Open Letter Asks Cleveland-Based Label to Stop Releasing Music by White Supremacists

In the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, all things even loosely related with the white supremacist movement have appropriately come under scrutiny.

A group of metal musicians called the Anti-NSBM Working Group recently asked the metal website Metal Sucks to publish an open letter calling on Hells Headbangers, a Cleveland-based metal label and distributor, to “cease releasing and distributing Nazi propaganda.” Specifically, the group asked that the company cease its association with "far-right labels such as (but not limited to) Darker than Black, Pagan War, Werewolf Records, and Elegy Records" as well as "far-right bands."

“Recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere are a striking reminder of the danger and threat the extreme right poses,” reads the post. “Metal and other underground music genres are major venues for neo-Nazis and fascists to propagandize and recruit. This is unacceptable to us, and so we are taking action to remove them from our community.”

The post acknowledges that “the owners and staff of Hells Headbangers are not, as far as we know, white supremacists or far-right extremists” and that “the vast majority of the labels they distribute and the bands whose records they release aren’t either.”

The Anti-NSBM Working Group simply wants Hells Headbangers to "stop participating in the spread of hate through tacit endorsement and participation, and to eliminate the extremist labels and bands from the roster."

You can read the entire letter here.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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