Jul 012020
 

 

In the space of the last week or so, I have posted articles, one of which I wrote, that promoted the music of bands with past connections to labels with strong ties to white supremacist bands, or whose music has itself, at least in the past, incorporated lyrical themes that can be understood to espouse white nationalism. In the case of the article I wrote, I was unaware of any such history. In the other case, I just wasn’t paying close enough attention. But that’s no excuse. I fucked up, and I have to own up to and apologize for that.

(Just so we’re clear, I’m writing this in the first person because none of the other writers at NCS had anything to do with these mistakes and were quite unhappy about them.)

Posting the music of such bands was not intended to be any kind of “dog whistle”, or to reflect the principles of this site. We have no interest in promoting the music of bands who espouse or associate themselves with racism, anti-Semitism, or other similarly toxic belief systems. I want to make that as clear and explicit as I can. I’ve written that before, but I’ve undermined the message through my own actions.

Clearly I haven’t been careful enough or serious enough about distancing NCS from such bands and labels, and the problem hasn’t been limited to these two recent articles. Sometimes this is simply because, due to the hectic pace at which I tend to operate most days, I haven’t done enough due diligence or proper vetting, which is especially necessary when bands use coded references for what’s really going on. In other cases I’ve put misplaced trust in PR people who I thought understood what was off-limits at NCS. In still other cases in the past, I ignored my own suspicions because I liked the music and rationalized that people could do their own digging and make their own decisions.

All those explanations are signs that I didn’t care enough. All I can do about this now is to say how sorry I am, as simply and sincerely as I can, and promise to do better in the future.

To be clear, I don’t intend to stop writing about extreme metal across a broad range of genres. But I do promise to do my best to terminate any coverage at this site of bands who have dedicated themselves to, or knowingly associated themselves with, the kind of rancid belief systems described above.

I suspect what I’ve said here will produce a backlash among some people who follow our site, and among other people who don’t give a shit about NCS but seize any opportunity to spew invective based on their twisted views about what is and isn’t “true” in metal (you know the type). So be it. Now, especially, is not the time to split hairs or turn a blind eye. I refuse to allow everything we’ve built here to be corrupted and co-opted by racists, bigots, and their fellow travelers or, by association, to let our site become a vehicle for promoting their agendas.

~ Islander

  40 Responses to “AN APOLOGY AND A PROMISE”

  1. Hey, I support you totally on this. It’s one of the reasons why I visit your site almost every day at the moment (in addition to how you unearth extreme metal bands that I don’t hear of anywhere else, and your fantastic detailed descriptions of what you are showcasing). Metal communities need to look at our white privilege, for those of us who have this privilege, and what it means to give a platform to nationalism and white supremacy. Along these lines, I wish NCS would also not include bands that have violence against women themes in their artwork or lyrics, this is a real issue in brutal death metal, but not just BDM. Devourment have deliberately moved away from violence against women themes. Mantar chose to cover an L17 song in their current covers CD in part because in their lead singer and guitarist’s words, violence against women makes them sick in the stomach. Most of us who visit this site are men (I’m not, I use to be male, I’m now gender non-binary, but I still benefit the same from male privilege as I always have). Sorry for long rave, love your site, support your stance here. Thank you for the community you are helping to build, and for showing some vulnerability and honesty with your posts, it certainly is helping me to get through the isolation. Rodney

  2. hahahah

  3. Thank you ISLANDS you are a NICE human being. And we LOVE your site.

  4. In solidarity!

  5. This is your site, and I have no issue with you making decisions about what you do and don’t want to cover. I think that’s your right to do, and I’ve never gotten the impression that NCS is a site that’s going to go down the road of trying to “police” the scene as a whole so that everyone knows you’re one of the “good ones’. This site has always been about the music, and that’s exactly why I visit here. I’ve always understood that there’s some music, that no matter if I like how it sounds, probably shouldn’t be promoted on this or any other site. I’ve never come here expecting to see something like Grand Belial’s Key discussed, and out of respect for that I’ve tried to be aware of what reco’s I make to you guys, as best I can. As long as this site continues to focus on the music itself, and avoids becoming a soapbox of finger wagging that so many other places have become, there’s no reason for me to get bent out of shape

  6. Superb response and ownership … I like to believe that decent metal fans make up the majority of our world & stand shoulder to shoulder with you here

  7. I appreciate that this site maintains its editorial values with minimal preachiness, and that you respond quickly and decisively when something you’ve posted doesn’t meet that standard. Hopefully people understand that while in some ways courting controversy is the job of an extreme metal band, it is not the job of an extreme metal website to do so. It’s your “job” to be my favorite place to find new music, and you’re still doing that, so no complaints from me.

  8. Thank you for this. It’s always such a bummer after buying an album or supporting a band to learn that they have abhorrent politics.

  9. If you lose a few fans because they disagree with your stance, Islander — fuck ’em. The metal community has, for quite some time, struggled to effectively deal with the relatively small, but ever present pocket of individuals that promote odious ideologies and I think it’s better to address these things now more than ever.

    If metal, as a collective of musicians and fans, prides itself on being so open and accepting of outsiders because WE, the metal community, are comprised of outsiders and weirdos who love loud, angry, passionate music. then we must create an environment for folks to feel as if they can and should be welcomed without fear or worry of having to distance themselves from something they love because of a handful of rancid personalities. If this is one of many steps that must be taken to enact change, then I’m all for it.

    Thank you for your honesty, Islander — it’s appreciated.

  10. This is the right thing to do. Thank you for making that promise.

  11. As a reader and a friend, I know you’re a good person. I’ve listened to some bands for years without being aware of the racist views of the band members or the subtle bigotry in their songs. It happens. If you don’t bother to dig into their history or actually read their lyrics to decipher the screams and growls, it can be quite easy to be oblivious.

  12. The cancer of leftist fascism is spreading fast and unrelentless.

    Long live the freedom of will!

    • I shouldn’t even bother, but let me clue you in on something:

      Nazis and white supremacist bullshit = actual fascism
      Music review sites deciding they don’t want to give attention to Nazis = NOT fascism

      The Nazis are welcome to create their own music site and wank over pictures of Hitler all they want. Freedom of speech applies to No Clean Singing just as much as it does to Nazi scum, and NCS is using their freedom of speech to decide what to talk about for themselves. You know…their freedom?

  13. Thank you Islander. Much appreciated.
    Fuck the inbred brown-shirts and their pathetic ideology.

  14. Islander, firstly, thanks for being so above the bar on so many things. I think its quite clear you aren’t a hateful person and you come across as really welcoming, honest and friendly to all.

    To all the cry baby racist apologist fuck faces out there! EAT SHIT YOU FUCKING MOOKS!

  15. Thanks for the ownership and transparency – and Your commitment to do the right thing, Islander. I have long respected (from afar) your apparent decency and integrity; that is not in doubt to me.

  16. Thanks for this post, Islander. I fully agree with your (and NCS’s) refusal to give racist and fascist bands a platform. What “free speech” extremists fail to realize is that the right to freedom of expression does not equate to the right to say whatever you want, wherever you want, without consequence. People who would promote bigoted and hateful ideologies are free to do so on their own platforms; simultaneously, those of us who oppose such ideologies are free to expel them from our platforms.

    We all make mistakes, but owning up to them, sincerely apologizing, and committing to do better in the future is about the best one can do in response. For that, I commend you.

    NCS is an absolute treasure for the metal community. You provide in-depth coverage across the spectrum of metal, and do an absolutely amazing job of highlighting obscure but deserving artists. Keep up the great work, and fuck the fascists and edge lords. A few less of them lurking around here will only ever be for the best.

    • Lets just take a moment to appreciate the totality of your username.
      This world needs a Quick Ben.

  17. Good on you! Way to own it and commit to being better.

  18. We hope she sees this bro

  19. It is blatantly obvious to all those who have been long-term visitors of NCS that such motives were ever a part of this great site.

    Personally I find it an absolute tragedy that in the current Zeitgeist it is expected, demanded, required, or otherwise encouraged, to make such a post, by one’s own conscience or by external parties.

    But I will be gracious and accept this as an explicit declaration of what was already obvious to those who do not have the background at NCS to appreciate that. Such is the morale of the days of the internet mobs.

    As always, Islander and crew, keep up the good work, and keep the music in the focus. There is nothing to fear for NCS.

  20. What were the bands that prompted this?

    • A post of Finnish metal that featured at least three bands with lyrical themes of Aryanism and White Nationalism. One was the Satanic Warmaster guy. Cant recall the other bands names. Not big names.

  21. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. As someone already said in the comments, it’s nigh impossble to know the politics of every band out there. This site actually does do research on the bands and the music, which is one of the reasons I like it here. But not being aware of a band’s evil ideology before posting an article about them, is gonna happen sometimes. No one who comes to this site would ever get the impression for even a second that you support that crap.

  22. Shit man, anyone who’s been around here for ten years knows that you’re the best kind of person. I’ve said it many times, NCS is the best site on the entire interhole!

  23. eyeroll

  24. NCS has always been the gold standard !

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.