant number of these bands play or have played "Oi," the style of punk rock associated with Skrewdriver and other early hate rock groups. Other bands perform a racist take on other forms of punk and heavy metal. The genre known as NSBM - National Socialist Black Metal - has also become popular in recent years.
Racist and anti-Semitic rock music is now a major recruitment tool and source of funding for hate groups. Many hate group members, especially neo-Nazi skinheads, have been drawn to white supremacy by listening to hate rock on the Internet, on CDs, and at concerts, often promoted and coordinated online, where crowds violently slamdance to the music of bands such as Angry Aryans, Blue Eyed Devils and H8Machine.
EDITORS NOTE: For additional information on hate music and to arrange an interview with an ADL expert, contact the Media Relations Department at (212) 885-7749.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.