Last year, as Chicago black metallers Nachtmystium started to attract attention from unmetal institutions like Pitchfork, Jessica Hopper pointed out a past association between the band and a National Socialist black metal record label that didn't sit so well with some of Nachtmystium's new fans from the indie-rock world. (One presumes their old fans from the black-metal world had already made up their minds about the connection.)
That bit of history caught up with the band (again) over the weekend when they were kicked off Saturday's Scion Rock Fest, a one-day blowout in Atlanta with a bill that reads like a who's who of hipster-approved underground metal bands (Mastodon, Neurosis, High on Fire, Boris, Torche, et cetera).
Hopper has some follow-up commentary at her blog. Here's the band's statement:
NACHTMYSTIUM Booted From The Scion Rock Fest Bill
In a statement made on Friday, February 27, 2009: "NACHTMYSTIUM has sad news today with a once-again recurring issue surfacing from the wake of our past. We've been forced, at the request of the promoters and the folks at Scion / Toyota, to pull out of the Scion Rock Fest, scheduled for Saturday, February 28. This news came to us just this past Tuesday and was very disheartening to say the least. A troubling, and unjustly-applied notion that we are, or ever have been, in any way, a 'Nazi' band or a political band on any level, is completely absurd and we are disgusted that there is someone out there who really believes we are of this ilk. It made it as far as the sponsors of this event's desks, and now we are forced to pull out of it after some political threatening on the part of these ridiculously uneducated person/people who have caused this ruckus.
"We'd like to make light of at least one aspect of this situation and use the opportunity to once again clear the air — we are, IN NO WAY, a 'Nazi' band. We do NOT support such groups, political beliefs or bands that are affiliated with that world. We have canceled tours in the past and dodged working with bands and people BECAUSE they had these ideologies and we never wanted to be affiliated with it. Yet, here we are, a metal band whose members are more like hippies than your typical leather-clad metal maniacs, and we're being falsely accused of this association once again. We will be taking legal action against the people who slandered us in this situation, and in the future will file defamation / slander charges against any person or organization who attempts to prevent us from performing anywhere, especially in the United States. We are as offended by this as someone might be at the notion of a Nazi band playing a big corporate-sponsored festival. So — let it be known loud and clear for the LAST TIME, we ARE NOT a Nazi band, ARE NOT political, are certainly NOT racists and DO NOT support that world or any band, person or business affiliated with it.
"My deepest apologies to all of our friends, fans and people who have worked on and supported us being a part of this festival, we are sorry for these awful circumstances and you can be certain this will not defeat us." - Blake Judd