A Look at White Power Music Today
As the old powerhouse labels fade, a new crop of ambitious white power music distributors springs up to replace them.
A mob of nearly 150 neo-Nazis dressed in bomber jackets and combat boots descended upon a Pennsylvania volunteer fire hall in January for a large white power music concert. Billed as "Uprise 2006," it was organized by the Keystone State Skinheads, a Skinhead gang with six Pennsylvania chapters, and Robert Huber, the operator of the racist record label Final Stand Records. Uprise 2006 featured several of the more popular white-power bands in the U.S., including Teardown, Those Opposed, and Straightlaced Nightmare. The bands carried on the tradition of the British group Skrewdriver, which basically created the "hate rock" genre in the 1980s with simplistic anthems marked by angry lyrics and buzz-saw guitars, such as "Race and Nation": "I believe in the White race! A race apart, we've got a mile start!"
The goals of white-power bands today are to recruit successive generations of young racists to the white-power movement and to make a sizable profit for themselves and for the small companies that distribute their music. There is serious money to be made in hate rock. The neo-Nazi organization National Alliance at one time filled its war chests with hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds from its wholly owned hate-rock subsidiary Resistance Records. This profit potential is why bootlegging is rampant in the semi-underground hate-rock industry, and why the industry is fiercely competitive and more divided now than ever -- ironic twists for a business that's based on marketing a message of white unity above all else.
As the landscape of the white power movement in the U.S. has undergone seismic shifts in the past two years, the hate-rock industry has entered a corresponding phase of power shifts. Former powerhouse music labels such as Resistance have fallen on hard times while others have disappeared from the scene entirely. Panzerfaust, a Minnesota-based operation that at one time was Resistance's most serious competitor, crumbled in early 2005 when it was revealed that its proprietor, Anthony Pierpont, was of Mexican descent.
Now, with Panzerfaust gone and Resistance struggling, a new crop of hate-rock labels and distributors is struggling for shares of the profit and power the major labels let slip. Unlike the mainstream record industry, where bands are contracted exclusively to specific labels, the hate rock business is fueled by distributors who pay individual bands for non-exclusive rights to market and sell their albums. As a result, it's not unusual for records by the most popular white power bands to be sold at the same time by multiple hate-rock labels, and it's relatively easy for new distributors to get in the game. What follows are snapshots of the key players that are currently vying to spread the message of hate through poorly played but lucrative rock 'n' roll.
ARYAN NATIONS RECORDS
Despite this label's claim to have a "fully functional, state-of-the-art recording studio," Aryan Nations Records pleads on its Web site for bands to submit pre-recorded hate rock. So far, ANR's Web site only advertises a single music compilation. It's operated by the remnants of the once-powerful Aryan Nations and sells a large selection of recorded speeches by aged or long-dead stalwarts of American white supremacy, men like Wesley Swift, J.B. Stoner, Edward Fields, Tom Metzger, Bob Miles, Louis Beam, Thom Robb, and especially Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler, who died in late 2004.
Despite its online presence, Aryan Nations Records does business only through the practically archaic method of regular mail. Only cash or blank money orders are accepted.
"Please be in prayer for our progress," the Web site adds.
San Diego, Calif.
The stated goal of Condemned Records is to release "serious Nationalist Skinhead music." Condemned Records publishes its own hate-rock magazine, featuring interviews with popular movement bands that are then posted on the label's Web site. Past issues have included interviews with Bound for Glory, Definite Hate and Murder Squad.
Condemned also sends out a newsletter via E-mail to update its customers on new CD releases and to promote hate-music concerts. One recent issue of this newsletter issued a call for hate-rock owner labels to stop squabbling. "It's our policy to promote all shows that we hear about, we promote all records that we hear about, and we link to who ever wants to share links with us. Aryans banded together to survive ice ages, well it's been getting pretty cold lately!"
In addition to the band interviews and product catalog, the Condemned Records Web site links to another site called Free The Order, which pays homage to the 1980s white-power terrorist group that robbed armored trucks of $4.1 million and machine-gunned a Jewish radio host to death in preparation for race war.
On the front page of the Diehard Records Web site is the silhouette of a man menacingly holding a baseball bat. It is a fitting symbol for the label and the music it sells. This distributor, whose motto is the "best in white power skinhead music," offers a large catalog of racist CDs and even DVDs, such as one titled "Hooligans & Thugs ... Soccers [sic] Most Violent Fans."
While not as large as most other distributors in the movement, Diehard has carved out its own niche in the movement by selling rare records from bands like Ethnic Cleansing and Youth Defense League.
It also hawks discs and vinyl records from popular hate bands like Brutal Attack and Johnny Rebel, performer of songs like "N----- Hating Me" and "We Don't Want N------ in our Schools."
Specializing in National Socialist Black Metal music, Elegy Records has become one of the biggest distributors of racist black metal. National Socialist Black Metal differs in sound and partly in message from the punk rock-derived "hatecore" or "Oi" hate rock that is more popular in the United States. While it contains anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi elements, NSBM bands typically advocate Odinism and other forms of neo-Paganism.
Elegy, which is operated by a man named Rob DiSiena, sells CDs from hate-metal bands like Nocturnal Fear, which the Web site describes as "crush war inspired old style death metal with remnants of '80s thrash!"
Elegy also sells music from the bands Maniac Butcher and Hate Forest and is supposed to be releasing an upcoming album from the black metal band Grom, whose lead singer is the manager of Unholy Records.
According to a recent newspaper article, DiSiena also sells product through Resistance Records. Resistance's CEO, Erich Gliebe, told The Record in New Jersey, "[DiSiena]'s not a major label, but he's got his own thing going."
FINAL STAND RECORDS
Operated by Robert Huber, a member of the band Teardown as well as a doctoral candidate in physics at the University of Delaware, Final Stand Records sells the standard fare of hate CDs from bands like Bound for Glory and Platoon 14, and also financially backs hate music concerts.
Huber, who is a member of the "Skinhead Hall of Fame," recently taught an introductory physics course at his university, wearing a long-sleeved shirt to cover his racist tattoos. He co-organized Uprise 2006 with the Keystone State Skinheads. The event was heavily publicized by the National Socialist Movement, a strong sign of Huber's good standing with a variety of major hate groups.
Prior to Teardown, Huber was a guitar player for the hugely popular white-power band Blue Eyed Devils, along with his brother Ryan Huber, performing anthems like "Final Solution." Ryan Huber was the founder of the now defunct Tri-State Terror records, another white-power label.
In addition to marketing hate rock, Final Stand's Web site hosts a message board whose users are obsessive about minority players in the National Hockey League. The forum lists all non-white NHL players and links to their profiles on sports Web sites. "We don't like n------ here," explains white-power hockey fan "Dirty Chris."
FREE YOUR MIND PRODUCTIONS
After Panzerfaust Records collapsed in early 2005, when racists discovered that Panzerfaust founder Anthony Pierpont's mother was Mexican and that he had bragged in E-mails about having sex with Asian prostitutes, Pierpont's partner Bryan Cecchini seized control of Panzerfaust's Web site. Cecchini redirected users to a new white-power music distribution site, Free Your Mind Productions. Since then, Cecchini, an aging Skinhead who goes by the alias Byron Calvert, has turned Free Your Mind Productions into a major force in white-power music, with the help of the Confederate Hammerskins.
Panzerfaust's former Webmaster, Tom Martin, now runs the Free Your Mind site and acts as a moderator on its message forums. Martin and Cecchini have gone to great lengths to disassociate themselves from Panzerfaust and the disgraced Pierpont. The FYMP site carries a bold declaration that any deals with Pierpont by anyone in the movement "should be looked at as an act of treason."
Named after Ian Stuart Donaldson, the lead singer of Skrewdriver who died in a 1993 car accident, ISD Records was originally the music division of the British neo-Nazi Skinhead group Blood & Honour, which Donaldson founded. ISD Records is now based in the United States. It's operated by the Blood & Honour spin-off group Combat 18, which was originally aligned with Blood & Honour but then broke away after Donaldson's death. After the split, Combat 18 took control of the music division and renamed it ISD.
The label offers discs from some of the white power scene's most admired current bands, including a Blue Eyed Devils album containing the single, "Vandalize and Victimize," in addition to Skrewdriver albums considered classics by neo-Nazi thugs. The ISD Records Web site links directly to the Blood & Honour radio network, which streams hate music over the Internet. The site also offers free downloads of its previously released CDs to registered users.
Maple Shade, N.J.
The brainchild of Steve Wiegand, Micetrap Distribution has given white-power music devotees another outlet to purchase CDs, clothing and books since its creation in the late 1990s, despite Wiegand's own conflicts with other white supremacists.
Wiegand has battled with rival labels, organizations and Skinhead bands that have accused him of bootlegging music and videos and other shady business practices.
One accusation leveled against Wiegand came from Tom Martin, the Web operator for Free Your Mind Productions. Martin claims Wiegand bought the rights to the domain name Volksfront.net in a move to anger the Skinhead group of the same name.
Other white supremacists have claimed that Wiegand regularly hacks white-power Web sites. "Steve Weigand, AKA that piece of shit micecrap [sic] Distibution has highjacked [sic] the bloodandhonour.com website again," a mass E-mail sent out recently by Blood & Honour read.
Members of the now defunct hate band Blue Eyed Devils, which Final Stand Records operator Robert Huber used to play in, have also accused Wiegand of bootlegging their merchandise.
Wiegand's response to all these allegations is that they are made by his competitors in an effort to hurt his sales.
"This is nothing but a 'record label war' and the people supporting them are only helping to cause division," Wiegand once wrote on the racist Vanguard News Network message board about one of his critics.
Wiegand first delved into the world of Internet hate in 1996. That year, he started the White Pride Network at the Web address www.whitepride.com. Two years later, it evolved into Micetrap and the site became a major distributor of music in the movement.
Wiegand, who currently lives in New Jersey, was the manager of a convenience store at a Texaco gas station until he was fired after articles about Micetrap were printed in local newspapers.
In addition to Micetrap, Wiegand had at one time taken over the white supremacist 14 Words Press that was formerly run by imprisoned terrorist David Lane. But he sold the business after receiving a slew of negative publicity.
The Micetrap Web site currently sells CDs from groups such as Attack and H8Machine. Wiegand was a member of the National Alliance in 1999, but has since left the organization. After quitting the Alliance, he no longer sold music that came from the Alliance's Resistance Records label.
Wheat Ridge, Colo.
MSR's motto claims the hate rock distributor has been "In Service of the Anglo-Saxon Race since 1988!" Being one of the oldest, however, doesn't necessarily equate to being one of the best. On the Free Your Mind Productions message board, various members have accused MSR of bootlegging, a quite common practice in the semi-underground white-power music industry.
Although MSR is actively recruiting bands to put out hate music in different genres, such as country, bluegrass, folk and electronic, its Web site mostly peddles traditional hate rock bands, both foreign and domestic. It also sells Skrewdriver stickers, Nazi Skinhead videos and the Blood & Honour Field Manual, a guide on "how to be an effective racialist" that instructs its readers that "lone white wolves must be respected and left alone to stalk the worst enemies of our race."
Relatively new to the hate-music scene, the National Socialist Movement is seeking a foothold in the potentially lucrative business of peddling white power records as part of the NSM's rapid expansion and overall strategy to assert itself as the premier neo-Nazi organization in America.
NSM's record label, NSM88 Records, is based in Minneapolis and sells CDs from hate-music pioneers like Skrewdriver. NSM88 Records also offers albums by a plethora of white-power bands from both the U.S. and abroad. (Specially featured CD in January: "Operation Race War: Extreme Prejudice.")
Like other racist commercial Web sites, the slick NSM page also offers other items besides music -- books and DVDs about Nazis, hooligans and Adolph Hitler, some of which are sold at the symbolic price of $14.88. (The number 14 is short for the white supremacist slogan "14 words," which stands for, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children." Eighty-eight is neo-Nazi code for "Heil Hitler.")
There's also a section to buy NSM uniforms emblazoned with swastikas and the NSM logo. For the cost-conscious, the site offers a running, "members only" special on complete NSM uniforms with a brown shirt, armband, tie and patch for a mere $50.
OLD GUARD RECORDS
Formed in Texas in 2004, the staff at Old Guard Records promise to supply "ass-kicking rock and roll!" so long as it's white-power rockers doing the kicking. Unlike most hate rock distributors, which accept online credit card orders, Old Guard accepts only money orders mailed to a P.O. box – a sign of how small and shaky this business apparently still is.
In addition, Old Guard Records only has one album for sale, a recording by Youngblood, a band from Orange County, Calif., that once participated in neo-Nazi "Rock Against Communism" concerts. But the label has made some headway by working with the highly popular movement band Max Resist on its next album.
Once the premier record label and distributor on the white-power music scene, things just haven't been the same for Resistance Records lately.
Sales that once helped Resistance's owner, the neo-Nazi National Alliance, gross revenues of nearly $1 million a year are a fraction of what they used to be.
After several boycotts of the label by various white supremacist groups and disillusioned former members of the Alliance, Resistance's fall has given rise to other distributors who have stolen away customers and musicians, even though its operators claim to still have £1 million ($1.7 million) worth of inventory in its West Virginia warehouse.
Even Resistance's once-popular message board has lost most of its visitors. Most of those who frequent racist forums have abandoned the Web site, leaving the occasional poster who returns only to make disparaging remarks about the National Alliance and its struggling leadership that are quickly deleted.
While most of Resistance's travails followed the 2002 death of National Alliance founder William Pierce, it was comments that Pierce made while he was still alive that launched the downward spiral.
Shortly after Pierce's death, the Intelligence Report reported on extremely derogatory remarks he had made in secret at an NA leadership conference some four months earlier about other white supremacist groups, particularly the very Skinheads who happened to make up most of Resistance's customer base. The story also described how Erich Gliebe, the man who succeeded Pierce as leader and still runs Resistance today, had made similarly disparaging remarks about others on the racist scene at the same leadership conference.
The published remarks -- including Pierce's description of the "freaks and weaklings" inhabiting other racist groups -- caused a major backlash. Sales slipped as groups like the Keystone State Skinheads angrily boycotted Resistance.
But Resistance's troubles aren't entirely attributable to Gliebe and Pierce's sneering disdain for their customers. The label also had other issues, including poor management, as one poster on a racist message board noted recently.
"You shouldn't order from Ratsistance," the poster warned. "They tend to lose all your personal information to the feds. Not to mention Gliebe has admitted to not liking 90% of their customers. They do also have the worst customer service, always have, even when Dr. Pierce was still alive."
Not long after the National Alliance purchased Resistance Records in 1999, the neo-Nazi group decided to purchase another label specialized in the sub-genre of racist "black metal" music, known to the radical right as National Socialist Black Metal.
Racist black metal had had a growing following among white supremacists in Europe for over a decade. In 2000, therefore, the Alliance's then-leader, the late William Pierce, bought a stake in the Cymophane label through a German named Hendrik Möbus, a member of the racist black metal band Absurd who had close ties to the label.
Möbus was a neo-Nazi who had been convicted of killing a 14-year-old boy in 1993 and served five years in prison for it. He then violated the terms of his probation after his release by giving a Nazi salute and making derogatory remarks about his victim, both of which are illegal in Germany.
As a result, he fled to the United States, where he eventually helped broker the deal for Pierce to get a share of ownership in Cymophane. (Möbus was eventually arrested by U.S. authorities, deported back to Germany and re-imprisoned.)
Today, however, the Cymophane brand has faded. In its place now is the Alliance's new label, Unholy Records, which is used to sell the same black metal music it once sold through Cymophane.
"Unholy Records will strive to release bands that will wreak havoc and crush all in their path," writes the manager of the site, identified as Ymir G. Winter, a member of the black metal band Grom. "From thrash metal mayhem, to grim NSBM all the way to head stomping hatecore ... if the music is deadly, and the message genuine, Unholy will have it! The masses have been warned."
New York, N.Y.
A newspaper reporter once asked the owner of Vinland Winds, a man who identifies himself as "Grimnir Wotansvolk," to explain his vision for the future. "Easy," Grimnir replied. "We would export all the n------, Jews and newspaper reporters back to a little town called Tel Aviv, where they would be forced to toss Ariel Sharon's salad."
Based in New York, Vinland Winds mostly sells CDs by National Socialist Black Metal bands, many of them European. It also has collaborated with other music labels, including the National Alliance-owned NSBM label Unholy Records, to produce original recordings from bands like the black metal group Grom.
The Vinland Winds Web page, which features drawings of Celtic warriors brandishing swords, links to a site dedicated to freeing convicted German neo-Nazi child-murderer Hendrik Möbus.
WHITE DEVIL INDUSTRIES
Ian Morrow, a leader of the Confederation of Racialist Working Class Skinheads, drew the ire of many of his fellow white supremacists when reports surfaced last year that Morrow had cut a deal with Anthony Pierpont to buy up Pierpont's leftover stock after Panzerfaust Records collapsed. (Pierpont had been disgraced in the movement when reports of his Mexican heritage and dalliances with Asian prostitutes emerged, and most white supremacists refused to have any further dealings with him.) Faced with widespread calls for a boycott of his label, White Devil Industries, Morrow tried to deflect the criticism by explaining in several online arguments that he planned to distribute the tainted stock to white-power prisoners across the country.
"I bought what was left of the sinking ship with the sole purpose of continuing to provide recruiting tools and whatever support that I may to political prisoners, etc., and explore all other avenues that might further our cause. I do not support 'g--- ****ers' or any other deviants," he wrote.
Last August, Morrow was charged with beating an off-duty Hispanic security guard at a bar in Ventura, Calif. He was also charged with two counts of possession of a deadly weapon. At press time, the cases were ongoing, and Morrow was out of jail on a $130,000 bond.