Before I get into that I'd like to tell the committee a little bit about myself.
I'm close to 43 years old and have been involved with extreme music since the mid- nineties. It would be intellectually dishonest to claim that things haven't changed from the times I hopped in myself. What was considered as a shock value 20 years ago is now considered a clear proof and reflection of the artist's personal views 20 years later. And what may had once started as a shock value, has been evolving into an actual worldview for some. Things change, and not always necessarily for better.
What hasn't changed, however, is my personal love for the musical aesthetics of the genre.
Now, being the geezer I am while having spent most of my life involved in this particular scene, I've happened to get acquainted with a lot of people. During that time I have also done a lot of things. Some of those things may seem questionable to some of you on your personal standards, which I understand. And some of the people I have been affiliated with during the years may seem questionable to some of you. This is also understandable, because you don't know my relationship with those people. In fact, you don't know much about those people at all- and probably not much about me either. To claim knowing what I think or what my band represents based on what you assume someone else might think, or because I have been involved in a musical project that differs from your aesthetical or moral taste is not only insulting, but also infuriatingly lazy and sad. It hurts me, my band and most of all it hurts the fans who are being presented these false accusations and claims as truth.
But just to make things clear for the people who are not desperately wanting to make up their own truth, here are some of my views you can freely quote and hold me responsible for.
- I rarely follow any imaginary rulesets, and usually do my best to loudly oppose stupidity and herd- mentality. This especially has been a tough cookie for some people to swallow, because if I don't dance as they say, they would rather see me crippled. When you say "with us or against us", I choose to be against just to piss you and your demands off.
- I am (or have ever been) in no way associated or affiliating with right-wing politics, not in real life and not in any music-related things. I would never play on an NSBM album nor have I ever been asked to do it either. That stuff is not what turns me on, and this is a well-known fact for everyone who knows me. For me, black metal is strictly about darkness, blood, fire, death, Satan and destruction. Not about aryan babies.
- I don't work with racists as far as I can tell (no, I still don't have a radar which would expose hidden thoughts). I hold racism unintelligent, insulting and embarrassing.
- I have a very dark, dry and unapologetic sense of humour. If you find it offensive, I'm sorry that you feel that way (sic).
- Sometimes, I may do things with people who may have been affiliated with something in the past that troubles you. I don't see things black and white (except for my favourite album covers!) and am an advocate of change, so I tend to not to judge a book by it's covers. If I choose voluntarily to work with someone, it should also indicate something about that other person. I should probably know them better than you anyway. When I work with people, see views 1-4.
I'd like to end this small speech by again freely (mis)citing Dee Snider, from the senate hearing in September 1985 concerning the alleged accusations:
"We cannot allow this to continue. There is no authority who has the right or the necessary insight to make these judgments. Not myself, not the federal government, not some recording industry committee, not the Facebook, not the Twitter and certainly not the Antifa. I like thank the committee for this time and I hope my testimony will aid you in clearing up this issue."