New Jersey Venue Dingbatz Under Fire for Allowing Anti-Semitic Metal Band to Perform
New Jersey venue Dingbatz, which has hosted more than its fair share of metal shows over the years, has come under fire in recent days for allowing a metal bill to go on featuring a band with links to anti-Semitism.
The Saturday, October 19th show was set to feature Nyogthaeblisz, Intolitarian and Northern as part of Vengeance Fest III. Two days before the gig, the venue posted a message on its Facebook page saying the show would be canceled due to concerns over Nyogthaeblisz’s past, but that post was later deleted and the show went on as planned.
Nyogthaeblisz appeared on an album titled Satanic Skinhead: Declaration of Anti-Semetic Terror with a song featuring the lyrics, “Noxious death-gases and enraptured hellfire / Viciously devastating the menial Israelite rats / Lion of Judah envenomed, withers and ceases to be.”
Dingbatz owner Fred Barnes trotted out the same, tired old “free speech” argument that defenders of white supremacist and anti-Semitic bands have been using of late, blissfully unaware that free speech in the U.S. as it relates to one’s right to speak their political beliefs applies to the government’s inability to arrest or persecute someone for those beliefs, not other citizens’ rights to object to them or decide who to host in their private space. Fred commented to NorthJersey.com:
“You get put in a no-win situation in whatever you do here. Being an owner of the club you look at it as freedom of speech. When does the censorship issue come in and where does it escalate from here?”
No, Fred, it’s not a no-win situation. The show goes on and the Nazis win; you cancel it and everyone else wins, including you. Regarding “the arts” and freedom of expression and what you should allow in your club, it ends with hate speech. Full stop.
Kyle Powell, the show’s promoter, attempted to deflect blame away from Barnes:
“It was a decision I made because the guys had flown in to play and there were many people here to see them. I made that decision. It should not fall on the club.”
Yes, Kyle, it should fall on the club. It should also fall on you. You are both responsible, and you are both complicit.
Nyogthaeblisz have a long history of being booted from shows for their openly anti-Semitic viewpoints. Last year, Philadelphia bar Final Score Bar & Grill canceled the band’s appearance on a bill only to have the band perform anyway under a fake name. They were yanked from a show in the Washington D.C. area last year as well. After they were kicked off the Chaos in Tejas festival in Austin, TX in 2011, their label, Satanic Skinhead Propaganda, issued the following jaw-dropping response:
“NYOGTHAEBLISZ are not ‘NS’ [Nazi skinhead] and they are not even white.
“They are Satanic, and openly anti-semitic.
“This is extreme Black Metal and this is EXACTLY why fests like this should not exist in the first place. Keep Black Metal dangerous and away from these liberal scum. This is a smear campaign with ad hominem attacks simply because the band is openly ANTI-JEW.”
Kyle and Fred: is that the kind of message you want to support? By giving this band a space to perform, that’s what you’re doing. Free speech my ass. How would Jewish folks who attend your venue for other shows feel knowing you willingly allowed a band with those views to perform on your stage?
Powell added this:
“That’s on me; that’s who I am. I always try to keep my word. If I go around canceling my shows or taking my bands off the bill, not only does it make me look bad in front of my clients, but it makes me look bad for the people coming to the shows.”
Looking bad to a small handful of open anti-Semites is worse in your eyes than looking bad everyone else who might attend your club. Especially with atrocities like this happening in the U.S. now. Got it, Kyle.
This is the moment we all boycott Dingbatz. You know what to do, people.