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Strong Scene Denies Ties to H&M, Claims to be a “Collective Art Project”

  • Axl Rosenberg

strong scene productionsEarlier today, a dude calling himself “Ville Huopakangas” sent out a press release on behalf of “Strong Scene Productions,” which seemed to be a fake label pushing fake bands as a way of selling merchandise for the retail clothing chain, H&M.

Mr. Huopakangas has now released the following statement via Facebook (click to enlarge):
Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 8.16.12 PM
Which is dumb. I also strongly suspect it’s more bullshit.

First, the dumb part: again, Huopakangas identified himself as a representative of a company called “Strong Scene Productions,” whose website (which now seems to be down) and Facebook page both contain bios of bands. So it naturally follows that people would assume they were a label. And given that the bands are fictitious, and that Strong Scene Productions appeared to be mostly fictitious, and the fictitious bands Strong Scene Productions was pushing were all bands represented in merchandise sold by H&M… OF COURSE everyone was gonna assume they were “collaborating” with H&M.

Second, the bullshit part: so we’re expected to believe a “collective” of artists got together and, inspired by a product at a clothing store with which they had no association, decided to create a project “with no intentions on anything except for art”? Well, um…

a) Who the hell does that? When artists create something inspired by a corporate entity, that creation is usually negative and in protest of said corporation. Nobody is ever like, “Hey, I really wanna do an homage to BP.”

b) This explanation asks us to assume that Huopakangas and his fellow artists misunderstood This is Spinal Tap and the work of Monty Python and the Yes Men (who, it seems worth mentioning, HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING THAT WASN’T HYPER-CRITICAL OF CORPORATIONS) to such a critical degree that we have to assume they are either toddlers or Pinky from Pinky and the Brain.

c) If the purpose of the project was to “show that not all metal music is what you hear in commercial forms, and different subgenres exist even within metal music,” then why was the dude sending press releases to metal blogs? Was he under the impression that the readership of MetalSucks and other sites like it aren’t already aware of that? Wouldn’t the project’s target audience be, like, the people who read Idolator or some other non-metal site?

My theory (and just take this for what it’s worth): this was a viral campaign that blew up in H&M’s face, especially because, for reasons that are still unclear, someone thought it was a good idea to make two of these fake bands NSBM bands (which is why Huopakangas’ choice of the word “collaborate” is so poorly chosen — it actually does make H&M sound like they’re the Nazis). So now the company is trying to distance itself from the campaign.

Or who knows, maybe this dude who has been completely 100% dishonest so far is telling the truth. Anything’s possible, really.

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