Pummeling Politics

Taake Show Cancelled Following Antifa Protests; More Cancellations May Follow

  • Axl Rosenberg

There have been accusations of bigotry following Taake for years now. Some of this results from lyrics which seem Islamaphobic (the band has said that “it is shameful to adhere to Christianity or Islam”); a lot of it results from the fact that in 2007, the band’s mastermind, Hoest, performed in Germany with a swastika painted on his chest.


The statement Hoest subsequently released to explain his actions probably hurt his case more than it helped, given that it included phrases like “go suck a Muslim” and “untermensch,” the latter a term the Nazis used to describe the “inferior races” they were “exterminating.”

“Taake is not a political Nazi band […] everyone should know by now that our whole concept is built upon provocation and anything evil […] we truly apologize to all of our collaborators who might get problems because of the Essen swastika scandal (except for the untermensch owner of that club; you can go suck a Muslim!)”

So what the hell is the deal with this band? I’m gonna be honest: I have no friggin’ clue. I do tend to lean towards the opinion that Hoest is, as he claims, just being provocative. This is based on two admittedly less-than-airtight bits of reasoning:

  1. Displaying a swastika in Germany is illegal, which Hoest must have known. There’s something sophomorically contrarian about what he did; it feels like nothing would have made him happier than to be arrested.
  2. MetalSucks has sponsored Taake tours, and the fact that MS’ owners are Jewish is about as much of a secret as the fact that Kerry King plays guitar. Maybe Hoest thought it was the ultimate revolutionary act to benefit from the work of his enemy, but that would make him an idiot, because to do so, he had to plaster our logo all over his posters and link back to us on social media and all that kinda stuff. In other words, we benefitted from one another’s work equally. (FYI — for MetalSucks, a tour sponsorship never means money has been exchanged. They’re really ad swaps; in other words, “We’ll help promote your shit, you help promote our shit.”)

Having said that, the ambiguity of Hoest’s politics has made me uneasy enough that I’ve basically stepped away from Taake, as has Vince. Case in point: we didn’t even report on the fact that they have a tour coming up.

Which brings us to the reason I’ve been rambling about all of this. Brooklyn Vegan reports that the band’s upcoming show at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rogue has been cancelled in light of pressure from Antifa:

Other chapters of Antifa (or Antifa-esque organizations) are now working to get other shows on the tour shut down, and in Chicago, at least, it looks like they’re going to be successful:

In response, Hoest has released the following statement:

“I have clearly explained many times throughout the years that me wearing a swastika once at a German concert was not at all meant to show support for the nazi ideology.

“It was all about doing something extreme for the sake of it, which certainly backfired.

“But it has now been 11 years and the band has even performed in Israel (!)

“Anyway, similar incidents have not happened in Taake’s 25 year long career and will obviously not happen again. But certain parties seem to find this cold case unforgivable nevertheless, insisting on wilful misunderstanding.

“So, once and for all, Taake is not a racist band. Never has been, never will be. Still claiming so is as ridiculous and unfounded as are the attempts at sabotaging our highly anticipated shows.”

Well, at least he acknowledged that if the swastika was meant as a provocation it didn’t work out so well for him.

Still, my problem with Antifa has always been that they resort to violence to get what they want, which, y’know, ain’t my bag. But if there were any threats of violence in this instance, they’ve gone unreported. Maybe these show promoters are just worried that Antifa could use violence because they have in the past… but on the surface, at least, this seems like a legit peaceful protest.

And because I can already hear the idiots on Facebook whining that this is somehow a violation of free speech, I’d like to point out, for the eight-trillionth time, that it is not a violation of free speech because that’s not what free speech is. So go suck a Norwegian.

Thanks: Corey M.

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