Enlarge Photo by Metal1.info's Afra Catharina

Alexander “Impaler” Friberg Issues Apology Over Old Nazi Salute Photo: “I Was Aiming to Provoke All the Time”


Black metal bassist Alexander “Impaler” Friberg, who currently plays for Naglfar, Shining, and Firespawn, has recently found himself in some hot water as an old photo of him throwing the Nazi salute has been making the rounds online. As is the case these days, fans and bystanders alike have begun weighing in on Friberg’s character, wondering whether or not to cancel him and the bands he’s linked to.

Rather than let the situation fester, the now 40 year old musician posted a statement on his Instagram account yesterday in an effort to publicly denounce and apologize for that photo.

“It is with heavy heart I have to address the disgusting picture of me that is online on different forums. There’s no excuse here but I feel that I need to say something about it. Maybe I just makes things worse by mentioning this but it has to be done.

“I have no recollection of this photo, but it was taken when I toured in Chile about 10-12 years ago. I was drunk, younger, immature and was aiming to provoke all the time.

“I have looked back on my young self several times with regret.

“This is obviously something I feel extremely bad and stupid about and NOTHING I stand for what so ever!!

“I believe that every person can change for the better and believe me when I tell you that I’m a changed man.

“I want to send all of you who follow my journey my deepest sincere apologies. And to my band mates, I’m truly sorry for this fuck up!

“I can’t change the past but I can do something about the future and be the best person that I can be.

All the best”

This isn’t even the first time a black metal bassist has been caught doing the salute after the fact, but unlike that previous situation earlier this year, the photo is from years and years ago. And while that still doesn’t excuse the action, there’s definitely something to say about young men doing stupid shit in front of a camera.

That being said, it’s important to note that this kind of thing can give fuel to and embolden actual fucking Nazis.

What’s not a reasonable excuse though, is the “I was drink” defense. I don’t know about you guys, but when I used to get hammered, I never defaulted to racist hand gestures. There’s nothing about alcohol that instantly makes a person do something to make another section of humanity feel inferior in any way. That shit’s learned and internalized racism — and it’s something the metal community’s come out in pretty staunch opposition to.

Now that he’s opened the door with his apology, we’ll have to see if any of the bands he’s playing on do anything.

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