Uada Show Canceled Following Allegations of Nazi Affiliations; Band Responds

  • Axl Rosenberg

Portland’s Uada are the latest metal band to come under fire for alleged affiliations with far-right hate groups.

The problems for the group began earlier this month, when a Leipzig, Germany venue, Plaque, opted to cancel the band’s November 11 performance because of Uada’s association with Messe Des Morts, the 2016 Montreal music festival that was shut down following sometimes-violent antifa protests against Graveland and Forteresse, bands with National Socialist ties. According to a statement from the venue, Uada “have not distanced themselves in retrospect, but on the contrary complained about the prevention of the concert by Canadian anti-fascists,” and Plaque sees “such ‘gray zone’ connections are a no-go” — in other words, the mere fact that Uada weren’t vocal enough about Graveland and Forteresse’s heinous politics was enough for the venue to feel that a cancelation was warranted.

We can assume Plaque’s decision was based on a statement made by Uada following the Messe Des Morts shut-down, in which they claimed to be “a band with zero political, religious or cultural bias in our viewpoints or our art” and asserted that “the actions of the antifa were far more hateful than any words or actions we experienced at Messe des Morts.”

Following the Plaque show cancelation, Uada released a statement of their own, flatly denying any such ties to bigoted bands:

“There is never a shortness of absurdity in this world… Today we have found news that UT Connewitz (post via Plaque) has decided to cancel our show in Leipzig with Gaahls WYRDTribulation (Official) & IDLE HANDS – PDX with the false accusation of UADA being a Nazi affiliated band. Apparently this is not the first time that they have prevented us from playing in this city, but we hope it will be their last.

“It is painfully obvious that they have never met us personally nor has any real clue to who we are or what we represent. The accusations they have thrown out are 100% completely false and we advise any serious bands, musicians, artists, agents, bookers & promoters ect… to stay away from any organization that would wrongfully and publically brand a band such as they have done here.

“The show will be moved to another city & we hope those in Leipzig that were looking forward to seeing UADA, as well as the rest of this amazing line-up, will find us on better soil.

“In closing we will say it’s quite ballsy & ironic for a German organization/venue to call this band (who hosts one of Jewish decent) Nazis. Maybe it is time they did their homework and took a long hard look in the mirror.”

(Quick aside: Pretty sure they mean they have a member “of Jewish descent,” although we do appreciate the phrase “of Jewish decent.”)

Now, in a new statement, Uada say that more shows have been canceled or endangered as a result of these accusations:

“We have recieved [sic] word that there has been more booking complications due to false allegations. False allegations including UADA being a ‘right leaning/nazi affiliated band.’

“The four of us would like to officially make a statement here and now to kill all suspicions, doubts and rumors…

“We are not a political band and we absolutely do not support any sort of racism, oppression or fascism. We are not interested in political agendas within our music because our art means more to us than spreading such bigoted idiocy.

“So to anyone assuming we are something we are not… It is very easy to write us directly or come out to one of our concerts to meet us. We would highly appreciate people making an effort in communication before making an assumption such as this. We take a lot of pride in truth and will always speak it, on a personal level as well as through our art. No games, no facade, no bullshit.”

Well, maybe a little bit of bullshit: Uada are a political band. All bands are political because all art is political. To  argue otherwise is naive at best and disingenuous at worst.

Having said that, other than their decision to appear on a bill alongside some ethically-dubious bands, we can find no evidence that Uada have any association with Nazis, fascists, or any hateful, far-right political group. Furthermore, Uada (and everyone else) were right to be upset that antifa used violence to have a show canceled; regardless of whether or not you share antifa’s feelings about bands like Graveland, violence is never the answer, and generally only begets more violence and perpetuates the seemingly-endless cycle of conflict.

So, hopefully, Uada have learned their lesson about paying closer attention to the bands with whom they’ll be sharing a stage at any given event, and promoters have learned their lesson about canceling Uada shows. MetalSucks will, of course, keep you updated on any further developments.

Many thanks to Ranpal C. for the heads up.

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