Pummeling Politics

Watain: Photo of Guitarist Giving the Nazi Salute Surfaces Online

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A photograph which appears to show Watain live guitarist Set Teitan (né Davide Totaro) giving the Nazi salute has found its way online.

The image, which has been making the rounds on Facebook, was forwarded to MetalSucks by an anonymous source.

Watain frontman Erik Danielsson has sent MetalSucks the following statement regarding the photo:

“The gesture on that picture was done in jest that’s as much as we have to say about that, but to put an end to this tiresome and time-consuming nonsense the guitarist in question has decided to step aside for a period of time to avoid further hopeless discussions on the subject.

“We furthermore spit upon the ill-willed ignorance of all those who maintain that Watain have any political agenda whatsoever, for 20 years we have proven otherwise and people should know better by now. Finally we would like to send a heartfelt fuck off to all who insist on feeding the mindless moral witch-hunt hysteria that is now festering on worldwide Heavy Metal culture. Hail Satan!”

In January, the Swedish black metal band came under fire when a hand gesture given by Teitan during a live show in Stockholm was interpreted by some as the nefarious ‘Sieg Heil.’

At that time, the band denied these accusations in a statement:

“It has come to our attention that people have misinterpreted an arm movement of Set at our Kraken show as a “nazi salute”. Fucking hell, come on folks! As everyone should know by now, Watain band members have no ties to nazi ideology neither publically nor personally, and with this statement we want to put an end to further uneccesary speculation in this tiresome subject.

“What we give praise to in our songs and in their lyrics could very well be seen as the very anti-thesis to some utopian right wing ideology of the past. ‘Saluting’ one of our many enemies on the sacred ground that is our stage would not make much sense. That is something we are sure our fans and supporters -who we are proud to say are from every possible ‘race’, gender, nation and cultural background- can testify to.

“As would the fact that our line-up and working crew are also of a widely diverse ethnical background. And the list goes ever on, eliminating all possible forms of soiling by political or ideological agendas, allowing the Devil’s fire to burn clear and untainted in the sanctuary that we have created for ourselves.

“It is of course highly regrettable that these unwelcome, inconvenient and misplaced accusations are even allowed to arise and we hope we can now put this behind us and focus on the many important tasks at hand.

“Thank you for understanding.”

Although Teitan has been a live member of Watain since 2007, he does not appear on any of their albums. In addition to Watain, he has been a member of Aborym, Bloodline, and, most notably, the final line-up of Dissection. That band, of course, was led by Jon Nödtveidt, who was convicted of being an accessory to the 1997 murder of the 38-year-old Josef Ben Meddour, an Algerian-born gay man. Nödtveidt got out of prison in 2004, released Dissection’s last album, Reinkaos (on which Teitan plays), in 2006, and took his life later that same year.

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