Last week Finnish black metal band Horna had several shows on their upcoming US tour cancelled due to an article posted by the online metal tabloid/shithole known as Metalsucks. MS did their usual stellar job of regurgitating widely known information (they’ve finally figured out how to use Metal Archives, apparently) and then patting themselves on the back for their hard-hitting journalism.

A common occurrence whenever one of these SKETCHY BAND RED ALERT debacles comes up is folks online thanking the venues for cancelling the shows, as if they’ve done some great service to their community.

The question I have for these people is, what in the actual fuck do you think would happen if Horna were to play in your city?

I’ll tell you exactly what would happen.  The band shows up at the venue.  A bunch of metalheads show up at the venue.  The band plays the show.  The metalheads enjoy the show, mosh and headbang, drink some booze, buy some merch.  The show ends.  The metalheads go home, perhaps stopping to grab a burrito on the way.  The band heads to the next town.

That’s it.  End of story.  Horna and the metalheads who paid to see them aren’t going to march through your town with tiki torches chanting ignorant slogans at you.  They’re not gonna run wild through the streets beating you up and destroying your property.

Sure, a band might be sketchy or have sketchy ties, but I’m willing to bet that for bands like Horna, Watain, Marduk and others who’ve been at the center of these recent controversies, the number of fans that are normal, well-adjusted everyday metalheads outnumber the right wing asshole fans by 100 to 1 or more.  So at the end of the day, you’re not striking some great blow against the far right by getting a metal show cancelled.  All you’re doing is pissing off and disappointing regular-ass metalheads that are just looking to enjoy themselves.  Granted, you might also piss off one or two doughy proud boys, but is that really worth it?

Of course, you’re also potentially depriving a sketchy band of their income by getting the show cancelled, but honestly, how damaging is that really?  Tours can be rerouted and shows can easily be moved to an alternate venue in the same city.  This has already happened for at least one of the aforementioned Horna shows.

I’d be very interested to know what these folks think they’re accomplishing by getting shows cancelled.  If you’re one of these folks, by all means sound off in the comments, because I’m truly interested in your perspective and why you take so much enjoyment out of ruining another person’s good time; that’s literally the entire scope of what you’re doing.

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3 thoughts on “What happens if Horna plays?

  1. I’ll start by saying that we’re probably on different sides of this issue, but that said, I am not a person who would put much effort into getting a Horna show canceled. If I knew the owner of the venue or the promoter, I would probably mention that they were dipping their toes into neo-Nazi bullshit, and (if they were friends), I’d hope they wouldn’t want to go there. But it is legal to hold reprehensible opinions, and it’s legal to give those people with reprehensible opinions a venue for the music if you want.
    Do I think any of these shitheads are going to come to town and start a devoted new chapter of Hitler Youth over the course of one night? Not likely. But am I particularly sad when NSBM asswipes get their shows canceled? No, not really. You can say and do whatever dumb shit you want, but sometimes there are consequences for that.
    The Nazis were a fucking scourge, trying to overrun as much of Europe as possible while exterminating a huge group of people. And if a bunch of Finnish edgelords think Finland’s collaboration with the Nazis (until the Nazis invaded Lapland) somehow makes them brothers in arms, then I don’t know what to tell them. My grandfather fought in World War II, and if we were still alive and wanted to go piss on their tour van, I’d be right there with him. I don’t blame people for not wanting them to roll through their towns and shit up their local music scene. There’s plenty of good black metal out there to listen to that isn’t made by NSBM pieces of shit. If thinking that makes me a dreaded “SJW” (for not believing Jewish and black people are subhuman) or untrve or whatever, so be it.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I don’t think we’re necessarily on totally opposite sides of the issue; to be clear, I’m absolutely NOT in any way a fan or supporter of NS. But, I also don’t think that having a band with a couple of right wing assholes in it playing in your town is going to be particularly harmful in the grand scheme of things; if Trump’s reign of terror has shown us anything, it’s that there are probably locals in your own town that are even shittier human beings and are far more toxic to the community than a band that’s in town for one night.

      Additionally, I think people referring to Horna as an NS band is a bit off the mark; some members of the band might hold some trash beliefs (or did at some point), sure, but as far as I know, none of their lyrics are NS-oriented (correct me if I’m wrong on this, by all means) and also as far as I know they’re not a band that NS folks rally around as opposed to say a band like Der Sturmer or Temnozor or plays NS-oriented fests/gigs (again, please correct me if I’m wrong here).

      I truly believe that the vast majority of fans of a band such as Horna, or any of the other bands that have been similarly called out in the past few years are regular joes that just want to have fun and see a black metal show and aren’t terribly interested in what individual members of the band believe in. These cancellations are just going to end up alienating regular folks who no doubt agree that NS beliefs are bullshit and are strictly interested in the band from a musical standpoint.

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      1. You make some good points. The fact that Horna sings in Finnish probably keeps most Americans from doing a deep dive on their lyrics. I’ve read some of them (in translation), and it’s pretty typical Satanic stuff. A bit trite, but in my (admittedly shallow) research, I didn’t see anything overtly NSBM. I wouldn’t fault people for liking the music and just not knowing about the background. There’s only so much time during the day to do a deep dive on every piece of art we might consume.
        I’ve had this discussion with a number of people who fall between the poles of not wanting anything to do with anything that even has the whiff of NSBM, vs. people who say that they don’t care about the politics. It’s definitely a hard line to draw, both in theory and practice. You make a good point about the community at large–the guy who replaced my hot water tank might have been a raging, piece of shit racist, and by hiring him, I might have helped financially support his plumbing-based hate group. The guys/gals who work in the factory that made the tank might be serial spouse beaters. We’re long gone from the days where you either did everything yourself or walked down to Jebediah’s shop to get your horseshoes made. You just don’t know who you’re supporting.
        That said, I think Horna/Shatraug/Spellgoth’s issues go beyond some poor choices in the “distant” past, as some people argue. When Peste Noire got kicked off of a festival in 2017, Horna dropped off in “solidarity” because they’re “good friends.” (And Spellgoth has been in Peste Noire.) That’s some bad company to keep, and as much as they’re now beating the drum of being “apolitical,” a lot of their actions give that a strong whiff of bullshit.
        And putting lyrical content aside, I wouldn’t be very excited to support an all-instrumental band playing traditional bluegrass tunes that happened to be made up of all KKK members. As far as I know, Michael Jackson never wrote a song explicitly endorsing pedophilia, but…yeah, no. That’s a step too far for me for separating the “art” from the “artist,” and given the resurgence not of racism (it was always there), but the more vocal parts of it, I can’t in good conscience just shrug my shoulders over stuff like this.

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