Panzerfaust Records: Distributor of Hate Music
Panzerfaust Apparently Out of Business|
Updated: March 1, 2005
By the end of 2004, Byron Calvert (also known as Bryant Cecchini), who co-managed and acted as the spokesperson for Panzerfaust Records, was bragging that the hate music label was halfway to its goal of distributing 100,000 CDs of racist and anti-Semitic music to schoolchildren across the country. Panzerfaust had received tremendous media attention for this plan, which the company called "Project Schoolyard USA." However, a few weeks into 2005, Panzerfaust Records appears to have ceased operations.
Anthony Pierpont, one of the co-founders of Panzerfaust Records, already in legal trouble after a recent arrest for drug possession, is now being shunned by white supremacists after Calvert confirmed recent allegations by some white supremacists that Pierpont was partially of Mexican descent and had taken a sex tour in Thailand-items that would make Pierpont anathema to many haters. Rumors about Pierpont's non-white ancestry have been circulated for some time by those perceived to be Pierpont's "enemies" in the extremist movement. However, when Calvert, who is well-respected in racist skinhead and neo-Nazi music circles, confirmed the allegations, Pierpont became an outcast among white supremacists. Calvert announced a break with Panzerfaust, while a variety of white supremacist groups, including Hammerskin Nation, Volksfront, and White Revolution, have withdrawn their support from the company. Many of the white power bands on the label are poised to do the same.
As of January 27, 2005, the Panzerfaust Web site was no longer operating. People trying to reach the Web site were instead redirected to the Free Your Mind Productions Web site, which says it "is supported and hosted by the good people that were left at Panzerfaust." The new site appears to be run by a group of Hammerskins and ex-Panzerfaust staff.
Posted: September 24, 2004
Since its inception in September 1998, Panzerfaust Records has succeeded in becoming one of the most successful white-power music companies in the United States. The Minnesota-based business was founded by Anthony Pierpont, a racist skinhead with ties to Hammerskin Nation, one of the most violent and best-organized neo-Nazi skinhead groups in the United States, and Eric Davidson, who once worked for Resistance Records, a rival white power music company owned by the neo-Nazi National Alliance.
Panzerfaust has been successful in gaining new customers and challenging Resistance Records, its major competitor. In particular,
it has been able to exploit missteps by the National Alliance and Resistance Records in recent years, which alienated many skinheads and by contrast enhanced the reputation of Panzerfaust. Both companies make a significant amount of money through promoting hate music bands and selling their CDs, even though individual bands may appear and disappear rapidly due to the fluid nature of the hate music scene.
Panzerfaust derives its name from the German World War II anti-tank rocket; Pierpont chose the name to honor the "sacrifice" Nazi soldiers made during that war. "It is their flag we hold now as we march into the future," Pierpont said in a 2000 interview. The description of Panzerfaust on the company's Web site states that the name was chosen "because the spirit of the weapon and those who employed it are forever embodied in our racial psyche," and that the "stubborn tenacity" displayed by those who used the weapon is required now by "the 'lone wolf' political activist" today. It further says that "Panzerfaust Records is committed to doing its best in providing the audio ordnance that's needed by our comrades on the front lines of today's racial Struggle."
From the beginning, Pierpont envisioned Panzerfaust not only as a business but as a vehicle to "spread National Socialism," to "restore honor to the [white power] music scene in the U.S.A.," and to inspire white youth to be proud of their race and to have a "win or die" attitude in the "race war." Panzerfaust deliberately includes racist and anti-Semitic stickers and pamphlets along with the CDs and other items it sells to customers. Panzerfaust's newest venture, "Project Schoolyard USA," a plan to hand out to schoolchildren across the country 100,000 copies of a CD featuring neo-Nazi bands, is part of the company's overriding strategy to use music to attract young people to white supremacist ideology.
Since its inception, Panzerfaust has teamed with Hammerskin Nation to organize and co-sponsor white power concerts around the country. Pierpont's close relationship with the Hammerskins has earned him respect among racist skinheads. Characterizing their relationship, Pierpont has said, "Together we have put out some great music and Panzerfaust will always be there to help sponsor and contribute Hammerskin projects and music."
In addition to sponsoring concerts, promoting over 300 racist bands from the United States and Europe, and carrying out plans such as "Project Schoolyard USA," Panzerfaust sells a variety of white supremacist paraphernalia on its Web site, and conducts outreach to imprisoned white supremacists through the distribution of a CD featuring white power bands. It also sometimes sells music that is not racist in an effort to create a larger customer base and expose them to the white supremacist material on the site.
Part of Panzerfaust's strength comes from employing former Resistance employees, such as Bryant Cecchini, better known as Byron Calvert, who have an understanding of both the skinhead scene and the music business. Calvert, a convicted felon, is well-respected in the neo-Nazi music and racist skinhead scenes. In addition to co-managing Panzerfaust, he runs his own racist and anti-Semitic Web site, Tightrope Productions, where he sells CDs, DVDs, pendants, and other items of interest to white supremacists.
Both Calvert and Pierpont have a genuine business sense-often lacking among extremists-and all signs suggest they are likely to continue Panzerfaust's expansion. According to Calvert, the company has doubled its business in the last two years.