Kinetik Update 2012: Ad·ver·sary’s Performance

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written by I Die You Die
May 17, 2012 | Category: Interviews, News

We were contacted a few days before leaving for Kinetik by Jairus Khan from Ad·ver·sary. He told us that he was planning a visual presentation for his set at the festival which he anticipated would attract a lot of attention, and wanted to speak to us about it. The presentation related to themes and imagery in the work of two other artists on the opening night Kinetik bill, specifically Combichrist and Nachtmahr. The presentation, which can be viewed here, or at the bottom of this post, openly critiques what Jairus perceives as the use of misogynist and racist tropes in those bands’ music and publicity materials. We spoke to Jairus after seeing an early version of the video.
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IDUD: Before we talk about the presentation proper, can you explain why you wanted to talk to us about it ahead of time?

Jairus:
I didn’t want there to be any confusion about what I was saying. It would be easy for things to get twisted through the telephone game, and I’d rather there be a clear description somewhere of what happened and why.

IDUD: Okay, so can you tell us what the genesis of the presentation was?

Jairus: It was when I got booked to play Kinetik, and I found out that I was scheduled to open for Nachtmahr and Combichrist. Given how strongly I feel about the way they do what they do, I didn’t think I could just get up there and play and pretend as though I wasn’t going to be followed by these two acts that I’ve openly criticized. I actually considered just cancelling my performance, and being done with it. I don’t want to be associated with what they do, and I don’t want to be a support act for them, even in a festival setting. But I took some time to think about it, and at some point I was listening to Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death and thought, “What would Jello Biafra do?” He’d use the stage time to tell people why he’s pissed off. And so here we are.

IDUD: Do you think your statement is in danger of being compromised by the nature of where and how you’re presenting it? In other words, is the dust that could be kicked up by directly confronting these bands going to overshadow what you’re trying to say?

Jairus: Oh, absolutely that’s a danger. I think that’s a danger any time you speak up about something you feel strongly about. People dismiss it as drama, or a stunt, or whatever else. Are some people going to think I’m just trying to sell more records or whatever? Probably. I went out of my way in the video to not take any unfair shots at the bands. I didn’t use photos of them where they looked ridiculous or nerdy or drunk, I used photos and media released by the bands. I didn’t quote them out of context, I didn’t attack them about their personal lives. I want the focus to be on what they’re doing as artists, and I’m doing what I can to be fair about it, so that the message doesn’t get overshadowed by the medium.

IDUD: You’re potentially in a position to directly address Thomas Rainier and Andy LaPlegua, but from the early version of the presentation we saw it seems aimed at the audience rather than the artists it’s responding to. Do you have any interest in actually addressing them?

Jairus: They’ve been asked in interviews about the imagery they use, and they brush it off. Andy will say in one interview that anything sexist is written from the point of view of the Combichrist character, then in another interview that he’s never said anything sexist, then in another interview that there’s no character anymore at all, and that he’s writing from a personal point of view now. I don’t know how effective it will be to address them directly in a video that they’re probably not going to be present for, even if it’s posted online. I’d rather speak to the audience and start a conversation with them about why we accept and embrace the images that we do.

After his performance today, we spoke to Jairus and Nick Thériault of Antigen Shift (who joined Ad·ver·sary on stage tonight) about the reaction from the crowd.

ID:UD: How do you think it went?

Jairus: I think it went pretty well. We really had no idea how it was going to be received, but people cheered at the start, at the start, at the end and all the way through.

Nick: I think people were a little reluctant to react at first, but once the message came through they realized they were down with it and started cheering.

ID:UD: What are you hoping people take away from this?

Jairus: We hope people think about their music, we hope that when an artist like Combichrist, Nachtmahr, or whoever else uses that kind of imagery, that regardless of whether the artists involved are great guys or not, they’re normalizing violence, they’re normalizing the marginalization of women.

Nick: They’re making something that should be completely unacceptable cool and aesthetically pleasing and that’s irresponsible. Because they’re directly in a position to influence.

UPDATE: We individually spoke with Andy LaPlegua and Thomas Rainer roughly an hour after the performance, neither of whom had been present during the performance but had been made aware of it.

Andy: Well, I didn’t see it, someone just came and told me about it. I think it’s really cool. That’s what he thinks and I think he should be allowed to say so. It’s a good thing, there’s nothing negative about what he’s doing, obviously. I totally agree about bands like Nachtmahr as well, obviously using symbolism of something that is extraordinarily negative. In Combichrist, for my sake, I always did it as a fictional character. No one would say that Wes Craven is sexist because he has a crazy scene in a movie. It’s a part of what he’s doing, he’s doing horror movies, I’m doinghorror stories with Combichrist. Lately we’re doing less of the Combichrist character because I’m frankly getting sick of doing that thing, it’s getting boring, and I’m the first to admit that when it’s done with it’s done. And I’m the first to admit, you know, how many times can you say “fuck” or “slut” in the same song? It was a storyline, something I was doing as a comic book character kind of thing and it’s still been hanging in a little bit because I couldn’t completely give up the character, but if you look at the new stuff we’re doing we’ve been going more and more away from it.

Andy: I don’t have anything bad to say about him [Jairus] at all. I think it’s cool what he’s doing, and he can get some awareness to people who I think took these things maybe seriously when it was meant as some kind of a parody, and little bit of irony and as a character. Suddenly you have people walking around in the scene and they’re dressed the part and behave like that because they think maybe we thought it was cool, but that was never the point. You see people dressing up, I don’t wanna say it badly, but like strippers and going like “oh, I’m a slut” and that’s never what we intended to do. It’s all like fan-fiction.

I have nothing negative to say to him at all. I have nothing to say in my defense for what I’ve done, I don’t feel like I should have to defend myself. It’s all fiction. Everybody who knows me knows that I am not the character. I am not pro or anti anything, really. I’m a realist, I know what’s wrong and I know what’s right, but I also believe in freedom of speech, and freedom of writing, about writing stuff I like to write about, if it’s fantasy or personal. And sometimes fans can get a little confused about what is what, but usually it’s very simple: if it’s really fucked up, it’s fiction. If it’s something emotional, it’s not. It’s very easy, but maybe people get it mixed up.

ID:UD: So moving away from that was a deliberate reaction to people taking these things seriously?

Andy: Yeah, definitely. It’s kind of like, if you start doing something for art or for a storyline and suddenly people take this seriously, they actually think that’s how they should behave, you know, they think “Oh, we gotta go drink and fight and fuck and get some sluts”, you know, it’s bullshit. It’s turning into Scientology, you know, like “you really believe this shit, it’s a fictional book”.

ID:UD: And that’s something you’ve encountered?

Andy: Yeah, I meet people all the time who take these things seriously. And you step back and go like, “this is not what I intended, never what I intended.” It’s also kind of like a director being blamed because someone walked out and did what he did in a movie. You can’t really blame the movie-maker. You have to blame the person who did it. They would have done something stupid anyway. Same thing with school shootings, they blame it on KMFDM and stuff like that. You can’t really do that, it’s not the band, it’s obviously the person, how they grew up. They would do something terrible anyway.

However, I did on purpose step more and more away from the character, because I never really identified myself with the character as a person, I identified with it as stuff I like to watch in horror movies, nothing I ever looked at as serious, but just a bit of entertainment. I’ve never been racist, never been sexist, never been violent. The only times I’ve gotten in fights was twice in all the time we’ve toured: one was to stop a fight in a pit, the other was a fight with security after I tossed out someone who started a fight. If anything, I’m exactly the opposite of the character. But I also let it live for a while. I intentionally never made too many comments on it. I thought it was kind of funny, sitting back and watching the social media and all the speculating. It was like, “yeah, just think whatever you want.” But after a while it got to the point where I deleted Facebook because I was sick of social media and people talking. I have my own personal life and I don’t need to deal with people who don’t know me and people who judge me for a comic book character I created.

——

Thomas: It’s like we say in the intro of our show: “You have enemies. Good. That means you have stood up for something in your life.” Some people can be critical of your stuff, but I think the industrial scene has been far too tame in the last years. The industrial scene is rooted in the punk scene, to stir up shit, to be controversial. It’s been all about that. And most of all the industrial scene has been too mainstream and trying to adapt to political correctness and all that bullshit for far too long. It’s like the movie “Se7en”, there’s a quote, “It’s not enough to whisper in people’s ears anymore, you have hit them with a sledgehammer.”

——

UPDATE: At Thomas Rainer’s request, we conducted a lengthier interview with him about these issues. That interview can be read here.

132 Responses

  • [...] 'PSA' video backing his performance can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/42322595 Kinetik Update 2012: Ad·ver·sary’s Performance We were contacted a few days before leaving for Kinetik by Jairus Khan from Ad·ver·sary. He told [...]

  • Karyn says:

    Thanks for delivering the goods on what’s happening in Montreal for those of us who couldn’t make it.

  • ENDIF says:

    I love that someone in a position to lose by taking a stand has the balls to do so.

    • Siobhan O'Neill says:

      Agreed, Endif. Totally agreed.

    • MAX1MUS says:

      he also has plenty to gain as the underdog in the situation. Like for example right now attention is being drawn to his band who many have never heard of simply for speaking out against bigger bands. Speaking up always has it’s +/-’s. In the end he’ll attract plenty of attention (both positive and negative) which will only help people take notice.

      Jairus or whoever he is has the right to his opinion and I agree with some things he’s said, but I don’t think people need a “mom” or another “Tipper Gore” over reacting to things. I think we as adults should be able to realize the difference between fantasy/reality and right/wrong. It’s obvious the Combichrist video he used as an example is a “fictional story” the band is portraying and they aren’t supporting beating women. If I go see a Saw movie that doesn’t mean I’m going to take it seriously and start mimicking it. If you do then obviously the problem lies in you not the movie.

      If you don’t like a movie or it’s story, don’t watch it. If you don’t like a song or it’s meaning, don’t listen to it. If you don’t like a band, don’t support them. Everyone has the right to express their opinions, but I think Jairus (like most people going to this extent to make a point) is stretching things well beyond anything that was ever intended by the likes of Combichrist. The General Lee on the Dukes of Hazard had a rebel flag on it too, does that mean I walked away from the show thinking any differently of anything? LOL No. Why? Because that’s simply ridiculous.

      • ARPBaby says:

        I was just going to point out the Dukes of Hazzard connection. Most people, even in the South, who use the rebel flag use it more as a generalized fuck you to people telling them what to do, not as a sign of racist intentions.

        And as a woman, I don’t find Combichrist offensive, I find them funny. Stupid sometimes, but not offensive. What’s offensive to me is another sensitive guy white-knighting on my behalf, whole thing reeks of holier-than-thou “there, there, dear, I’ll take care of this” patronizing.

        Furthermore, by making his own extrapolations go so much further beyond what the bands actually did he just makes himself look silly.

        • john says:

          I think there is some irony in the south using the rebel flag as a symbol of “fuck you – don’t tell me what to do” considering the first time they tried that it got them the biggest bitch slap (additional irony in using this term in this discussion noted) in history.

        • Pope Guilty says:

          >What’s offensive to me is another sensitive guy white-knighting on my behalf, whole thing reeks of holier-than-thou “there, there, dear, I’ll take care of this” patronizing.

          Do you seriously think the only reason a man would object to misogynist filth is because he’s condescending to women? What a terrible opinion.

          • Susan says:

            I agree. I’m white, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a stand against racist caricatures of black people, or that it’s “condescending” if I do. I’m not Jewish, but that doesn’t mean I have no good reason to oppose anti-semitism. By the same logic, if a man takes an intelligent stand against sexism, perhaps it’s because he believes that sexism is wrong. There are reasons for taking a stand that transcend narrow self-interest.

  • MissyK8 says:

    So impressed with Jairus and Nick for standing up for what they believe in. I completely agree with their stand, and whilst I have enjoyed the music of Combichrist and Nachtmahr in the past (not ashamed to admit that!), I have found myself becoming more and more disagreeable with what they represent for a long time. Combichrist’s ‘Throat Full of Glass’ video being particularly vile. I look forward to see if Andy or Thomas have something to say on the matter.

  • bob says:

    So much respect to Ad·ver·sary for doing this! Thank you! <3

  • Xian Vox (a female DJ in Los Angeles) says:

    Fucking. Bravo.

    There’s a growing list of songs by various artists that I refuse to spin at my clubs due to insulting content of the some the lyrics. And Combichrist’s “Give Head If You Got It” actually was the song that inspired me to draw the line two years ago.

  • Millipede says:

    Serious respect to Jairus & Nick for taking a stand and drawing a clear line.

  • Christian Major, from Montreal says:

    I’ve been saying for years that Combichrist was formulaic crap. They almost quoted me word for word, and I love them for it. I had the utmost respect for the lyrical and artistic content in Icon of Coil, but Combichrist’s whole schtick basically remains a angry and confused white teenager’s broken heart shrieking. It’s Andy and Industrial’s equivalent to the pop formulas that created those crappy Top 40 hits.

    Then again, what should you expect from a guy with “Party” tattooed on his dick?

  • Iggy says:

    If you guys think that they’re bad, wait till you get a load of Miss Construction on Sunday.

    • Seamus says:

      Granted I’ve not heard everything by them, but the songs I’ve heard from Miss Construction have generally been in the goofy/stupid camp, rather than anything explicitly sexist or hateful. I could, of course, be entirely wrong on the matter though.

  • Alexey (AMBASSADOR21) says:

    Jairus and Nick, you did a fucking right thing, guys! Deep respect!

  • chris coreline says:

    I have found and donned a hat so I can take it off to these gentlemen.

    This took balls, conviction and an artistry of execution I thought was beyond the arts of the modern ‘industrial’. I can only pray that this is the first step in a counter-action against the dominant populist sentiment. Industrial culture has become the exact antithesis of the vibrant and challenging arts movement of its genesis. Those few powerful bands use distasteful images and foul lyrics to shock while the actual artistry of their music becomes more and more static.

    For what its worth: ill be watching the reaction of the audience with rapt attention – if there is to be a reclaiming of industrial for the art and music from the fashion and populism I will march with you.

    Chris Coreline – retired awesome rock star of epic proportions.

    • Kai - S.K.E.T. says:

      And so did I.

      Lovely job done by Jairus and Nick. Huge R E S P E C T !!! for them!

    • lars b amble says:

      there is a reclaiming. it’s called “the rest of the world and electronic dance community outside of the so-called industrial/goth scene” and it’s been happening since the dawn of industrial itself. genesis p-orridge created acid and progressive house long after industrial – and only the goth scene has stayed stuck to a now-completely-meaningless label that isn’t even describing the music they listen to accurately anymore. leave the scene and start going to other clubs – be they house, trance, whatever – you’ll find more respect for the music, and better people. period.

  • Z! says:

    The song that accompanied the video was fucking awesome no less.

  • Matty says:

    Awesome!

  • ApocryphA says:

    This took courage to make and I respect Jairus and Nick very much for making it! I’m so sick of the violence and marginalization against women in this genre, it is unacceptable and uncool!!!

  • allibat says:

    Cheers to these guys for saying what we should say more often and louder. Promoters…pay attention. And I don’t want to hear “money talks”. There is a point where it is about self-respect for ourselves and the music we all love.

  • Frode Hindrum says:

    The CombiChrist character is basically the same character as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac – and the concept is the same – this should be kept in mind seeing/hearing anything made by CC….. I think JTHM and CombiChrist has a very important point !! If you do not know JTHM by Jhonen Vasquez then check him out….. this is HORROR; I really hate it when people claim that horror-movies or horror-culture cause violence !! This is like blaming computergames, OR movies OR music for peoples behaviour……. or calling Death In June nazis…… it is BULLSHIT !!

    So….. I really love Ad.ver.sary – but I completely disagree with this kind of rethoric – you cannot blame art or music for violence ….. or chauvinism…. or politics…. or hate…. or love…..

    Because in the end blaming THE IMAGE takes the responsibility away from THE INDIVIDUAL – the individual is always responsible – no matter how many horror-movies, or CombiChrist records, or Death In June records or Johnny The Homicidal Maniac cartoons the individual has read – it is always the INDIVIDUALs responsibility to QUESTION AUTHORITY and THINK FOR YOURSELF !!

    • Seamus says:

      To be honest, Andy himself said it somewhat better. And with less overuse of the upper case ;)

      • Frode Hindrum says:

        I agree….. I got carried away and lost my temper – I get so sick and tired of all the stupidity that overflows this world at all times so I had a hard time controlling myself – buy yeah – you´re right ! ;)

        And at the time I wrote this Andys reply was not yet published, it got published right after I pressed the submit button……

        I have been discussing this matter with Andy in person back in 2007 – and I told him I thought the CombiChrist character resembled Johnny The Homicidal Maniac very much, and he said “WoW! You´re the first person to say that, and you are absolutely right!” and he went on to show me his wife´s tatoo of JTHM – I was quite amazed that noone had remarked this to him before since the similarities are very obvious to me…. :)

    • Wren says:

      Comparing JTHM to Combichrist is like comparing a poet to a mewling child.

      JTHM takes a lot of time and consideration into the inner workings of depression, the confusion of living, life and is very introspective. If you really want to get into it, Nny would reject EVERYTHING CC stands for, and I don’t think Johnen would appreciate the correlation either. JTHM is really NOT horror, it uses the medium to achieve greater things. While CC clearly does not.

      CC uses this shit to be ‘shocking’ they don’t achieve anything with ‘give head if you’ve got it’. There is no deeper meaning to it. It’s trash. And it’s charming that you hold humanity to such a standard, but a lot of people will use any excuse to justify and perpetuate misogynistic and racist behavior.

      Also Andy is the Mitt Romney of industrial music, he’ll say anything to get on the right side of the issue. He totally threw Thomas under the bus, and is a cunt regardless.

    • Kat says:

      I agree with you about JTHM as far as the violent themes go, but not the sexism. Johnny was not a sexist. I’ve read all the books and I never once saw him slut-shame a woman, try to force her to have sex with him, or assume that because he had a penis it was his (expletive deleted)-given right to stick it in whoever he wanted. I realize that the band probably don’t feel this way about women, but their character does and that gives a lot of immature bastards one more perceived excuse to treat women like shit. To me, that’s a bit of a problem.

    • Ghyt Wembpang says:

      uhhh… Nny is Vvery clearly not only not a sexist, but against sex at all. In fact the thing that made him kill that awful Jimmy character was the fact that not only had he been copying Nny’s murders because he thought it was cool. but the fact that he had raped that one girl before he killed her. And don’t forget his date with Devi; he was pretty shy for a lot of what was shown and only ended up attacking her because the doughboys and to ‘immortalize the moment.’

      also it seems to me that Jairus isn’t saying that it’s Combichrist’s fault that this stuff happens, he’s criticizing the prevalence of such themes as sexism in not just music but in art and society overall. The more people speaking up about such an issue, the better.

  • ic says:

    I get their message and it obviously needed to be addressed since a lot of people are applauding this effort. I just have to play devils advocate for just a tap…. Artists are responsible for their choices of imagery and their lyrics. I get that. But what about the models/actresses that chose and consented to being portrayed in this manner? Obviously they have no problem being shown in misogynistic/degrading roles. If we are going to hash out accountability, shouldn’t they have a sense of responsibility for how their gender is being portrayed? Didn’t seem like they minded much if they went through with it.

    for the record I don’t care for any of the bands involved and it has nothing to do with imagery or lyrical content.

  • Alex says:

    By this guy’s logic, somebody go arrest Manson for the columbine massacre. What a joke

    • Seamus says:

      Except Manson never once depicted any school shootings in his videos. And Jairus was not calling for anybody to be reprimanded in any way, more for people who didn’t like these videos (of which there are many), to air their disgust. This was about starting discussion, not stifling it.

      • Frode Hindrum says:

        I like horror movies, I love splatter and I love gore….. I love porn, hardcore porn; but in no way does that resemble my own sex-life – or my day to day life for that matter…..

        … to show disgust for violence, racism, hatred, abuse, rape is quite natural – but I find it strange to show disgust for the image of violence, racism, hatred etc. – it is almost like someone says – “don´t tell us these things exist, we want to live happily in our bubble of rainbows and delight”; it resembles denial – and denial is never a good idea……..

        Image is one thing, the concrete action is another – if people have difficulties separating the two then that is a mental problem that they must confront on their own……. to tell the world to stop showing them disgusting images is very immature…..

    • alexis says:

      exactly!

  • Brad says:

    I greatly enjoyed this video. It’s very well-synced to the audio, and it makes jabs at two bands that I find shallow and annoying.

    However I think Andy’s response is fair, at least if he feels he’s being held to a double standard. It’s difficult to say his “in-character” approach is entirely different from what Ministry and Foetus were doing in the late ’80s, and they were never so harshly criticized for it. I don’t think anyone takes the behaviour in songs like “Flashback” [http://youtu.be/LxiggKI6wC0] or “English Faggot/Nothin Man” [http://youtu.be/wzylm9fdUxQ] too seriously, so why are people freaking out over Combichrist now? Then again, Combichrist’s attitude is perhaps much more similar to late ’90s nü-metal [see http://www.avclub.com/articles/part-9-1998-youre-either-with-korn-and-limp-bizkit,51471/ and the following installment], which IS reviled and ridiculed by most decent people…

    Thomas’ response is just dumb, in that he doesn’t seem to realize how tame and mainstreamed his own music (and Andy’s) is compared to actual industrial. These guys are really of no relevance to “the industrial scene.” They make dance club music.

    I’m kind of curious how A-V-S feels about harsher industrial bands with unsavory imagery/themes. If you were playing a festival with acts like Whitehouse, NON, Con-Dom, Brighter Death Now, Sutcliffe Jügend, Navicon Torture Technologies, Genocide Organ, etc., who would you call out as crossing the line, and why?

    • d says:

      pretty much what this guy said

    • eyevocal says:

      Actually, if you didn’t know, the lyrics to Foetus’ “English Faggot/Nothin Man” were actually influenced by a crank phone message Jim Thirlwell (who is Australian, BTW) received on his answering machine. They don’t reflect his own feelings.

      • Brad says:

        I might have heard something like that. Doesn’t exactly explain the rapist (“Don’t Hide It, Provide It”) and racist (“Hauss-On-Fah”) songs on the same album, but yeah, I doubt any of this reflects his own feelings. The songs are credited to a fictional person, “Clint Ruin.”

        • Princess Stomper says:

          The difference is that Thirlwell is very forthright in interviews that he sings about what scares him (racism, violence) rather than just trying to be mischievous a la Marilyn Manson. If you take a song like Free James Brown, he’s alternating the lyrics “I want to die with my hands around a black man’s throat” with the line “I want to die with my hands around a white man’s throat” to show that whichever way round it goes, it’s equally horrifying. Put that next to Mighty Whity or Cold Day in Hell (describing nightmares about the holocaust) and it’s obvious he’s anti-racist without even reading an interview. Another difference is that when he was directly asked if he was racist or sexist, he vehemently denied it. That’s very different to Nachtmahr’s answer, in which they just say they’re a different breed of fascist. What Combichrist are guilty of – aside from crappy music – is crass stupidity.

  • Outlaw Kit says:

    It’s fine to use imagery as an expression. But when you turn it into a motif, into a character, into a continuous trope, then it moves away from expression and takes on a life of its own. That’s where the complaint comes in. I side with Khan on this one. I’ll enjoy Combichrist always (Nachtmahr, not so much), but I support Andy even more for consciously trying to step away from this personification.

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  • LoudChris DeMarcus says:

    Thanks to these guys for what they have done!

    I have physiological re-action to fascist imagery. I think war is a necessary poison sometimes, but I absolutely find it revolting- maybe because I have lived it. Maybe because I feel some sort of humanity that others don’t.

    This has caused some conflicts in my work. I had to turn down a tours with very nice people, but they were something I couldn’t be a part of.

    I don’t want to bog down this message with the negative, but a very negative thing is what the video responds to. The majority of my female friends, including my wife, have been physically abused at some point. I think my job as a Man, is to protect them, and help them protect themselves. I’m a feminist- I’m married! Not to say all women are weak- my wife was the first female wrestler in her high school and my cousin can kick my ass at any sport.

    The actresses in the CombiChrist video are very beautiful women – that’s obviously a selling point – but what happens at the end? The lead guy gets shot, and she takes of with the money! The moral of the story seems to be that violence = stupid. However, I’m sure there are a lot of latent messages in the imagery that may make people more violent.

    Things are better now an advance in civil rights, but people tend to forget how quickly we can take things for granted.

    Thanks to these guys for reminding us.

    P.S. Never trust a guy dressed like Little Hitler, even if he is on stage. Unless he’s a satirist, like Chaplin. I doubt Nachtmar is not satire. Shame on him. You wanna shock people to get concert attendance? Do some pushups.

    • LoudChris DeMarcus says:

      Oooops! I meant to say: Nachtmar is not satire

    • alexis says:

      can you please stop making a drama? i live in germany, my grandparents were jewish and half of my family if polish = most of them died in the war, but i was born and raised in berlin. i get blamed for the war all the time, as soon as i mention that im german. i also have been physically hurt by men. have you ever heard about something called s/m? YES some people choose to be hurt, even women. we are ALL aware of fascism and violence against women. i mean.. do you think all the movie directors get a blame for displaying it? i dont want to waste my time with this anymore. you people just need to get over yourselves

  • Unknown says:

    Wow…Andy’s response totally placed blame everywhere else and denied any responsibility for the message and image he created with his character. And now he just walked away. Nice, immature response all around. Thomas is quoting Winston Churchill and seems to confuse a sense of decency with political correctness. If you have to hit someone with a sledgehammer to get someone to listen then you probably aren’t saying it right. Good for Ad.ver.sary for calling them out on the bullshit and the immaturity.

  • Leo says:

    Wow, this is what we intellectuals call “a really fucking dumb overreaction”.
    This adversary guy needs to get out more. Maybe grow up a bit. Maybe get a sense of humor. No sensible, intelligent human being is listening to “Give Head if You Got It” and pondering philosophical implications and social ramifications. They’re thinking “I like the way it goes ooontz ooontz ooontz ooontz ooontz ooontz ooontz ooontz teehee I think I heard something about getting head, oh well, back to the ooontz oontz.”.

    • Brett says:

      dead on, this whole thing is a joke and Adversary needs to chill the fuck out and if he wants to on his little P.C. mission he should do it else where that’s not the Industrial scene. He points out only 2 bands out of; I don’t know, the thousands that have lyrics and imagery in this scene that is dark and sexual and can come off abrasive. His video was lame and misleading, it was like watching a Fox News story; all bullshit. It’s a fucking t-shirt[reference to the video of showing andy laplauge’s shirt) for god sakes you don’t like it, don’t fucking wear it, that god damn simple. This is what is wrong with the world today right here; peoples making big fucking deals out of nothing; like Nach dressing like a Nazi but when the prince of England does it at a Halloween party the rest of world thinks it’s funny and completely okay, but if an Industrial band does it oh no – but wait how many people in this scene do that on a weekly bases while going to clubs to dance? It’s a band, with little or no influence over the majority of the world. People are acting like CC and Nach. have some huge plug in the world when they don’t. And it’s simple to point out sexism in anything, ever see a Levi jeans commercial? How about any car commercial, it’s every where you want it to be and no where when you need it to be. Stop being a little “Bitch” Adversary, grow up and be an adult and don’t fucking waste peoples time with this nonsense, if he truly gave a shit; he would go open up a charity and devote all his time to this crusade of anti-racism and anti-sexism.

      • Frode Hindrum says:

        Thank you!!!

        Sadly stupidity is the NORM and not the EXCEPTION !! Obviously people needs someone to tell them what to think – which is why Ad.ver.sary is getting so much praise for this….

        …. yes the video was stupid, just as stupid as any conspiracy theory idiots video – and it feels like scientology!!

      • Stefan says:

        Nachtmahr have never actually worn any actual nazi uniforms or used any actual nazi symbols. It’s ironic how an Austrian in a military uniform in a band with an N armband (which stands for Nachtmahr oddly enough and *not* nazi) is somehow automatically perceived as a nazi… what was that about being racist?

    • Ghost says:

      Whereas opening your reply the way you do is what academics refer to as an “Argument from authority” fallacy, you compound this with a blatant “No true Scotsman” fallacy, even opening it with the classic fallacy indicator “No sensible, intelligent human being is…”.
      Intellectual arguments require a deeper reasoning than a mere “It is so because I say it is so and I should be listened to for I am an intellectual”. As we say in literature, show, don’t tell.
      When an argument presents two separate logical fallacies in a mere seven lines of text it forfeits any right to be called an intellectual argument and must be viewed instead as a fallacious one.

  • Daemon Chadeau says:

    “What would Jello Biafra do?”

    Fucking. Brilliant. This is what a lot of people were afraid to say and/or admit is wrong with this scene…just to sell records. But they did it on our scene’s biggest stage in North America, and that took guts and balls.

  • Craig Huxtable says:

    Andy acknowledged in his interview that people are indeed taking his “art” seriously and acting it out in ways he is not necessarily comfortable with himself and yet he continues to create new art using this character and promote the Combichrist brand. This is where i lose respect.

    • Christian Major, from Montreal says:

      Also, it’s interesting how now, it’s all about a character, but a few years back…. nothing. Just divorced Andy quoted in an interview saying:
      “Everything I write is inspired by how I feel,” says LaPlegua, 33. “When you’re going through a rough period, it’s hard not to let it affect me musically and … just kind of blow off some steam.”

      To those buying this bit about a “character”, and thinking it’s all about art and shock and freedom of expression and it’s all good… Welcome to reality.

  • A Person says:

    People on both sides have made very good points. I agree that somethings should not be taken literally, that is pretty obvious. Do I think some lines have been crossed with regards to album art? Maybe. Do I think that watching the scenes from the CC video on its own was disturbing? Yes. Reading later on that its intention was a fictional story rather than a condonement of violence made me realize that if you’re going to look at things critically, like Ad.ver.sary has, than you need to look at it from all angles, including what the intention was, not just how you’ve perceived it.

    That being said, one thing I want to point out is that Andy’s response was one of the longest bits of rambling I have ever read. If you do a ‘find’ for the word “like” on this page you will see that Andy used that word 14 times in his response. I find it hard to take people seriously when they talk like a teenager. When you are being called out for such serious issues, maybe you should stop for a minute and think about releasing a proper statement. If I was in that band, I would think it very important to do so.

    Either way, I’ve very much enjoyed this stirring of the pot and I’m glad to see that these issues are being brought up. This is obviously something that needs to be talked about.

    • john says:

      the statement was made to a guy in a loud crowded backstage, recording onn a phone, about 10 minutes after being shown the video. i think there should be a little leeway shown for the phrasing.

  • Satan says:

    People obviously need someone to tell them how to think, how to read, how to react, how to interpret – well I for one refuse to tell you what you want to hear…… DIY or DIE !!

    ….. stupidity is obviously the norm, and not the exception – and this all makes me very very sad ……

    Who are you to tell me what art is ? Art has no other fuction but art itself, it is like biology, and it should never bow down to any politics or idealism – politics and idealism is for people who cannot think for themselves – people who do not question authority – and it seems the world is full of you people – you are the real fascists, the ones who would follow any strong leader without question….

    ……. and yes I am talking to YOU who read this without thinking, you are just a reaction, you are not an individual and you do NOT think for yourself…. actually you never did ……. wake up!!!

    ….. you make me sick.

    • Christian Major, from Montreal says:

      Waking up and being free, much like art, isn’t to be accomplished at the expense of others.

      • Satan says:

        What is the difference between CombiChrist, Nachtmahr and

        - A horror Movie ?

        - A violent cartoon ?

        - A computer game ?

        What is the difference between protraying violence in music and in movies ?

        What is the difference between the SAW movies and CombiChrist ? Or Sweatshop and Nachtmahr ????

        …… do you think Texas Chainsaw Massacre advocates abuse and violence ????

        CombiChrist is FICTION, so is Nachtmahr……..

        • anonymous says:

          Logical fallacies abound!

          All of those things normalize violence and sexism. By condemning one thing, it does not require you to condemn them all at the same time with the same effort. When this band only addressed the two bands in this instance, it was not an implied acceptance of all of the SAW movies, for instance.

          Explaining that use of violence against women in a “cool” or celebratory way contributes to a much larger societal problem of men thinking women are inferior. This band did the right thing – they made a video that encourages critical thinking of the subject. They’re not calling for the end of all media they disagree with. SAW movies and violent music videos have every right to exist (even if they’ve been done to death in mainstream culture and are about as edgy and innovative as Fox News), but it’s also extremely important to have a dialogue about why these images are disenfranchising to a large segment of their audience, or normalizing violence or hatred towards another segment of the audience. It’s important to realize that while you’re waving that Rebel flag, you’re making a segment of your audience (no matter how small) feel like they are an Other and that this content is not for them.

        • smashy says:

          Hiding behind the label “fiction” doesn’t make it okay.

          And all of your other industry examples have been harshly criticized for poor portrayals of women and other minority groups. The gaming industry in particular has taken an initiative to address the tropes they use and create more female characters that aren’t oriented solely toward the fantasy of male players.

          By acknowledging systemic portrayals that alienate groups, lies opportunities like this one to discuss deeper implications.

          Fiction can still be hateful. And a character’s evil is only as valid as the context the artist creates. That’s a more difficult process in the limited medium of music, but if treated with intelligence, certainly possible. Are deeper implications of the violence visible in the videos being criticized? Not particularly, thus- exploitation.

  • [...] I was intrigued when Ad-Ver-Sary displayed their “Public Service Announcement” about the racism/sexism implied in the videos, lyrics and cover art of Combichrist and Nachtmahr [...]

  • Seamus says:

    So yeah, here comes the inevitable bulldozing of the comments section by angry Combichrist fans. Well done guys. You lot are the reason I’m half fucking embarrassed to admit I like industrial music in its current form, as the vocal majority of its fanbase appear to be a bunch of half-literate angry teenagers who get super-butthurt as soon as somebody so much as mentions that your favourite band might rub some people up the wrong way.

    As somebody very aptly put it earlier, this sort of thing in no way offends me on a moral or ethical level, but on an artistic one. There’s a very clear distinction to make here.

    You are rallying to the defense of the artistic integrity of a music video that features nothing but naked women, and men leering over them. Do any of you realize how fucking stupid that actually is? That’s like defending the artistic integrity of Jersey Fucking Shore. Of Playboy Magazine.

    As the one movement that has arguably made more cultural impact than any other over the last 30 years, that has influenced almost every facet of electronic music and its development, you’re going to sit there with a straight face and tell me that this kind of low-brow, brainless bilge is what we should all aspire to? That thirty years of involvement with some of the most vital social and cultural movements of our time, and you’re telling me that videos of goth girls getting treated like shit with their tits out is the end result?

    People like you, who say that crap like this is okay, not from a moral standpoint, but from a cultural standpoint and an artistic standpoint, are ensuring that industrial will never get taken seriously outside of it’s pokey little niche because literally every other genre of music aside from perhaps rap gave up on this kind of idiocy years ago. People like you, who justify it by calling it somebody’s ‘art’, completely fucking demean what art is.

    We deserve better. Industrial deserves better.

    • Satan says:

      I defend your right to draw a picture of Mohammed…….. and I don´t care what you call it…..

    • God says:

      I love porn. Playboy IS art.

      I love Jersey Shore, it is fucking hilarious.

      I hate being taken seriously, it is boring.

      I don´t need any justification.

      I am.

      I don´t need to hid beind a WE; because there is no we, there is only you and me.

      I find this discussion very funny, I enjoy seeing you display your righteousness.

      You are all so much better than me.

      You are lucky.

      I am nothing.

      You are better than nothing!!

  • G.Lucas says:

    FYI, Its Ku Klux Klan, not Klu Klux Klan.

  • Kat says:

    Having just watched the video, there’s something that comes to mind that I don’t think has been fully addressed here.

    I’m well aware of the sexist content of Combichrist’s lyrics and videos, but I didn’t think they used racist themes extensively. While I really like the bulk of the video and desperately want to give a high-five and a hug to the guys who made it, I did think the Confederate flag thing was a bit much. All they seemed to have to go on was one photo of a guy wearing a t-shirt, and I don’t think it was really appropriate or helpful to their message to spend as much time as they did harping on the issue of racism – especially since I’m not at all familiar with Nichtmahr but all I had to do was see the 3-second clips they showed to know they use a lot of Nazi imagery, which sends a similar message.

    I think we’re at an evolutionary point in our culture where most people in the industrial scene can recognize that a band which uses Fascist imagery is only doing it for shock value, and the same can be said for the Confederate flag shirt. I think the sexism issue is a lot more important, for two reasons:

    1.) Both bands seem to use sexist imagery much more than they use racist imagery, and there’s a lot more violence behind what sexist themes they do use than there is behind the racist themes. There’s loads of content about beating the crap out of women, but I haven’t seen any burning crosses… Not yet, anyway.

    2.) Although our society has for the most part evolved to the point where we think racism is stupid, we have NOT yet evolved to the point where slut-shaming and misogyny are considered to be stupid. A lot of people still think these things are okay, even in the industrial scene. We need to change that mentality before we can ignore those themes and concentrate on the ootz-ootz.

  • Satan says:

    A picture says more than a thousand words – and sometimes they mean NOTHING ! So all the things you guys read explicitly into all this comes from your own minds !! Beware of this…….

    “Nothing is true – everything is permittted” – Hassan I Sabbah

  • dirk says:

    nice – nachtmahr is an stupid idiot…and all fans also! the combichrist-video is over the top…I think they try to copy torture-porn-movies, but they should use their time for better music! p.s.: satan is one of them :D DD

  • IT says:

    So, I wrote a novel in this comment field, but since I honestly have way too many things pressing at the moment to sit here and edit a clear explanation of what parody is for it to be dismissed as [insert elitist epithet] garbage, I’m just going to leave this here for future/keen commenters:

    You art school dropouts are the reason the facepalm was invented.

    As for the video itself, I’m going to abstain from critiquing it as I’m finding it hard not to compare it to several amateur videos I’ve seen about whatever the cause of the month was back then. Sorry, but I have this terrible habit of being honest. I did enjoy the music though.

  • Micha says:

    I think Andys reply is very good and a lot more resonable than expected. And it doesnt make sense to try and find some old interview footage and take that against him. I am pretty sure you can find stuff about everyone that they once said in other situations and maybe even take it out of context and then accuse them of lying etc … I think his explaination makes a lot of sense and almost reminded me on Marilyn Mansons interview for Bowling For Columbine. He even attacks people that take it seriously (some of his fans) which would be dumb if he’d think the same …

  • [...] Full Story: Interview with Jairus Khan from Ad·ver·sary [...]

  • Strigiform says:

    The comment dogpile is always interesting to me. Dog knows I’ve gotten quite a bit of it over at industrialantioppression. Put out something really misogynistic and/or racist, get a few comments critiquing it. Put out something that seeks to confront misogyny and racism, an entire dogpile of fanboys and apologists will spend time and energy defending it. This alone is a phenomenon to pay attention to, especially in the context of what breaks molds and what is shocking and challenging to the system. The best part about this presentation was the Christopherson quotes because they remind us why industrial started. I am glad when we lost him that these quotes have stayed alive and that some people like adversary are keeping these ideals alive.

    Combichrist is not responsible alone for his fans celebrating misogyny and racism. We all are. Every time we see something like this and do not challenge it, do not discuss it, we are responsible for letting it go on further. I did multiple college papers on censorship and being against it, and I have also studied how the psychology of media so easily brainwashes people, and how group dynamics cause people to act in hive mentalities and not as individuals. When we perpetuate the same old ideals of violence against women and racism it challenges nothing. It continues the same old shit that’s been going on for years. If Andy and Thomas want to create controversy, I suggest they do something outside of the mainstream action movie crap.

    Thanks again adversary, idud, and supportive commenters for giving me a little extra faith in this scene.

  • Frode Hindrum says:

    Taste is not fact.

    Opinion is not fact.

    Where there is fact opinion becomes meaningless.

    Where there are few facts there are lots of “experts” and lots of opinions.

    I prefer to live without beliefs, values, norms, faith because I know it is a product of the mind alone.

    There is no such thing as objective opinion.

    Do you have opinions about the sun ? About cancer ?

    Does your opinions about violence in culture change violence in real life ? Does your taking a stand against rape change anything ? If you believe so then you are deluding yourselves.

    I prefer to have my violence in culture, in art, in trash-can pop, it is better to have violence in stories and songs and movies than in real life.

    Imagination provides an arena for violence to exist without hurting anyone; violence is older than humanity, and to believe in a world without violence is to live in a dream. Even breathing kills millions of tiny tiny lifeforms, and all forms of life thrive on violence in one form or another.

    I believe CombiChrist, Nachmahr, W.A.S.T.E., Dawn of Ashes, Phosgore etc. have found a great formula for releasing the violent energies within – in a safe area – in music; call it trash or call it art or call it pop – it does not matter what you call it – as long as you get release from the energy.

    Do you really believe that having an opinion about violence will change anything at all ?? Does your opinion about fascism change the world ? Only action changes the world, opinions changes nothing. Remember Che Guevara ? He said “All the words in the world means nothing as long as they are not followed by action”, this is so very true, so all your opinion and words and talk is meaningless…..

    We should be grateful to these daring artists that they have found an outlet for the darker sides of the psyche that does not hurt anyone except the over-sensitive who get hurt by lyrics or images.

    This was the point of Jhonny The Homicidal Maniac; to give some attention to the blood-thirsty monster that loves inside of us all. Every time you get angry and want to smash someones face and deny it then you deny this little monster the attention it needs, and every time you deny it the attention it needs it grows stronger. And one day, all of a sudden you find yourself in a bloody mess having killed all your loved ones (this happens every day to some human being). Jhonen Vasquez believes that if you give this little monster some attention IN YOUR IMAGINATION then it is satisfied, and I wholeheartedly support this idea. Get release IN YOUR IMAGINATION, and you will be a better person…… THIS is what CombiChrist, Nachtmahr and all those bands are all about.

    If you don´t believe me then read Jhonen Vasquez´s introduction to the first JTHM album…….. if you don´t like my words and my opinion then read his, I know he has a better position and a stronger authority than I have…. it is easy to dismiss me – it is not so easy to dismiss Vasquez……… :)

    • Strigiform says:

      lol, cool story bro.

    • Aedra says:

      Quite frankly, I’m tired of people using free speech or artistic license as this blanket that somehow absolves the speaker of any personal responsibility. Yes yes, we understand you would wish to speak freely, but removing accountability from the equation is as dangerously naive as suppressing free speech entirely. When everyone screams as loud as they want, with no consequence, we breed a scene of idiots and beggars.

      There are repercussions to your words/actions/deeds. Combichrist/Nachtmahr/A billion other bands are absolutely welcome to say whatever that they want and use whatever imagery that they want. Not every band needs to be politically conscious and screaming at the top of their lungs about how fucked up the world is. But at the risk of sounding a bit obtuse, what exactly is the political message behind “Happy Fucking Birthday” or “Boom Boom Boom” that facilitates the need for misogynist/racist imagery?

      Short answer: There isn’t. There’s no need for it. And it’s been done before, the shock has no value. It’s _only_ for the sake of marketing to kids who think they’re being edgy by listening to “music that you just don’t get, man”. But we get it. It’s just FUN to dance to. And honestly: you mean to tell me you couldn’t dance to Nachtmahr if he was just a dude with a laptop? Because you were listening to L’ame Immortal LONG before that. Same goes for Combichrist and Icon of Coil. There was no Gimmick. It was just good music.

      Think about that the next time you’re dancing to at the club.

  • alexis says:

    this jairus is absolutely ridiculous. he needs to shut up. im so sick and tired of this topic repeating itself all the time, not about combichrist, but about bands being pointed at because they use certain things in their music. everybody has the right to express opinions and thoughts.
    this jairus person is obviously a little crybaby trying to get some attention and trying to look like jesus or something. pointing out what you dont like and what you cant have doesnt mean its evil. so yeah, how about lets blame marilyn manson for murder again in america? or lets blame rammstein again for murders in germany? people like him simply need somebody to blame. for them, it works like with pain.. like they say, if you feel pain in your hand, just pinch yourself somewhere else to distract yourself from the original pain.. its what jairus does, he is unhappy with his life, so he is trying to make others unhappy. its sad people still do this.. i mean, if youre jealous.. try to make your own shit better, and dont try to make the stuff of others look worse. idiot

    • Aedra says:

      “everybody has the right to express opinions and thoughts.” – What you just said.

      “this jairus is absolutely ridiculous. he needs to shut up.” – What you also just said.

      Darling, I hate to tell you this, but in order for free speech to work, one must be free to speak about whatever they feel.

      Sincerely,
      The person who doesn’t believe in free speech.

      • Pope Guilty says:

        It’s amazing how many people yell “Free speech!” and they really mean “Consequence- and judgment-free speech!”

      • Strigiform says:

        @aedra, I just want to write “^this” as a response to everything you write.

  • jdp says:

    It’s interesting that Jairus has a well defined argument (whether you agree or not) and Andy’s response is similarly thoughtful, especially given the apparently short notice about Adversary’s performance. Thomas is disappointing; he doesn’t seem to possess the vocabulary to explain his work at all. Instead he relies on vague allusions to pop culture (Se7en), which comes across as pretty weak to me, especially if the answer you do give tries to appeal to the transgressive nature of punk rock — and I’m not sure I hear too much punk in Nachtmahr. I’d imagine punk in context here would tend to reject any correlation with mass media. I’m also honestly not sure what “politically correct” industrial bands there are. Maybe he meant in society generally? Was there a language issue there? Can somebody point to an example?

    Regardless, If you’re going to coopt fascist fashion or themes, at least be able to explain that to some degree. It doesn’t have to be a deep answer, but you ought to have something. Hanzel und Gretyl can give a better than Thomas did, and they’re basically goofy yahoos from Chicago.

  • Heather says:

    I think this is a good discussion that needs to be had and I am not sure why people opposing Adversary are so against having it (throwing around the words overreaction, dumb, stupid, etc.). If you don’t think there is an issue but other people do, isn’t it interesting to share and explain why we come away from the material with different perspectives? If we can accept that other people feel differently (without dismissing their views!) then we would probably learn a whole lot more about ourselves in the process. Often art and music is about what people come away from it with and not necessarily its intended purpose. Maybe those who over analyze are trying to take more out of it than they should be but that doesn’t make them stupid or awful. Either way discussion should be celebrated!

    Seeing the responses from the band members was neat. I often feel like they wiggle out of or dismiss real questions. “Why do I have girls in my videos and on stage? Because I can!”

    • Aimee says:

      Finding it funny that the people here who are going on about how censorship is bad are basically saying that Jairus needs to be censored. It seems the scene has become just as devoid of intellectual capacity as it is of artistic expression.

    • Frode Hindrum says:

      Dario Argento was confronted several times and asked why all the people dying in his movies was sexy young women, people were calling him sexist and anti-women and anti-feminist, just like people like Jarius are calling Andy and Thomas right now…..

      …. and what Dario Argento answered was “because I LIKE wathcing beautiful women, and I love making horror, and I much rather would like to see a beautiful woman stripped naked and murdered than any other human being in the same position, because I LIKE SEXY WOMEN”……. so this is a praise of women, not the opposite :)

      • Strigiform says:

        OK I have no opinion on Dario Argento, I love women, and I am a sadomasochist, and “I love women” as an excuse for showing them being murdered is… well… ridiculous.

  • Jon (noetic echoes) says:

    Am I the only one who sees the level of duplicity at work in Andy’s comments? First he says, “Well, you can see that we were backing away from that sort of material because it was getting boring.” Then when asked if he was stopping because fans were misinterpreting his portrayal of a character versus reality, he says “Yeah, totally.” Not to mention that his whole “it’s just a character” schtick is at best disingenuous–if I put on an SS armband and start a public-speaking tour about maintaining the purity of the white race, there’s no way that I’d be able to live it down by pulling a 180 and being all, “Sorry guys, that was just my Asshole Jim character.”

    And what the hell is Nachtmahr even talking about? The un-PC stuff is what’s all the rage these days. Hell, just look at most of the acts at Kinetik, and tell me which ones aren’t going to be perceived as shocking or controversial to people who haven’t been utterly desensetized to this sort of thing like we have. I really hope that Thomas is also just being “in character,” or else he’s just an idiot.

  • Aedra says:

    Whoops, I posted this as a reply, when it was intended as independent thought. Apologies, but a repost!

    —–
    Quite frankly, I’m tired of people using free speech or artistic license as this blanket that somehow absolves the speaker of any personal responsibility. Yes yes, we understand you would wish to speak freely, but removing accountability from the equation is as dangerously naive as suppressing free speech entirely. When everyone screams as loud as they want, with no consequence, we breed a scene of idiots and beggars.

    There are repercussions to your words/actions/deeds. Combichrist/Nachtmahr/A billion other bands are absolutely welcome to say whatever that they want and use whatever imagery that they want. Not every band needs to be politically conscious and screaming at the top of their lungs about how fucked up the world is. But at the risk of sounding a bit obtuse, what exactly is the political message behind “Happy Fucking Birthday” or “Boom Boom Boom” that facilitates the need for misogynist/racist imagery?

    Short answer: There isn’t. There’s no need for it. And it’s been done before, the shock has no value. It’s _only_ for the sake of marketing to kids who think they’re being edgy by listening to “music that you just don’t get, man”. But we get it. It’s just FUN to dance to. And honestly: you mean to tell me you couldn’t dance to Nachtmahr if he was just a dude with a laptop? Because you were listening to L’ame Immortal LONG before that. Same goes for Combichrist and Icon of Coil. There was no Gimmick. It was just good music.

    Think about that the next time you’re dancing to at the club.

    • Frode Hindrum says:

      Uniforms are about estetics, and even though I hate fascism and I hate nazism I must admit that the Nazis really had the coolest uniforms in history, and nothing is as sexy as a delicious babe (or dude) in a SS-uniform….. I don´t know why … probably because I have a uniform fetish…..

      Fetishes are strange; like BDSM is strange; so is sadism and masocism; some people get turned on by being a sadist, and some people get turned on by being a masocist, other gets turned on by women smoking cigarettes ….. the same goes for uniforms; I get turned on by uniforms; especially black leather/latex SS-uniforms (both on men and women for that matter, I am bi-sexual) – and I have a foot-fetish, I simply love sucking toes….. I also get turned on by stormtrooper-uniforms and sexy people in Darth Vader outfit….. and George Lucas used the nazi-uniform style in Star Wars, there ar lots of similarities, and HEY – they really look awesome !! But theres no politics in esthectis….. this is different dimensions, lets keep them separate…..

      There is really no politics involved in this for me. Just sex, and fetishes, and for me both Nachmahr and CombiChrist uses fetish and bdsm references that has nothing to do whatsoever with politics.

      And yeah, I would most definately not dance as wildly to a dude with a laptop as I do to Nachtmahr, because seeing all these uniforms turn me ON!!

      Think about that next time you critizise someone for liking uniforms or any other fetish/sadist/masocist imagery…… ;)

      • Aedra says:

        You can’t have uniforms without invoking hitler?

      • Aedra says:

        Also: This scene has some of the most creative clothing designers, and the best that we can come up with is “hey guys: Nazi uniforms”? That doesn’t seem like a fetish, that seems lazy.

        • Frode Hindrum says:

          Well, it doesn´t matter what it seems like, it really does turn me on (go figure, I don´t know why) ….. fetishes are not an intellectual choice, they are the workings of the subconscious ….. and it has nothing to do whatsoever with politics ….

          …. what about cigarette smoking women fetish – does that really seem like a creative choice ? Or a toe-sucking fetish – do you think that has anything to do with creativity ? Some people like drinking pee too, but not me….. and pee is definately not creative…. or intellectual….. hehe…..

          The workings of the ID is mysterious. Sex is not intellectual….. being gay is not a choice, at least not a conscious choice….. same thing goes for fetishes……

          • Susan says:

            I actually agree with this, very strongly. If something turns you on, as a fetish, you shouldn’t be put down for finding it sexy, even if, on the surface, it has historical connections to horrifying acts. But, I don’t think a music video that portrays a man dressed like a Nazi as the *protagonist* is the same thing, on an ethical level, as a person getting turned on by a partner dressed as a Nazi, or by (obviously fictional) porn involving people in Nazi uniforms. A song/video combination that draws a parallel between spreading a band’s music and spreading an ideology that, it so happens, resulted in the deaths of millions of human beings, should be subjected to criticism. Not to censorship, but to people saying “What, exactly, is the point of this shit?”

      • Strigiform says:

        Fetishism, sadomasochism, and bdsm are not the same as what Nachtmahr is doing in his videos.

        Kink is (or should be) consent based. Kink does not seek to glorify genocide or the physical and sexual assault of women because it is consent based.

        CHalking up what is happening in these videos as simple fetishism is not good enough. And kink itself is also open to interpretation and analysis.

    • anonymous says:

      It also lets industrial slide backwards into becoming more of a boy’s club. Where “men” can express their “true” feelings about how they’re superior and are tired of all the political correctness. Because it’s a lot easier to say that you hate political correctness (hell, you can probably get a comedy special on cable with that sentiment) than to straight up say “I’m just too lazy and xenophobic to respect people that I don’t like because they’re not straight white men”.

      Which is true – it’s hard to listen to people who are disenfranchised talk about their problems that you probably don’t have and can’t relate to. Most of these men have probably never been slapped across the face by their boyfriends. They probably didn’t wish that there was a trigger warning before that video, because they’ve never been forced to do something against their will while someone told them that they wanted it. It’s hard to imagine if you haven’t lived through it. That being said, there are many many men that can and do listen to these things and understand that they’re not entertaining to everyone, and that if they want a wide audience filled with diversity they’ll approach topics that don’t serve to entertain one segment of the audience with the subjugation of another part of the audience.

  • ARPBaby says:

    Further thoughts:

    Here’s what irks me about this video. On the one hand, Jairus says this in the interview: “I went out of my way in the video to not take any unfair shots at the bands. I didn’t use photos of them where they looked ridiculous or nerdy or drunk, I used photos and media released by the bands. I didn’t quote them out of context, I didn’t attack them about their personal lives. I want the focus to be on what they’re doing as artists, and I’m doing what I can to be fair about it, so that the message doesn’t get overshadowed by the medium.”

    IE: Hey, I’m just pointing out what they’re actually doing.

    But then in the actual video, that’s not really true. He’s taking small bits of what they actually did and then leaping off from there to things the bands never said – like replacing “feminist” with all the different racial words to paint Combichrist as racists. Sure, the video text says “what if it was this instead?” but he’s making it as though Combi had said “all you Chinese cunts” when that was Jairus putting words in their mouths. Right there, he’s stepping away from making the debate about what they actually say and do and stepping into making it about his own projections and associations. I would guess that’s where most of the “overreaction” and “this is dumb” objections are coming from.

    And as it was pointed out, the Combichrist “Throat Full Of Glass” video ends with a generalized shoot-out. The message seems a little more complex than the excerpt makes it look. You could interpret it just as validly as being a little parable of “live by the sword, die by the sword.” I would say the way it was presented was absolutely quoting them out of context.

    Don’t attack people on things they didn’t actually say or do.

    And there’s nothing new to the argument anyway. I remember similar complaints from people thinking “I wanna fuck you like an animal” was the epitome of sexism in industrial when NIN said it (also I think some idiot in Congress had some vendetta against Reznor about the lyrics to “Big Man With A Gun” which he meant as a bit of a spoof on the gangster rap that was all the rage at that time, I forget all the details though), loads of people took potshots at Marilyn Manson for all sorts of lyrics and “fascist” imagery too – and while Seamus is right that Manson never depicted school shootings in videos, there was a big kerfuffle about lyrics like “one shot and the world gets smaller” from “The Reflecting God” and again, nitwits in Congress trying to blame him for teen suicides even before Columbine.

    And of course outside of our little industrial neck of the woods, in the general music industry ol’ Tipper Gore was having her conniptions about “porn rock” in the 80s and I think Frank Zappa had plenty to say in rebuttal.

    I’d also point out that feminism is a lot more complex that simply being the idea that women are people. That might have been radical in the 1700s, but no one argues against that now. There have been different waves and types of feminism in the last 50 years and some of them, like the Dworkin and McKinnon’s “all sex is rape” second wave from the 80s, were virulently anti-male (and I would argue anti-female too since when you boil down most second wave feminist arguments they end up basically saying women aren’t capable of making their own decisions which is where bullshit like “all sex is rape because of patriarchal brainwashing by evil men making women incapable of consent” comes in, which is why it faded from prominence by the late ’90s, but that’s getting a little off topic.) Usually when men bitch about feminism, that’s the kind of thing they’re pissed at – being labelled as evil oppressors just for having dicks and a sex drive, not equal pay for equal work or “women are people” or anything else.

    A line like “all you feminist cunts” may still be dumb and designed for shock value, but it’s not really saying “all you women who think you’re people,” as the video implies.

    Artists may have all sorts of reasons to explore violence and other unsavory themes in their work and rather than just assume it’s because they’re sexist/racist/violent/whatever, try seeing what they’re really saying. Maybe it’s a cathartic thing as Frode Hindrum said above, a way to exorcise the anger and vent – kinda like if you have a shitty day you might call a friend and bitch about what you wish you could do to your asshole boss if you could get away with it but it doesn’t mean you’d actually do it. (I do have to wonder how many of those condemning CC’s stuff here have ever bitched about an ex being an asshole or a bitch… glass houses and all that… and the comment about Andy’s remarks post-divorce make total sense to me as that would be a time when you’re most likely to be pretty upset at the opposite sex for a while until you get over it, naturally that would fuel some songwriting.) Maybe sometimes it’s mocking offensive points of view and using satire – unfortunately these days I see a lot of people who assume everything an artist says is in utmost sincerity and couldn’t possibly be sarcastic or satirical. Maybe it’s inspired by something screwed up and disturbing that the artist has heard about that got under his skin [eg, Rammstein's "Mein Teil," Marilyn Manson's post-Columbine album Holy Wood].

    Maybe the fans like it because they identify with similar frustrations aside from any musical affinities. And maybe, just maybe, the audience is smart enough to make their own decisions about what it means to them and they don’t like being condescended to or treated like they’re racist/sexist for liking it.

    Nothing’s ever black and white, let’s not that pretend it is and everyone disagreeing with you is an asshole or an idiot.

    • jdp says:

      Your comments were interesting and thoughtful. Realizing that feminism has evolved and changed over the years is a good point to bring up and will probably come up repeatedly in discussion. Your closing line is also something to keep in mind as well and thank you for pointing that out explicitly.

      Responding to ” He’s taking small bits of what they actually did and then leaping off from there to things the bands never said – like replacing “feminist” with all the different racial words to paint Combichrist as racists.” — I would tend to disagree that Jairus was conflating Combichrist with prejudice against all the groups he listed. I think he was saying that although the specific lyric given was against feminists, he would disdain it in general, regardless of target. Jairus does mention the confederate flag explictly as well, but I don’t think that’s putting words into Andy’s mouth (or is it clothes on Andy’s back in this case?) since that is a thing that literally happened.

    • Frode Hindrum says:

      Well said. Well formulated. Really good comment, you said all I wanted to say but with better words! Bravo!! :)

  • Susan says:

    In regards to Thomas’s quoting of a line from “Se7en,” “It’s not enough to whisper in people’s ears anymore, you have hit them with a sledgehammer,” it’s important to remember that the quote is from the psychotic murderer depicted in the story. Memorable artists, on the other hand, tend to employ subtler instruments.

    I do not imply that Thomas supports murderers, but I do think that the desire to bash people over the head, even if only in a rhetorical sense, is closer to the spirit of a criminal than of a creator of art.

  • Jasper says:

    I am pleased to see that Andy said almost exactly what I expected him to say.

    Thomas on the other hand should realise that “political correctness” is
    1) not anyones enemy it’s just about being polite, reasonable & treating everyone equally “political correctness” is a term mostly used by people who don’t like it because they stand to lose their position in society, or their power over others.
    2) The rise of equality that he terms “political correctness” came out of alternative culture (hippy) and infiltrated the mainstream making it better for more participants and it was punk itself that gave it its final shove into mainstream society, it is one of alternative cultures great successes. Yes some people over do it & fall into the “political correctness gone mad” sector. It’s a good idea to question those people too, but it horrific to right off the whole thing as folly because a handful of people take it too far.

    “political correctness” is NOT “bullshit” it’s human rights. Are human rights “bullshit ” Thomas?

  • [...] interview with Jairus, as well as some fascinating responses from the two artists being taken on, can be found here. Here is the video in [...]

  • Box says:

    I cannot say that I am a big fan of either band, although I have always taken Combichrist with a pinch of salt ( A modern day protagonist) I do not agree with treating or speaking about women in that way, but the words he does use in relation to women, I have heard expressed in the Industrial scene many a time, mainly due to it being a male dominated scene. Where there is an imbalance of male or females in any situation you will sooner or later end with an argument like this.

    In regards to Nachtmahr I was under the impression that the Fascist imagery was a statement of how the world is turning rather than an expression of his own beliefs. If he does actually believe in fascism, well isn’t there enough content in the lyrics, videos and performance for anybody with a rational mind to decide this is not what believe in or wish to listen to . After all it is not for the artists to decide what the listener likes but for the listener to decide whether they like the artist and what they stand for.

    Overall I agree with A-d-v protest, it is after all good that these topics are discussed so we can make our world better. I find art whether it provides a statement you agree with or disagree with two about creating a debate on how our world is and where it is going. So we can change it.

    Combichrist and Nachtmahr have provided the content that had aggravated people to take a stand and a – d – v has responded so that we can learn from each other and see what we want our culture and society to be like.

  • DJ MINISTER says:

    Hello everyone!!!! Just back from the festival and quite frankly, other than a few bands, I was extremely disapointed this year. As far as what Ad ver sary goes, My response is whatever, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it, don’t listen to it and truthfully, Andy should not have to explain himself to anyone, same as Thomas. I happen to love everything about INDUSTRIAL MUSIC and could care less how it looks on Video I mean, have you seen the Alien Vampires Art and stuff!!!, personally, I love it…..IT’S ART to me and the music makes me dance and simply laugh and have a great time. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it….everyone is different and everyone likes different music and at the end of the day, IT’S JUSTS MUSIC!!!!!! As far as the show goes….I thought Combichrist and Nachtmahr were pretty cool, they’ve been better but it was pretty good. Haujobb was good but other then the sound level at times…..Blutengel was fantastic to see in North America, same as SITD and C-Lekktor was amazing, Hocico was better last year but still was great. Miss Construction was ok, and my personal opinion, other than the bands mentioned above, this festival needs to get bigger and better. Few years ago at Club Usine C, it was great because you could all socialize at the back of the club with your drinks and cigarettes and all the bands would come out and hang out with the fans, at Metropolis, the club is old, and no freaking attention to detail on anything, plus, where were all the vendors, really, I mean you have 1 vendor selling t-shirts for 1 band the whole day, TERRIBLE, not enough swag for the fans. The service and people who work there are very nice and personally as a DJ…………sticking DJ’s on the 2nd floor in a back room that holds about 40 people is …………disrespectful. The DJ room felt like a bad house party and I really felt for everyone there because other than the bands mentioned above, most of the other bands were really not that great and they keep bringing back some of the same bands, I like FGFC820 but really, enough is enough, same stuff over and over again!!!…..Just venting……I did have a great time though and I met so many great people and so many great ladies!!!!!!, May God or whomever you pray or believe in bless you all!!!!!!!…………………………. DJ MINISTER

    • Strigiform says:

      If simply not watching it because I don’t like it would make it stop infecting the scene and turning it into a cesspool of macho crap I would take that approach. Unfortunately, don’t like it, don’t pay attention to it, when applied to every oppressive situation I can think of, never works to stop the oppression.

  • Beatspawn says:

    ADV should read up on the meaning of the imagery in Nachtmahr and the messages contained in the music. To better understand the Art and the World behind Nachtmahr start here:

    http://kunstistkrieg.blogspot.ca/2011/10/can-you-feel-beat-video-is-online.html

    You can also find a very complete interview of Nachtmahr.

  • [...] this report I’m not going to go into too much detail. For a full play by play, the guys down at idie:youdie have it all including interviews and [...]

  • Jessica O'Neill says:

    Thank you for posting this incredible video. I had no idea that disgusting sexual violence imagery was common with acts such as Combichrist and Nachtmahr. It is so important that voices from within subcultures question and hold eachother accountable. Jairus Khan has warmed my feminist heart – and earned my respect.

  • Alexis B. says:

    Thank you for posting this! It is incredibly important that people speak up when they see something being condoned that they disagree with, and it’s absurd to me that anyone would disagree that glorifying and condoning sexual violence and racism is something that shouldn’t be questioned and discussed.

  • [...] show. Let’s get to it!Ad·ver·sary What’s at risk of getting lost in the whole “We Demand Better” situation is that Ad·ver·sary, aided and abetted by Antigen Shift, played an absolutely smoking set at [...]

  • [...] för den som missade den. Artikel där Jairus Khan from Ad·ver·sary uttalar sig om sin tanke bakom aktionen samt får viss respons från banden han kritiserat – Combichrist (Andy LaPlagua) och Nachtmahr [...]

  • [...] I am beyond thrilled to now be writing for, scooped the internet at large when they slammed out their interview with Jairus and subsequent reactions from Andy La Plegua of Combichrist and Thomas R… almost immediately upon the culmination of Jairus’ performance. It’s been an incredible couple [...]

  • Zania says:

    Whoa. Well done, AD.VER.SARY.

  • Zania says:

    Whoa. Well done, AD.VER.SARY. Color me thoroughly impressed.

    • Alan says:

      Personally I have mixed feelings as I can see where both sides are coming from, but let’s face it – what Combichrist and Nachtmahr have been doing isn’t innovative or clever, it really is hackneyed and certainly in Combichrist’s case has relied on tired old ‘shock your mum’ tactics not really any different to metal bands going on about Satan in the 80s. They’ve done some ok tunes, but I find their whole image/lyrics/videos more juvenile and embarrassing than anything else.
      What Jairus has done has done is shaken people up and challenged them to think about something seriously. Fair play for that. That’s going right back to the original spirit of industrial. It’s ceratinly more than Combichrist or Nachtmahr have achieved.

  • [...] It was certainly enough to make Ad-ver-sary’s Jairus Khan take action, as he explains in this interview for I Die: You Die: It was when I got booked to play Kinetik, and I found out that I was scheduled [...]

  • [...] and droppin’ 50 cent words, that’s the way of our walk.A couple of recent articles (you know which ones) have brought us a bunch of new readers (hi!), so if you want to get a better, hands-on [...]

  • [...] Looking back, how do you feel about what happened with Ad-Ver-Sary at the Kinetik festival? T: Honestly, the funny thing about all of this is that I feel much less offended, or anything like [...]

  • [...] MUSICTweetBeing female in the industrial scene, I’ve been wanting to write a story about what went down at the Kinetik Industrial Electro Festival in Montreal in late May. But alas, time and space has [...]

  • [...] eyes on this site for an interview shortly.Car Crash by OhmMore, better dialogue You guys remember the thing at Kinetik right? Judging by how many people still find their way to our little patch of the web based on links and [...]

  • [...] organizers, a small bombardment of articles, sparking a movement in the scene now known as “We Demand Better”. In keeping with industrial’s long tradition of questioning everything around it, the Demand [...]

  • [...] festival organizers, a small bombardment of articles, sparking a movement in the scene now known as We Demand Better8 . In keeping with industrial s long tradition of questioning everything around it, the Demand [...]

  • [...] female in the industrial scene, I’ve been wanting to write a story about what went down at the Kinetik Industrial Electro Festival in Montreal in late May. But alas, time and space has [...]

  • [...] 51:30: The infamous performance in question. [...]

  • [...] Die, You Die interviewed both Andy LaPlegua (Combichrist) and Thomas Rainer (Nachtmahr) at Kinetik, asking for their [...]

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