TAAKE Australian tour cancelled over far-right sympathy claims
According to The Guardian, Norwegian black metal band TAAKE has had its previously announced tour of Australia canceled by the promoters.
The controversial outfit, which has long been plagued by accusations of anti-Muslim lyrics and Nazi sympathies, was scheduled to perform four shows Down Under in early February as part of the “Southern Funeral” tour with American band AKHLYS.
On Thursday (January 5) tour promoter Southern Extremeties announced the run “has been cancelled for reasons beyond our control”.
“Apologies to ticket holders/people keen to see these 2 acts, you’ll receive an update and full refund from your ticketing company,” they added.
Before Southern Extremeties announced that the tour was being scrapped, two venues had already pulled out — University Of Sydney’s Manning Bar, which reportedly made the decision following pressure from students, and Adelaide’s Enigma Bar.
The latest cancelation comes five years after TAAKE called off a U.S. tour due an online campaign highlighting previous incidents, including a 2007 incident in which singer Hoest appeared onstage with a swastika painted on his chest.
The band later disavowed the image, saying it was a one-time lapse in judgment, and denied that its lyrics reflect any racist sentiments. “Many of these claims are just ludicrous,” the band’s manager, Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen, told Newsweek in 2018. “They are not into that kind of stuff at all.”
Regarding the swastika, Nilsen told Newsweek: “It was a provocation. Not any kind of call for right-wing ideology… The band has also played concerts in Israel, which would be completely ludicrous if it were a Nazi band.”
According to Pitchfork, Hoest performed in 2013 while wearing a shirt with an anti-Islamic symbol, plus an iron cross necklace.
Hoest has repeatedly denied claims of his band’s ties to white nationalism. In an interview with Metal Insider, he said: “Presenting us as ‘Neo Nazi,’ ‘openly racist,’ ‘wearing swastikas’ (in plural, like it’s a habit of mine),etc. are just plain lies. And ‘islamophobic?’ A phobia is an irrational mental illness. So quite the contrary, religion is an irrational mental illness.”