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Henri “Trollhorn” Sorvali from Moonsorrow/Finntroll Claims Credit for Strong Scene Productions/H&M Controversy

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Henri SorvaliSo Henri “Trollhorn” Sorvali, guitarist and keyboardist for Moonsorrow and keyboardist for Finntroll, is apparently one of the people behind yesterday’s Strong Scene Productions/H&M troll (and, I suspect, the “Ville Huopakangas” who sent out yesterday’s press releases on behalf of Strong Scene). In a new interview with Noisey, he reiterates what was said in the second Strong Scene press release last night: that the point of the project was “to point out the fact that you cannot commercialise a subculture without actually knowing all the different aspects of it,” that “Knowledge on your product is essential in marketing,” and “to create discussion on the fact that metal culture is more than just ‘cool’ looking logos on fashionable clothes, and has many more aesthetic and ideological aspects in different subgenres than what some corporations are trying to express.”

Which is a nice idea that I still find very confusing.

So Strong Scene wanted to prove that H&M had no knowledge about their product… by fooling people into thinking that some of the fake bands for whom H&M is making merch were Nazis? But… how does it do prove that H&M had no knowledge of their product? If H&M had no involvement, it proves nothing. (In fact, it seems pretty clear that whomever designed these products really does seem to have some knowledge about metal, or is at least well-researched.)

Is Strong Scene trying to suggest that even maybe-possibly-vaguely parodying the logos of NSBM bands is offensive, because thinking a design is cool looking without considering the politics of the designer is ignorant? I might buy that argument, but it’s a reach, because none of the logos, to the best of my knowledge, are specifically parodying any one band, let alone any one NSBM band.

I guess what I’m saying is: assuming this was all some kind of performance art project done in protest, it seems like it was fairly ill-conceived. It doesn’t really seem to make the points Sorvali says it makes, and it’s called so much goddamn attention to the H&M merch that the chain is likely to sell a ton of more t-shirts now.

But even if we pretend that Sorvali totally nailed it and achieved his goal, one key mystery remains unsolved: Why the hell are H&M creating shirt designs for fake metal bands???

As always, I invite you to debate/argue in the comments section.

Thanks: Matt C.

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