The music scene has a long history of resistance to white nationalist predation and profiteering. Repackaging fascist bands and their social networks does not erase their history of genocidal violence nor the need to resist them. On January 17th Luzifaust and his band Vastatum return to the stage, this time at Bully’s Studios in New Westminster. On February 25th, Luzifaust’s other project Kafirun are set to play at the Hollywood Theatre in Vancouver, B.C., opening for Rotting Christ.
Luzifaust’s connection to white nationalist organizing can not only be traced to the West Coast scene but also to his dealings with Vanguard Productions on the US East Coast, a now defunct neo-Nazi record label. The owner, Zachery Stern, is a member of Patriot Front, a white supremacist organization that changed it’s name from Vanguard America due to their attacks and killing in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Why would a supposedly non neo-Nazi band actively choose to re-release their music on a neo-Nazi label from New Jersey? Or why would a neo-Nazi label seek out a supposedly non neo-Nazi band from the other side of the continent for their label? When confronted, like so many others do, Luzifaust denies his connections or claims he is no longer associated, yet he falls blatantly short of denouncing the fascism to which his career as a musician is indebted and upon which it is based. Instead, he continues to profit under repackaged bands:
On October 9, 2022 the band Vastatum is scheduled to open for Polish metal band Batushka at the Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Vastatum, a two-piece band, includes Trevor ‘Luzifaust’ King who has decades long and deep associations with the leadership of neo-Nazi organizations including Vinland Hammerskins (formerly Northern Hammerskins), Blood and Honour International and Volksfront International.https://bccounterinfo.org/2022/10/07/neo-nazi-alert-rickshaw-theater-vancouver-bc-canada-october-9-2022/
The presence of Vastatum and white nationalist followers poses an extreme threat to the audience, venue staff and to the surrounding community. Vinland Hammerskins, Blood and Honour and Volksfront are international neo-Nazi organizations that in addition to assaults and murders (singular and mass) use the music industry as a front for business and recruitment.
The Vastatum show at the Rickshaw theatre in Oct 2022 wasn’t the first time that Luzifaust and Invisible Orange put on a show together. Luzifaust’s band Hostium played a gig at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver, BC on August 23 2014. It was hosted by Trevor “Luzifaust” King and the owner of Invisible Orange Abelardo Mayoral–Fierros, after “Chernobog “(former Blood and Honour, current Hammerskin) Robertson De Chazal was brought into the band while he was still facing multiple hate-motivated charges including setting a man on fire on Commercial Drive in 2009 (see: https://bccounterinfo.org/2022/10/07/neo-nazi-alert-rickshaw-theater-vancouver-bc-canada-october-9-2022/#more-299).
Like Trevor Luzifaust King, De Chazal split his time between Hostium and Nordwind releasing an album for Vanguard Productions in 2015. While Hostium’s 2016 album was released under the neo-Nazi label Iron Bonehead, the band simultaneously re-released their 2008 independent album under the white supremacist label Vanguard Productions that same year (https://nsbmboneheads.wordpress.com/).
Who is behind Vanguard Productions?
The now defunct New Jersey, US based Vanguard Productions was owned by current member of the Patriot Front, Zachery Stern. Patriot Front emerged following the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
The recent leaks of the neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front by Unicorn Riot has provided the public with a disturbing glimpse into the nation-wide network of a white nationalist group. This has also provided antifascist researchers with a valuable resource for identifying the members of this group. Our contribution to this research in this article is the Patriot Front member who used the alias “Ryan-PA.” We have identified this individual as Zachary Ross Stern of Bushkill, Pennsylvania…
…Zachary Stern came to our attention when he was mentioned in an article about Patriot Front in the Huffington Post, “Inside Patriot Front: The Masked White Supremacists On A Nationwide Hate Crime Spree.” …
Zachary Stern was also the person behind “Vanguard Productions,” a small record distribution company named by the Southern Poverty Law Center in their list of hate music. Historical WHOIS records show that “Zach Stern” was the registrant of this record company’s website domain name. Besides being a distributor of neo-Nazi music, his company also distributed white nationalist books by the American neo-Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell, esoteric Hitlerism guru Miguel Serrano, the fascist Francis Parker Yockey and the like, as well as apparel featuring white nationalist and neo-Nazi imagery.
…There is no doubt about Zachary Stern’s position as an antisemite now that we know he is a member of the explicitly racist, antisemitic neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front. We find this particularly upsetting since his family, as seen on social media, seems active in fighting antisemitism. Research on Patriot Front is ongoing and there are no doubt many more identifications that will be made by antifascist and antiracist groups in the near future. Such identifications are necessary to keep our communities safe and free from hatehttps://www.anarchistfederation.net/patriot-front-neo-nazi-ryan-pa-identified-as-zachary-ross-stern-of-bushkill-pennsylvania/
While the Rickshaw and Invisible Orange were busy selling tickets to the locals, the US based white nationalist Vanguard Productions was busy selling their music online. Kafirun, Vastatum, Invisible Orange and the Rickshaw Theatre are not confused about the neo-Nazi elements. When confronted about this, they choose to obfuscate or deny. For the Rickshaw Theatre and Invisible Orange, repackaging and selling neo-Nazi bands as “apolitical” is more profitable than stopping the neo-Nazi scene that endangers their audiences, the venues’ staffs, and surrounding neighborhoods. What is certain is that the Rickshaw’s claim to “anti-racism” and their hosting of “Rock Against Racism” is meaningless when they deny the evidence that points to their active collaboration with the neo-Nazi music industry. If these companies were serious about anti-racism, then they wouldn’t promote and host neo-Nazi bands. It doesn’t take much effort to drop a band from a bill. With three new events in the works, a new generation will have to step up to resist neo-Nazi incursions into local music scenes.
Stopping neo-Nazi bands from playing isn’t only about stopping individuals and their genocidal beliefs. Its about stopping the logical consequence of having those beliefs in the first place: the fascist organizing and fundraising that inevitably leads to violence. Two recents events – one in the Pacific Northwest and one in Australia demonstrate the need for diligence as neo-Nazis old and new continuously press the metal music scene.
Less than 48 hours after Eugene Weekly reported on notorious white supremacist Jacob Laskey’s attempt to promote a black metal festival called Murder Fest near Bend, he’s landed in county jail for an alleged attack on his partner.
Laskey, whose criminal history begins with an anti-semitic attack on a Eugene synagogue in 2002, is in jail for several charges related, including reckless driving and assault.
His recent arrest comes the day after one of the bands on the Murder Fest lineup he’s promoting backed out because they said they were anti-racist.https://eugeneweekly.com/2023/01/06/notorious-white-supremacist-back-in-jail/ and https://twitter.com/copeacekeepers/status/1611807459664093185?t=zrZ69Ih_ztxOREesNHxxBw&s=19
For more on Laskey and his history with Volksfront and American Front see: https://rosecityantifa.org/articles/oregon-synagogue-attacker-out-of-prison-hopes-to-rebuild-american-front/ and https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jan/06/promoters-cancel-australia-tour-of-norwegian-metal-band-taake-accused-of-far-right-sympathies
This past week (January 6th) the Norwegian metal band Taake was again forced to cancel their Australian tour.
The antifascist research group White Rose Society noted that Hoest had also performed on a song called Jew Killer by the band the Meads of Asphodel, on their album The Murder of Jesus the Jew. He has also been credited as guitarist on a song titled Sieg Hail Satan by a different band.
The song Orkan on Taake’s own 2011 album Noregs Vaapen (Norway’s Weapon), includes the lyrics “To hell with Muhammad and Muhammadans”. The album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy in 2012.
In 2013, while performing in Scotland, Hoest donned an Iron Cross above a T-shirt displaying anti-Islamic imagery.
Whether it’s Luzifaust, Chernobog, Zachery Stern, Laskey or Taake – rebranding doesn’t change the white nationalism, the company kept nor the threat to those attending, and those living in the vicinity. As for Taake, Kafirim or Luzifaust take heed:
To attach a wanky sentiment of universal hatred or of anti-humanity to these acts is similarly disgraceful. Sure, you can drone on about evil or hatred for humanity or whatever trve kvlt concept you believe you adhere to or respect, but if you’re going to use such concepts to excuse or perpetuate Islamophobia, you are literally affecting other people’s quality of life. If your favourite band is expressing these sentiments, don’t excuse your support of them by espousing “good” riffs or childish, neo-philosophical musings on nihilism, because in reality, every time you excuse racist sentiment in this way, you enable real-life hatred.https://astralnoizeuk.com/2019/01/30/islamophobia-ist-nicht-krieg-stop-making-black-metal-excuses-for-real-life-intolerance/
For people wanting to do the bare minimum to stop neo-Nazis from infiltrating your music scenes, take a look at “A beginners Guide to Heavy Metal Hunting Online” :
If you’re not sure if a label is fash-friendly, do some research on them, too; there are precious few metal-oriented labels that have taken a real stand against fascism in metal, but there are a profound amount who have no problem laundering white supremacist content under the guise of being “apolitical” or simply not giving a shit as long as it sells. When dealing with a more esoteric crowd, pay attention to which writers and philosophers they quote (Julius Evola? Do not pass go), which books they cite, and which occult groups they align themselves with (the Order of the Nine Angles is a big honking blood-red flag). Pay attention to what they decide to wear in their band photos, their tattoos, which bands’ logos appear on their T-shirts and patches, and which flags and imagery show up in their photo backgrounds. It all matters, and it should all factor into your decision over whether or not to support them.https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2021/02/a-beginners-guide-to-heavy-metal-nazi-hunting-online/
- The Hollywood Theatre (778) 819-3065 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Invisible Orange: (604) 889-9672: email@example.com
- Red Cat records: (604) 708-9422 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neptoon records: (604) 324-1229 email@example.com
- Bully Studios: (604) 349-7358 firstname.lastname@example.org
- antifascists in other cities where the band is scheduled to play
Tell them to stop doing business with neo-Nazi bands AND let them know that you will not support the neo-Nazi music industry!