Controversial Metal Band Taake Cancels Most of North American Tour

PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images
Taake

"It was not our wish to cancel, but the decision was forced on us by the illegal activities of Antifa and its supporters who applied pressure on venues and promoters to cancel shows."

After the resurgence of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim accusations against Norwegian metal band Taake, the group has officially canceled 10 dates of their upcoming tour. The 19-date tour was scheduled to kick off at the end of March.

The backlash started more than a decade ago in 2007, when lead singer Hoest painted a swastika on his chest before a Germany performance. He later told Terrorizer, "We are definitely not Nazis. We only used that symbol as another symbol for evil. The usual symbols, the pentagram and inverted cross, don't invoke reactions anymore."

The cancellations began with the New York City show, and the other venues soon followed suit. The opening act, King Dude, removed himself from the tour, telling Brooklyn Vegan, "The banner under which people enter a King Dude concert must be welcoming to all people of all walks of life, race, religion, gender etc."

Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli even canceled his tour date at Kansas City's Riot Room because the venue also booked Taake. "If you allow a nazi band to grace your stage you support Nazis," he said on Twitter.

[Editor's note: the band later released a lengthy statement on Facebook explaining the tour's cancelation.] 

"It is with great regret that we have to inform you that Taake's US Tour has been cancelled," the band wrote. "Despite all those incredible people who stepped up and tried to help us save the tour, and to whom we are more grateful than we can express, time and logistics are just not on our side. It was not our wish to cancel, but the decision was forced on us by the illegal activities of Antifa and its supporters who applied pressure on venues and promoters to cancel shows.

Pressure, it has to be said, that has frequently been accompanied with threats of violence both towards those involved in the organisation and towards any fans attending (not to mention the bands who would be playing). Why these threats are not reported to the police, we don't know. We have explained on many, many occasions, the history behind what caused the problems, and there are plenty of articles in the unbiased press and on social media where you can read the truth of it, but just for the sake of clarity Taake is not now, has never been, and never will be a Nazi band. What we want to address here is the cancellation of the tour itself."

Check out the entire statement below.