Taake NYC show cancelled (updated)

Norwegian black metallers Taake recently announced U.S. tour dates with King Dude in tow. The run was set to kick off in New York City at Le Poisson Rouge on March 24th….but according to a tweet by LPR earlier today, the NYC show is now cancelled:

Please note that the Taake show scheduled for March 24th has been cancelled. We are providing full refunds to all ticket holders. Please email info@lprnyc.com with any questions you may have.

Here’s BrooklynVegan to explain what is going on:

New York City Antifa urged the venue to rethink hosting the show due to accusations of Nazism that have been directed at Taake in the past.

Antifa groups in other cities and other Twitter users have been urging their local venues to cancel their Taake shows as well.

Taake is playing Le Poisson Rouge @lprnyc on March 24th in NYC. Please let the space know how you feel about such matters: info@lprnyc.com, marketing@lprnyc.com, booking@lprnyc.com, (212) 505-3474

Here’s a little backstory. In 2007, Taake frontman Hoest appeared at a show in Germany with a swastika smeared on his chest, above his inverted cross tattoo. As per a 2008 Blabbermouth post reporting on an interview found in issue #178 of Terrorizer Magazine, Hoest has stated:

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.

Also in 2008, Hoest took to Taake‘s official website for the following message:

I do realize that it is rather unforgivable to display a swastika in Germany, yes. On the other hand I strongly feel that Black Metal bands should allow themselves to use any kind of destructive/negative symbolism, as the basis of this expression is above all: Evil! Black Metal is still not, and should never become, harmless like all other styles of housebroke metal. Frankly, I find it preposterous that we get away with lyrics about murder, torture, rape, necrophilia and suicide, but get boycotted for wearing a symbol (which, by the way, has nothing to do with the band’s concept) on one single occasion. A part of our mission is to invoke negative feelings, so I found it quite appropriate to remind our German audience of their biggest shame. Some understood it and handled it well, whilst others overreacted far beyond expectance. It is embarassing to have to point out these things over and over again, but as usual humanity proves to be ignorant.

We reached out to LPR earlier today inquiring about show’s status and their marketing department sent us the following statement:

The show is completely cancelled and all ticket buyers have been issued refunds. It is our mission to create a safe space for everyone in our community and this show does not meet that standard.

Well there you have it, folks. Taake have yet to share their thoughts on the cancelled NYC show or any other cancelled show for that matter. We’ll keep you posted if more details surface.

UPDATE 2/16: Regarding the cancellation of the NYC show, Hoest has issued the following statement:

I have clearly explained many times throughout the years that me wearing a swastika once at a German concert was not at all meant to show support for the nazi ideology. It was all about doing something extreme for the sake of it, which certainly backfired. But it has now been 11 years and the band has even performed in Israel! Anyway, similar incidents have not happened in Taake’s 25 year long career and will obviously not happen again. But certain parties seem to find this cold case unforgivable nevertheless, insisting on wilful misunderstanding. So, once and for all, Taake is not a racist band. Never has been, never will be. Still claiming so is as ridiculous and unfounded as are the attempts at sabotaging our highly anticipated shows.

UPDATE 2/17: MetalInsider.net spoke with Hoest regarding the NYC cancellation and more, here’s a small excerpt:

You’ve been photographed wearing a t-shirt that has an Islamic symbol with a line through it. Does this mean you are against Muslim people? Does this mean you are against Islam or does it mean something different? Similarly, you have an inverted cross tattoo on your torso. Does this mean you are against Christian people or is it about something else as well?

I am not necessarily against individual adherents of said fairytales, it depends on the way they interpret it all, I suppose. But the scriptures are certainly a load of extremely outdated contradictory horseshit full of supremacy and totalitarianism, hatred against nonbelievers, and the denial of followers’ freedom of thought (among other unnatural illusions.) I could go on and on about this, but I have better things to do.

Good luck America, home of The First Amendment!

UPDATE 2/19: King Dude has dropped off the tour, he writes:

For reasons out of my control, and frankly out of my realm of understanding, I will be removing myself from the tour with Taake. It must be made clear that I am a Luciferian and do not preach hate, nor would I endorse a setting that allows hate to happen. I believe in both personal and spiritual growth as well as the spread of knowledge beyond all sacrifice and at all costs.

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. This should go without saying as this has always been the way I have conducted my concerts and I’m not sure why it should change for this tour. I absolutely do not welcome political discourse at my concerts as it has no place there.

My concerts are a place that should be a sanctuary for everyone, a place for people to find church without having to go to one.

Stay tuned here for updates regarding make up shows to all of you. Thanks again for your continued support.

With the Light and Love of Lucifer,

– King Dude

UPDATE 2/20: Hip hop artist Talib Kweli has canceled his upcoming show at the Riot Room in Kansas City after the venue allegedly refused to apologize for booking Taake. Here’s his quote via Pitchfork:

My position is that the venue should not want to host that band whether the band cancelled or not, and should issue an apology for even booking the band. The response I received was that the venue did not want to choose sides between a band that sympathizes with racism and bigotry and me. I think it’s time to choose a side. I find it appalling that the Riot Room refuses to apologize for booking this band. I wouldn’t feel safe bringing my team, family and fans into a venue that is sympathetic to white nationalism, so I’ve cancelled the show. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to performing in Kansas City.

UPDATE 2/21: The Riot Room have officially cancelled Taake‘s March 31st show, the venue posted the following on Facebook:

We have decided to cancel the Taake event scheduled to be held March 31st at The Riot Room. Refunds will be processed immediately for anyone who purchased tickets. As a venue, it is our priority to provide a safe, inclusive, and enjoyable environment for all patrons, artists, and staff. This always has, and will always continue to be our primary goal.

As BrooklynVegan points out:

Taake’s NYC and Chicago shows were already cancelled, and their Boston show at Middle East has been moved to Once Ballroom. Their 3/27 show at Baltimore Soundstage is no longer on the venue’s schedule and same goes for their 3/28 show at Pittsburgh’s Rex Theatre and their 4/1 show at Denver’s Globe Hall. Their 4/7 show at LA’s 1720 is now listed as “TBD.”

UPDATE 2/22: An alleged Antifa group out of Kansas City has publicly threatened The Riot Room, Taake and their fans. Metal Insider reports:

While many have speculated and instantly spread blame on the band themselves, it appears one aspect has been overlooked. Alleged Antifa members have been publicly placing threats on the band and their fans and are planning violent protests during the night of the scheduled show. Therefore, it does make more sense why more venues are cancelling the event altogether.

You can read the following statement below that came from a group called Kansas City Revolutionary Collective:

“The scumbags at the Riot Room have invited notorious nazi metal band Taake to Kansas City. We call on all area antifascists to show up the night of the show pissed and ready to send a message to the Riot Room and any other venue that might consider booking nazi acts, that if you bring nazis to our city you will get fucked up.

Come out on Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m. to the Riot Room, prepared with masks, sticks, shields, and whatever else you might need to make Taake, their fans and enablers fear for their safety. Enough with nazi metal bands, enough with the Riot Room and their nazi apologia. Death to fascists!”

UPDATE 2/27: Is Taake’s entire U.S tour cancelled? It looks so, here’s more from Metal Insider:

After two years of battling with visa issues, Taake fans were ecstatic to hear that the band’s issues were resolved and they’d announced their long-awaited rescheduled North American tour dates. Unfortunately, Antifa members have been resilient about the band’s return, posting threats to the group and concertgoers, resulting in select venues cancelling the show altogether.

We had previously heard about the NYC show being canceled, as well as Boston changing their venue, and King Dude dropping off of the bill. And an artist that had no idea who Taake was denouncing the venue where he was playing in Kansas City appears to have gotten another show canceled. Whis we spoke to the band’s mastermind, Hoest himself, about the NYC show, the band’s return to the U.S. doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.

UPDATE 2/28: Taake‘s U.S. tour has been officially cancelled. Here’s a statement from Hoest:

It is with great regret that we have to inform you that Taake’s US Tour has been cancelled. 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.

This cancellation is unfortunate in many ways, not just for the bands who were going to take part. Not just for the ordinary working Americans with families to support and bills to pay who have lost much needed income because of it. Not just for the fans who wanted to see the bands. Not just for music fans in general. But, also, and more importantly, for America as a whole.

Why? Because it is the ultimate demonstration of how, through the dissemination of lies, misinformation and unfounded accusations, along with credible threats of violence, a small minority of left wing agitators are able to force their agenda on the majority, and deprive music fans of their freedom to attend concerts and go about their day to day activities without the fear of reprisals and retaliation.

And these agitators won’t stop once they have destroyed the soft targets from Europe and other parts of the world. Their next targets will be American music, American art, American literature, American theatre, American cinema. Anything, in fact, that does not adhere strictly to their views. And if this reminds you of the McCarthy witch hunts, it is because that is EXACTLY what it is like.

Whilst none of us blame venues for cancelling because they are afraid of violence, we do deplore the excuses presented by some of them. The desire to “protect” their audience and staff, to create “safe spaces” is not a need brought about by the bands involved, nor their fans. It is the masked thugs hiding behind the banner of Antifa and other organisations like them, who are doing all the threatening. And maybe we should also remind these venues that so many of the musical genres today exist due to those other small venues back in the day who dared stand up to threats and gave a voice to those musicians who brought us Blues and Jazz – the basis of so much of today’s music.

We would also like to speak out about celebrities like Talib Kweli, who was unfortunate enough to have allowed himself to be played by the lies spread by Antifa and who, as a result, issued statements that are libellous and slanderous. His heart may have misguidedly been in the right place, but his brain, and his legal advisors, were not. Had he bothered to check the facts he would have realised that he had put himself in a position of looking like someone who doesn’t know, or understand, or even care about, all the facts, and who is easily manipulated by others to dance to their tune.

We should also mention those members of the press who failed to fact check and did not bother to contact us, or anyone else for that matter, for our side of the story. They simply went right ahead and printed libellous statements. This is irresponsible journalism at its worst, and we can’t just single out inexperienced editors of webzines. Complicit in this are long-established and (once) respected publications. Their actions show the utter contempt they have for facts and the disrespect they have for their readers.

Ending on a positive note, we really do need thank those who stood by us, and especially the venues who refused to be cowed, and those that stepped in offering us alternatives for cancelled shows. We have had messages from all over the world, and from people of all political and religious persuasions, offering not just their support, but also offering their help. And these are not just our fans. We have been contacted by people who admit that they had never heard of us, or that they hate black metal, or that they hate Taake, but have nevertheless felt compelled to let us know of the disgust they feel at the way Antifa, and their like, demand slavish adherence to their agenda, and punish anyone who defies them, riding roughshod over the freedoms of the American people to decide for themselves.

You, my friends, do not need to apologise for the lies and actions of a fringe group. You are the majority, you are the ones who refuse to bow your heads to those who would dictate how you live your lives, and who attempt to restrict your freedoms – you are the ones who can do something about it.