The metal media appears to have taken up a new crusade recently—the rooting out of thought crime in the music scene and interrogating all potential dissidents.
Earlier this year, the black metal band Inquisition faced a media storm worthy of their name and had to endure media harassment for alleged Nazi ties. Most of the story originated from a rabid leftist blogger who wants the metal scene to work harder to include transsexuals and a “reformed” skinhead who alleged the band made pro-Nazi statements in his presence.
This is all it takes for a witch hunt to now be ordered against a metal band.
Now the press has found a bigger target for the self-righteous indigination–the Guitar Hero favorite and purveyors of cheese Dragonforce.
In an interviewwith the Vice music affiliate Noisey, Dragonforce founder Sam Totman undergoes an interview that’s more akin to a kindergarten teacher harranguing one of her students for sticking bubblegum under his desk.
Totman is repeatedly askedt to “explain” why an old band of his had “racist” and “homophobic” content:
NOISEY: So, I wanted to talk to you about something that happened way before the new album. I was digging around a little bit and found Demoniac, the band you were in before Dragonforce. I really want to know what the fuck you guys were doing.
Sam Totman: Hah! We started that, me and my friend, back in New Zealand in the 1990s. It was when I was 18 or something. We were having a laugh basically. We just sort of thought “Oh, let’s play some black metal” because we didn’t know any good singers so we couldn’t do any other kind of music except for black metal, death metal. It was just kind of a big joke really. Our first record was all serious, Satan this, Satan that, and we did quite well with that. The second one kind of turned into NOFX crossed with black metal, and then the third one got into power metal so it was like power metal crossed with black metal, and no one really got it basically.
In fairness I don’t know if NOFX ever sang about “killing faggots” and raping children and killing black dudes. That was what I saw when I looked up the band.
We had some strange characters in that band and everyone kind of wrote their own songs, so any dodgy ones weren’t anything to do with me…
I can’t get over the lyrics honestly. Has nobody ever pulled you up about that before?
Not really, no. Nobody really cared about that band anyway.
I mean, it took like five minutes on Metal Archives to find all that. You guys have really young fans, and you’ve got songs about raping “old fags” and killing “queer cunts” and that’s…not so good.
We had a bit of a twisted sense of humor. We were just having a laugh.
Things are a little different now than they were in ‘99. I don’t think it’s really that funny. What if a 12 year old kid goes on there and thinks “Oh, so Dragonforce thinks it’s cool to beat up gay kids”?
To put it simply, it was us having a laugh and all the dodgy stuff like that was mostly our old drummer. It was just a laugh and it was a long time ago so it’s not really a big deal.
And the interview continues on like that for its entirety. Totman says it was just them joking around, interviewer keeps demanding an apology. Nothing is resolved.
One noticeable shift from the treatment of Inquisition is how Dragonforce were treated easy in comparison. Another major metal outlet even published a defense of the band and dubbed the lyrics of their past band youthful stupidity. Both the previous band, Demoniac, and Dragonforce both have the same Asian guitarist and this might sufficiently satisfy claims that they aren’t racist.
For a genre that likes to glorify itself as outside the norms of conventional society, those norms seem to be sweeping through the scene and ensuring that everyone keeps to their dictates. While the lyrical content of Demoniac was certainly not tasteful, the majority of metal lyrics aren’t high prose either. The point is now how the media demands penitence for any past transgressions and assurances that it will never happen again.
Just like the proverbial kindergarten teacher with her bubblegum terrorist of a student.
Like the rest of society, expect more victims for the PC metal inquisition in the next few years.