Dani Filth Calls Norwegian Black Metal Church Burnings “Ridiculous”
“Don’t burn down a church” seems like a fairly commonsense notion. And yet we know it is not. In April, two separate black metal fans/musicians, on two separate continents, participated in church burnings. As a good friend of ours recently put it, “If you burn a church, you’ve learned nothing from black metal.” The fact that the original Norwegian black metal scene is better known for its crimes than for its substantial contributions to extreme music is not something of which to be proud. I think the issue is that some fans, to this day, see it as a badge of honor: whereas most metal bands only talk about death and destruction, members of the Norwegian black metal scene actually created those things. There’s a “practice what you preach” mentality which would almost be admirable if it wasn’t devoted to an ideal so stupid, violent, and meaningless (spoiler alert: Euronymous and Varg Vikernes didn’t even make a dent in Christianity). It’s a mentality that lacks context, too: these guys didn’t really give a fuck about practicing what they preached, they cared about notoriety. Which they got, in spades, although likely not in the ways they hoped.
One dude who definitely “gets it”: Dani Filth. Regardless of how you feel about Cradle of Filth’s music — I’m not much of a fan myself — the fact that troo kvltists still deny this man his cred is pretty ridiculous. Mr. Filth isn’t Norwegian, of course, but CoF’s debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, came out in 1994… the same year as debut albums from Mayhem, Emperor, and Enslaved. So Dani has been in the black metal game for a minute.
So hopefully, those who still think church burnings are neat-o will read, and take to heart, this quote about Norwegian black metal, which from Metal Hammer‘s new interview with Dani:
“What I like about that time is the passion about it; I thought it was quite exciting. Some guy down the road in Colchester tried burning down a church, and we got blamed for it. Obviously [church burning] was ridiculous. I have been friends with every single person from that scene since, and I can’t remember anyone that’s said ‘Yeah that was really great.’ Everyone said ‘We were idiots, we were kids.’ My friend lives a stone’s throw from the first church that was burned in Bergen, and he knows it’s an idiot thing.
“I’m so happy that I didn’t get caught up in that whole thing because I could have done, but imagine waking up thinking ‘Oh god, I’ve just burned down a church, I’m going to prison for 25 years, I’m an idiot.'”
So take if from Dani, kids: if you wanna be more famous for a controversy than for your music, make sure it’s because of an edgy t-shirt, and not something that may land you in prison.