Scott Creney

This blog kills fascists.

This blog kills fascists.
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

By Scott Creney 

The way The Smiths once covered their sleeves in 60s references, the way Wu-Tang Clan embraced the language and iconography of Shaolin, the way Oasis loved The Beatles, that’s the relationship Iceage has with xenophobia and white supremacy — it may not be the window, but it’s damn sure the drapes.

Let’s check out the evidence:

1. They wear Burzum buttons. Main Burzum guy Varg Vikernes is a neo-Nazi, who murdered a guy and burned three churches, not necessarily in that order.

2. The guitarist has a Death In June tattoo. DIJ prefer the SA and National Bolshevism to outright Nazism.

3. They listed Absurd’s Facta Loquuntur as one of their favorite albums of all time, describing it as “Beautiful Norse sound filled with pride and emotion”. Absurd is one of the best-known bands in the National Socialist Black Metal scene. Their singer killed a guy too, but this one put the victim’s grave on the cover of his next album.

4. Their fans Sieg Heil at their shows, documented in photos:

Ice Age live

(what would you do if this guy was at your show?)

5.  and videos which the band themselves have allowed out into the world.

(note: you’ll have to watch for longer than a minute).

6. They chose a band called White Nigger to play a festival show they curated. The members of white nigger are known for covering themselves in brown paint and choking the people in their audience.

7. Hey check out this drawing the singer did!

Ice Age drawings

8)      And here’s a video they made where they put on hoods and carry torches. Whee!!

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think anyone in Iceage is wearing a Berzum button because they think it’s cool to murder people. At the same time, I don’t think it’s just because they’re big fans of Burzum’s ambient music either. I think it’s there because — and keep in mind this is the kindest, most generous interpretation I can come up with — they just want to seem tough. They want to look like badasses.

Which raises an important question: Are Nazi murderers actually stronger and tougher than non-Nazi murderers? I mean, didn’t the Nazis LOSE World War II? Let’s be real here. No one gets a tattoo of Wolverhampton F.C. or the Kansas City Chiefs on their arm because they want to look tough. If the guitarist wants to get a tattoo of someone really scary he should try getting the Pope (any of them will do).

But you know I’m sure this is all one big misunderstanding the band would be happy to clear up.

“That’s a collage of different things I was seeing in the news, not a pro-race-riot drawing,” said singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt in a recent interview with Vice, referring to the drawing. Well there you go. How come nobody talks about Elias’ drawings of weather forecasts and football highlights? That’s what I want to know.

And um… I hate to even ask this… but are there really stories in the Copenhagen news about dudes wearing crosses on their hoods knifing people? Not exactly, but there has been a LOT of tension between native Danes and Muslim immigrants over the past 10 years. Are you ready? Here’s some quotes from actual members of Danish parliament:

“Let me state it clearly: Muslims ought to live in Muslimland — and that’s not here.”

“There is no place for Islam in Europe and our first priority must be to repatriate the Muslims.”

“The Old Testament is an altogether Christian book which the Jewish religion has misused, with no actual right to do so.”

“It is absolutely grotesque that people from Somalia, Sri Lanka and the Far East should be able to call themselves refugees in Denmark.”

“Islam is a new totalitarian plague sweeping Europe.”

“Islam has since its inception been a terrorist movement.”

“Islam is by its very nature an evil, which must and will be combatted.”

Fact: The third largest political party in Denmark is the Danish People’s Party, whose stated platform is against non-western immigration and against Islamisation. Here’s a campaign ad they ran in every major Danish paper in 2008.





Not that Iceage cares about any of this, or apparently even has an opinion on it. It’s just music, man. It’s just a picture he drew. And you would be a fool, a hand-wringing idiot, to even wonder about any of this stuff as it concerns the latest, greatest hope for punk rock, Iceage, and their new album You’re Nothing.

But let’s go ahead and give Iceage the benefit of the doubt and say they’re just trying to be offensive and get a rise out of people, and keep in mind this is still the most generous explanation, there are a few facts I can’t help noticing.

1. They are trying very, very hard to do this.

2. They seem to be relentlessly occupied on using this one specific way to, um, get a rise out of people.

Again. This is not happening in a vacuum — there is nothing ‘theoretical’ or ‘abstract’ about these facts. This is not oblivious children drawing swastikas on their school desks. In that same Vice article (and I keep going back to it b/c the writer at least had the guts to ask Elias about his drawings — most interviews just skip all this completely), Benjamin Shapiro goes so far as to conclude, “But if you’re genuinely offended, then you’re living in some fantasyland where racism, violence, and hate shouldn’t be analyzed or commented on. And that’s just fucking sad.” And he’d have a point if there were any actual, you know, ANALYSIS or COMMENTARY going on anywhere in anything Iceage says or does.

But there isn’t. It just sits there, waiting to be interpreted. Given the opportunity to say anything on the subject, they just retreat behind a sullen silence. Elias calls the music media “lazy, empty, and sensationalist”. Someone needs to get this guy a fucking mirror — quick.

So fine. They don’t care about anything. They won’t even dignify these questions with a response. Explanations are for weaklings. But of all the things not to give a fuck about, of all the aesthetic wagons to hitch your white horse to, why fascist imagery? Why ethnic purity? Especially in light of what’s going on in your own country?

Either Iceage is filled with a bunch of racists, or a bunch of idiots. The choice is yours to make.

But ultimately I’m less interested in what all this says about Iceage than it does about the people who listen to them, the people who release their music, and the people who write about them. Over here, it looks like Iceage is on the Nordic fast-track to success. Say what you want to about their methods, it seems to be working. There’s no way this album won’t get Best New Music on Pitchfork Monday or Tuesday morning (P4K did a feature on Iceage a month ago — it probably goes w/o saying that none of this stuff came up), and I’m sure everything’s all lined up promotion-wise: P4KTV in March, Jimmy Fallon or some late night show in April/May, and then a summer of festivals. I mean, who’s got time to worry about politics when there’s money to be made?

I bet any Muslims living in Denmark, to say nothing of Europe, care very deeply. I can’t help wondering what would happen if there were a buzz-worthy US artist flirting with this shit, dressing up like Klansmen in their videos and wearing Lester Maddox T-shirts — or Sheriff Joe Arapaio. Would people have a problem with it then? Actually, they might not. Maybe they’d just hype the shit off of it and use any controversy that was generated to sell tickets to their big fucking outdoor festival. Once the band’s no longer relevant, they can just kick them to the curb and find something else to hype. There will always be more bands.

But it’s downright bizarre that the same people who would dismiss a country singer like, say, Toby Keith as a brain-dead right-wing redneck shithead are the same ones lining up to buy and promote this album.

Or maybe it’s the anger that attracts them. Maybe that’s the whole selling point. And hey, I’m all for hatred, and I’m all for anger in music, even the directionless kind. And there’s part of me that’s glad to see people in the indie world embrace something besides smooth, polished, hyper-educated fluff. I think we can all agree that this is a long way from Grizzly Bear, or Real Estate.

But don’t tell me that it’s just music. You and I both know how powerful music is, or we wouldn’t be here discussing it. All art is a public dream about the way we live, the way we see ourselves. It’s a series of signs, and I’m reading Iceage’s signs loud and fucking clear. What else is there to notice?

I guess this is where I should talk about the music. It’s colorless and blunt, like getting knee-capped with a steel rod. It’s music for people who live in a world where the worst thing you can call someone is a pussy. Well in case they’re reading this, I’ll be sure to speak in a voice that Iceage and their fans will understand. They are the biggest pussies, the worst kind of pussy there is — the one that genuflects before those with power in the belief that it will make them appear strong.

The lyrics reveal nothing.

“She gives me signals/But our hearts are not the same/Wants me to take her/But blockades run through my veins/Somehow things are still not lost/But I sure feel alienated/Is their flesh disintegrated/These days I’m numb and faded/Something denies coalition with you/Am I supposed to/Give into anything/The way I’m coded/Is like winter’s change to spring/Excess/Excess/Excess/Excess”

It’s not offensive — it’s just stupid. And not because it’s dangerous, but because it’s boring, a pathetic attempt to look tough, or interesting. I mean is this all you’ve got? Kind of/sort of half-assedly name-dropping some neo-Nazis into interviews? Personally, I can’t think of anything stronger, anything tougher, than speaking out against racism in your own country. To just sit there and blow it off, they must be cowards. I can’t help thinking of bands like Gang Of Four, Mekons, Delta 5 brawling with National Front skinheads in Leeds back in the late 70s. Compared to them, Iceage — in their silence, their unwillingness to say what they believe, offensive or otherwise — is truly pathetic. It’s all about the targets. It’s all about what’s said and what’s deliberately left unsaid.

In light of the political realities in Denmark, Iceage’s silence is unconscionable. Because you don’t have to be a racist, or have fascist sympathies, or even hate anyone, for gross horrific injustices to be carried out against a small group of people. You only have to remain silent and look the other way while those with a vested interest go about their business. You just have to keep doing your job to the best of your ability.

As for the rest of the world, just ask Tyler, the Creator how long you can get by on shock value and mediocrity. Or Andrew Dice Clay. Or 2 Live Crew. Or Sarah Palin. And if Iceage doesn’t get their act together (and I’m not even talking about their politics), they’re going to end up in the hack trash-heap right along with the rest of those people. Their music isn’t interesting enough. And to me the band just sounds like a big puffed up brown shirt, filled with nothing more than tender skin and empty air.

Enjoy your catharsis, Iceage fans. I hope it’s therapeutic . But if this is the best catharsis you can find, I feel sorry for you.

Related posts:
THE ALTERNATIVE REVIEW | Iceage – You’re Nothing (Matador)
Iceage | smart and naive can be a dangerous combination too – Louis Pattison answers Iceage’s critics
Iceage | Who makes the Nazis?
Iceage | an open letter to Louis Pattison
the interview | Iceage want you to know that they’re not fascists

76 Responses to This blog kills fascists.

  1. Allan February 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Haven’t the time to think too deeply into this, but I will say that you have to (or at least i do) admire the Nazi aesthetic. Soldiers wore skulls on their berets, the iconography mobilised a population to support or at least turn a blind eye to horrific slaughter. Iconography is powerful. Even if it sends an immoral message you have to respect the power. Others may disagree, but i think there needs to be a space in which one can divorce the aesthetic from its historical context and give the iconogrpahy respect on aesthetic grounds even if it is immoral. I’ve heard of punks from the 70s who wore swastikas purely because it upset their grandparents. Tyler the Creator says “faggot” a lot because the word sounds hateful, he likes the way it rolls off the tongue. If there is a movement in popular culture at the moment which loves offense for the sake of offense, in my opinion go for it. It sounds better than self-righteousness. I’d rather listen to Burzum than some self-righteous politically-correct punk band.

  2. Harvey Manfrenjensenden February 17, 2013 at 1:00 am

    I’d rather listen to neither, Allan.

  3. Erika Elizabeth February 17, 2013 at 9:17 am

    One of the problems with the whole “But the punks in the ’70s toyed with the same imagery as a way of trying to shock the mainstream status quo!” argument is that things are only really shocking the first time around. Like, if someone tried to recreate the “iconography” of John Waters’ Pink Flamingos now, do you think people would be as shocked by a neo-Divine eating dog shit? Or would it just seem kind of dumb? If you’re going to use the tired “shock factor” argument to rationalize your use of controversial imagery, it helps if you’re actually shaking things up to begin with, rather than just falling back on something that’s already been done to death & just makes you seem lazy and/or ignorant. And as far as I can tell, Iceage isn’t even claiming shock value as their motivation for evoking these themes in their art/presentation, so that argument is even less valid.

  4. goodrobotusses February 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Some of the arguments in this piece are incredibly tenuous: “There are some issues with Islamophobia in Denmark and this band is Danish and has flirted with fascistic imagery, ergo related!”

    Iceage are just kids looking to shock. I’m not into the use of imagery and I doubt these lads are even aware of how bone-headed it is to use it. They’re probably just a bunch of Danish Nathan Barleys trying to come across as thought-provoking, but in truth they’re just an OK-ish post-punk band that’s found a schtick they don’t fully understand.

    Similarly, the kids flipping Nazi salutes at the show look about 12. For them it’s probably just an alternative form of rebellion to taking up smoking.

  5. UnContainuhDrivuh February 18, 2013 at 10:46 am

    it amazes me at the amount of nazi sympathizers that read collapse board and post in the comments section. young or not someone they know has to know better and has told them, so young or not it’s not an excuse.

  6. Everett True February 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Iceage merch.


  7. Ben February 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Great stuff Scott and Collapse Board. This bit is really the crux: “Either Iceage is filled with a bunch of racists, or a bunch of idiots. The choice is yours to make.” Some people sticking up for them are going with option b. For me that’d be all the more reason to go hard against them. Most of the world’s racism (and fascism) is perpetuated not by out-and-proud racists (or fascists), but by idiots. Surely the most humane way to deal with such people is to point out their mistake? Surely not doing so – “ah, forgive/ignore them, they’re just idiots” – is the worst kind of elitism?

    That said, I wouldn’t be so kind. goodrobotusses might not have seen, say, the drawing of a bunch of skinheads, above whom floats a giant knife (exactly like the ones Iceage sell as merch) pointing at the face of the lone, terrorist-styled Muslim-looking character (ergo related). Or say, from the same Cvlt Nation interview where they promote out-and-proud racist fascists like Absurd: “Q: What’s the story behind the Ice Age logo? A: Well, its an “I” on top of an “A”. End of story.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voorpost

    Why add the words “end of story”? That’s an odd thing to say. It seems inconsistent with innocent ignorance, doesn’t it? It suggests someone’s already tried dealing with them as mere idiots. Yet they are still pleading innocent ignorance.

    So: definitely idiots, maybe racists, definitely cowards. Sometimes I tolerate idiots and sometimes I stick up for ambiguous/provocative gestures in art (respectively: I saw Odd Future even though I knew they’d say “f-ggot” onstage; I think Siouxsie Sioux looked great on Grundy), but I’ve got no room for cowards.

  8. goodrobotusses February 18, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Good post, Ben. Can’t disagree with any of it. Was talking with a pal on Twitter last night about this whole thing and made the point that somebody (a journalist or some such) should challenge them on this crap. And if they’re not willing to spell it out for the sake of their ‘mystique’ then maybe it should be suggested to them that they’re a bunch of phonies playing with dangerous imagery without fully understanding what the fuck they’re on about.

    Idiots and cowards is right. Not convinced on the racists part though – certainly hope they aren’t because we need as few of them in the world as possible. I hadn’t seen those other things (Iceage aren’t that interesting to me), so thanks for sharing. Guessing the “end of story” thing is aimed elsewhere because I didn’t say that.

    UnContainuhDrivuh, not sure if you were referring to me, but just in case: please do not call me a Nazi sympathiser. Ta.

  9. goodrobotusses February 19, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Edit: missed the end of the quote from that interview (re: “end of story”). Duh.

  10. Pete February 19, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Hey, would you look at that? BNM at Pitchfork. Despite the handwringing, I guess…

  11. johnny February 19, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Social/political context… american society/politics, that is. The ku klux klan doesn’t exist in denmark and futhark runes are part of scandinavian cultural heritage. lose the colonialistic master-attitude, yankee

  12. santa_dog February 19, 2013 at 4:28 am


  13. Ben February 19, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Yea wasn’t having a go, goodrobot. If it’s not obvious I tend to use these sorts of comments to work through my own thoughts, probably silly but there you go. I like that this conversation exists.

  14. goodrobotusses February 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Nah, it’s all good. Rational musings and rational debate are good things.

  15. Napps February 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    The PF review is no surprise they already backed that horse and so it’s an investment for them…but it does point to a larger issue the American press has and that’s their utter inability to address the political. America is in the middle of a soft rock revival (a review of Rhye in the NYTimes cites Sting and Phil Collins and this is meant to entice not repulse; Bon Iver is the new Michael McDonald, etc) and bands that do get topical (Desaparecidos with the recent track Marikkkopa) get a quick mention but usually without any exploration of what they are aiming to state; usually it’s a bit of snark and let’s move on to what bands from the past we can reference…so it is no surprise the US press eats up Ice Age without asking any questions…it’s just not in the nature of the journo-blogger to tangle with the larger issues, or entertain art’s relationship with socio-political topics. Of course there are exceptions but when was the last time a Stereogum or Pitchfork feature came out on a side? At most they assume the posture of conduit. If all you read was PF, you’d probably be shocked to discover the US had an election last year or that global warming is of concern to most of the planet.

  16. Ben February 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    This article, and Everett’s, are starting to be quoted around the place. The second of these links goes into a bit more depth/thought.



    I am feeling a bit sorry for these kids who seem, honestly, to be expressing what’s on their mind, warts and all. Maybe their little scene was a nice place (sieg heils and all). But, now they’re not in a little scene, I like that the stupid bits aren’t being totally ignored (no thanks to Pitchfork). The benefits of freedom of speech – the “marketplace of ideas” in which the best ones win out – only exist if people talk back.

  17. Claus February 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Ugh. I hate to see this. I hate to see how the fact that there are (were!) EFFED UP people in our government is being used to support the theory on how iceage are neo-nazis. It’s completely misunderstood and definitely written by a person who has not lived in Denmark and who does not understand the different sub cultures here. The people voting for that party are generally old scared people who only ever have seem a muslim on TV and are sure that “they” plot to take over Europe. Anyone with ANY brain and sensibility and particularly young people in Copenhagen are VERY opposed to that and we cry ourselves to bed at night ashamed that the world sees us like this. All of the above is true but it is taken out of context completely. I’m willing to put my dear mother’s eyes on the table here and BET that neither Silas or any other member of iceage subscribe to any of those awful statements or opinions from the danish people’s party.
    I think the author is correct in the statement that they are trying to be badasses. We gotta remember that they are young. Really young. And they just want to be cool and provocative like any other person that age. I am sure anyone here has done stupid things in their youth. I for one am not proud of the McDonalds windows I smashed, the streetlights I made go out etc. I’m sure 40 year old Silas will look back and find it silly that he flirted with the imagery of nazism.

  18. CBP February 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    This debate is nothing new really. There is indeed a very thin line between facisim and stupidity, especially if those concerned decide to keep schtum about the issues. Julie Burchill once said of Souxise Sioux (once wore swastika armbands) – “making a fashion accessory out of the death of millions of people”. Perhaps that is what Iceage should make some sort of response to, so that we know that they aren’t really idiots… or facists.

  19. karsten February 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    This is what happens when you spend to much time writing on the internet & forget to check reality from time to time – you loose your grip. This article from top to buttom is written by someone who obviously doesn’t have a clue to what he is writing about ; I suggest to you Scott Creney to leave the safe space of your screen, go see if things really are the way you describe them – then use your experience to write something worthwhile, instad of poorly argumented speculations like this. BTW – i’m born and bred in Copenhagen.

  20. CBP February 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    @karsten, is it pure speculation to identify Iceage as a fascist band if they exclusively use fascist imagery? Why do you have to be “Danish” or “from Copenhagen” to think otherwise?

  21. Donni February 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    CBP, please stop ignoring the blantantly obvious evidence that completely debunks the entire point of this blog.

    Iceage have PUBLICLY REFUTED any and ALL racist, nazi or fascist ideologies in DANISH MEDIA as well as in NME as well as to every single person who has ever talked to them.


    On top of that, an actual music scholar – a professor, y’know, unlike you, a juvenile blogger – commented on this whole ordeal almost 2 years ago and concluded that it was nothing but punk aesthetics and symbolism. There’s nothing political about this band, and they aren’t fascists, racists or nazis.


    If you really have ANY doubts at this point, feel free to send any member of the band a message on Facebook and they’ll get back to you and explain for the hundredth time that you’re all picking at straws and acting like conspiracy theorists. This reminds me of the whole “METAL IS SATANISM” ordeal not 3 decades ago. Grow the fuck up, people. Sheez.

  22. Karsten February 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    @CPB – yes offcourse its pure speculation. Fascist imagery Can be used for a wide number of reasons , some fast examples ; laibach, death in june, joy division, throbbing gristle- hell, i Will even Throw old sid viscous in that pile.

    If you Live in Copenhagen or ever went to Denmark or in any other Way cared to look beyond your computer screen, you would know that any comparison between iceage & the new Danish punkscene and Dansk Folkeparti, is far fetched and downright stupid.

  23. Henry February 19, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    This is nonsense, you need to find something better to do.

  24. goodrobotusses February 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower was another band that used fascist imagery (albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way). They were accused by some of Nazi sympathies, to which their reply was:

    “The idea scattered across Love in the Fascist Brothel is that fascism, far from being defeated in 1945, simply went underground, where it now functions as the political unconscious of the West… a real neo-Nazi would be disgusted by our sexual stage antics, Jewish and gay band members, our music, our absurdist art.”

    I miss that band.

  25. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 2:40 am

    “There’s nothing political about this band, and they aren’t fascists, racists or nazis.”

    That’s rubbish. Every band is political in the choices they make, including the (political) choice not to engage in politics. This band has made a conscious choice to use imagery relating to racism and violence.

    Here’s the thing: if this band were on the side of the angels, were against injustice, racism, intolerance, then WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS DEBATE. It would be as plain as day.
    They need to work a bit harder.
    They are – whether they like it or not – making political choices and political statements.

    FWIW I don’t think Iceage are Neo-Nazis: I think they’re being naive, ignorant and willfully trollish. Commentators have every right to call them out on their use of powerful and disturbing imagery in a world where real people are suffering the real consequences of racism and to call them out on that loudly, articulately and consistently until this kind of holidaying in other people’s misery is seen as cowardly and vapid rather than edgy.

    Thank you to Scott for doing so here.

  26. Niels Bender February 20, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Lucy Cage, your logic is an absolute beauty.

    “Here’s the thing: if this band were on the side of the angels, were against injustice, racism, intolerance, then WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS DEBATE. It would be as plain as day.”

    According to your logic, anybody who is prosecuted is guilty exactly because he is prosecuted.

    Shame on you.

  27. Normandie February 20, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Thanks for this article. The amount of apologism, ignorance, and denial in most of these comments is flat-out astounding. I literally can’t believe it. I appreciate you speaking out and sharing this article.

  28. Laila February 20, 2013 at 7:10 am

    “There is no place for Islam in Europe and our first priority must be to repatriate the Muslim”

    Pretty stupid considering the involvment of Mulsims in Spain and and Eastern Europe, for exaple Muslim empires ruled Spain for about 800 years. I also want to point out that the majority of European Muslims are indigernous born especially in East European countries.

  29. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 8:14 am

    “According to your logic, anybody who is prosecuted is guilty exactly because he is prosecuted.”
    My point was simply that if a band is actively wanting to be seen as anti-fascist you’d know about it; it wouldn’t be difficult to tell what side of the fence they were on. When I think about bands like Crass (who Iceage apparently admire) there’s no doubt about where they stood on the subject of injustice and intolerance.
    Iceage are stirring up controversy rather than making a stand. That’s their choice. It’s up to you what you make of that choice.

  30. Donni February 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Lucy, please go up to my post and click the goddamn links that link to articles in which they reject any and all ideological ties. It’s straight from the horse’s mouth; what more do you want?

  31. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Donni, that’s kinda my point: if the image they put out there in the world needs passnotes distributed to their fans to clear up misinterpretations then they need to sort themselves out now.
    They’re fucking around with big stuff, stuff that is hurting vulnerable sections of society. Why be ambiguous about it?
    “There’s nothing political about this band” is bullshit, plain and simple.
    Maybe they are not party political but everything they do carries immense political weight and it is highly disingenuous to claim otherwise.

  32. Wallace Wylie February 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

    How did we get to the point where the artist is somehow above any kind of moral judgement and, worse than that, it’s up to other people to provide context for their art? Are we really so pathetic and in awe of ‘artists’ that we get angry when somebody asks to explain why they choose to flirt with pretentious, emotional, violent imagery? How dare you!!! Art shouldn’t have to explain. Yes it fucking should. The artist is not beyond my questioning anybody who puts artists on some kind of ‘above reproach’ pedestal needs to check their individuality and their willingness to challenge authority. What’s even more depressing is that Iceage are musically conservative by any standards other than those employed by indie/guitar fixated music fans. Scott has every right to question the motives of Iceage considering they are being deliberately ambiguous. I realise to some ambiguity equals depth, but to those who are less apt to bow down to the cult of the artist ambiguity can look and sound like a lazy, half-baked collage of juvenile symbol worship given a soundtrack that could only excite those who have opted out of every musical development since 1984. Who makes the Nazis? Intellectual half-wits.

  33. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

    “Who makes the Nazis? Intellectual half-wits.”
    Bravo to apt Fall quotation.

    Also worth reading the agenda of the blog of the same name (“Keeping an eye on the neo-fascists burrowing their way into a subculture near you”):

    By the way, linking to that is not me arguing that Iceage (whatever claim they may or may not make about their neutrality) are Neo-Fascists: this is simply evidence of a much wider debate, one which has a hell of a lot at stake in its conclusion and which Scott was perfectly justified in sparking here.

  34. Dingus Karkus February 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    This is hands down the most ill-informed and poorly penned piece of shit I have ever read. The author should be banned from ever using a pen, pencil or keyboard for the rest of his earthly existence and also well into the afterlife. Absolute dreck.

    Also, there is a glaring typo in your stupid bio that’s in the upper right hand corner.

  35. CBP February 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    So now supporters of this band are now digging deeper holes. The first rule of fascism is to censor the critics, ban them for asking uncomfortable questions. If you don’t like it or don’t agree then lets hear why or hold youor breath, don’t pontificate.

  36. Ben February 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I lol’d at the Fall quote, awesome (someone I knew once cited that as her favourite Fall track, which did my head in). Also, a great thing about that website linked by Lucy Cage is the Susan Sontag article linked in it. It’s right on point, it raises uncomfortable elitist questions about whether it’s ok for underground artists to reference things but a different thing to let the masses play with them. It also argues there is a fascist aesthetic that can exist regardless of lyrics etc, and not just in visual signifiers, but also in the layout of a performance space, the relationship of audience and performer etc.

    Which connects to the reason I popped in: “what would you do if this guy was at your show?” (in reference to the sieg heil kid) keeps coming back to me. It’s a really good question. I think of the movie version of Peter Hook diving into a fray of skinheads with his fists; At The Drive In refusing to play and making “baa” noises; Shellac taking and answering questions mid-gig; stories of Riot Grrl bands asking the audience to point out aggressive hecklers; Ian Mackaye talking quietly to a heckler in a corner after a show I attended; Donnie from No Anchor refusing to use a mic when he talks between songs. I also remember feeling sorry when a Ladyfest performer I admired accusing a soundguy of being patriarchal because he wouldn’t turn something up (he said he wasn’t allowed and looked genuinely apologetic), then pointed at the soundguy during the next angry song while a bunch of people glared at him mob-like. I wonder if it might be a good thing that some excited teen feels safe to play with “forbidden” symbols at an exciting gig without being immediately shut down by grown-ups. I also wonder whether anyone went and talked to him about what it means and why they didn’t like him doing that, and whether they felt safe do so without getting bashed by a pack or told they have too much time on their hands or yelled at to “GO READ THE INTERVIEWS DON’T YOU GET IT”. We keep coming back to discourse, don’t we? Keep it up.

  37. Donni February 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm


    “this is simply evidence of a much wider debate, one which has a hell of a lot at stake in its conclusion and which Scott was perfectly justified in sparking here.”

    This “debate” you refer to was already sparked 2 years ago. Most of this article is literally a copy-paste of an old blog entry. A blog entry that made the rounds to such a degree that Iceage, their management and their danish record company had to go out and make public statemens to clarify the intent, extent and actual meaning of the symbolism that the band is employng. In short, I’m referring to the evidence you are wilfully ignoring.

    As for the rest of your diatribe; there are no fans who are having “trouble” understanding the band; all the confusion comes specifically from poorly-informed, incompetent bloggers and sensationalist media. It’s almost an entirely American thing. Ask yourself why NO Europeans begged to ask any questions about the clearly ironic imagery of the band. Think about it real hard. And then reconsider the kind of accusations you are supporting throwing at a bunch of teenagers who just make a rock record that suddenly exploded on a worldwide scale.


    Why are you ignoring the post I wrote aimed squarely at you that addresses your concerns and refutes your argument entirely, in favor of responding to a troll?


    “We keep coming back to discourse, don’t we? Keep it up.”

    Yes, we do, and that’s because those interviews and statements are a direct refutation of the filth that bloggers have been blogging about for the past two years. If you’re unwilling to accept that these statements have been made, what is there to discourse? What do they need to do to please you? They have already rejected being nazis. They have already rejected being fascists. They have already rejected being racists. And they have, several times, explained what the meaning of the imagery is. What more do you want?

    Here’s an article where they explicitly deny any racist, nazi and fascist ideologis, plus any kind of political intent with their music.


    Escho also commented on the ordeal


    Finally, a Ph.D in music-science also tackled the issue


    Everything conclusively points to the image being fabricated, including what the band has told me every time I’ve spoken to them about it.

    There’s no discussion to be had about whether the band is political or not. The only discussion we can have is about whether their imagery is “responsible” to use. And, honestly, there have been no problems with it outside of the US, which leads me to beg the question of whether US music media is at fault, and not the band. Especially when so-called “journalists” write articles like this, without adding notes such as “the band has refuted being ideological etc.” in the article. Wilfully holding back evidence.

    The problem in this whole ordeal is not Iceage – the problem is Brittons, Americans and whoever else who, for some godforsaken reason, think that the band is trying to express a serious, UNIVERSAL message and is not just taking ironc stabs at the danish right-wing politicians that they hate so much. It’s a Danish punk band that never wanted to reach the rest of the world; their image, their lyrics and their point matters only to Danes, which is why it makes so little damn sense for foreigners to continue to make some sense out of it; you can’t. You’re not Danes. You know nothing of our culture, our politics, our customs – nor how our humour works. And you need to understand all of these things to make sense of a band like Iceage on more than a purely superficial “this is great music” level.

    This is what happens when a tiny band from a tiny counry (less than 6 million people) make an underground record that suddenly blows up overnight, and then gets reinterpreted by people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

  38. karsten February 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    @Donni – WORD!

  39. UnContainuhDrivuh February 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    can you translate the article into english please. otherwise i just imagine it reads blah, blah, knife, blah, violence, blah, just kids, blah, shultz, that hogan, blah, okay.

  40. Donni February 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm


    Real mature. Go use Google translate, it’s fairly profecient at translating danish to english. I don’t have time to translate 3 long news articles.

  41. UnContainuhDrivuh February 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    well i used google translate with some articles in greek recently and it was a nightmare. with an issue this serious i need to make sure i’m getting it really correct. i figure you seem really adamant about these articles and you keep posting so you probably had the time to spare.

  42. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    “As for the rest of your diatribe; there are no fans who are having “trouble” understanding the band; all the confusion comes specifically from poorly-informed, incompetent bloggers and sensationalist media. It’s almost an entirely American thing. Ask yourself why NO Europeans begged to ask any questions about the clearly ironic imagery of the band. Think about it real hard. And then reconsider the kind of accusations you are supporting throwing at a bunch of teenagers who just make a rock record that suddenly exploded on a worldwide scale.”

    Er, I am European. I am asking questions.

    They have not “just made a rock record”. Music doesn’t exist in isolation.

    The debate is happening, Donni, it’s really no good shouting that it mustn’t.

  43. Donni February 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    >I am asking questions.

    And you are ignoring the answers. I can only presume it’s because you don’t like them.

    >They have not “just made a rock record”. Music doesn’t exist in isolation.

    That is exactly my point. This music was conceived in a context that none of you understand, yet you’re trying apply it to your own cultural context. That’s fallacious.

    >The debate is happening

    A debate doesn’t consist of a reasonable party refuting fallacious arguments and being met with “nuh uh”. Which is basically what all of you have been doing for this entire “debate”. If you’re not going to respond to my points, I’m not going to waste any more of my time trying to reason with you. Good day.

  44. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Bye bye Donni!

  45. CBP February 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Can anyone let me know what the UNIVERSAL message is? I’m struggeling to pin that down. The article in Politken, is not very insightful. “We are not racist” and “Why do we have to prove we are not racist?” Well of course the band don’t have anything to “prove”, but perhaps a little something to explain.

  46. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Seriously though, you’re not helping yourself. None of this – none of the they’re apolitical, they’ve just made a rock album, they’re just young kids, you don’t understand the context bleating – NONE OF IT makes a genuine, strong, inarguable case for the wisdom for white European boys playing with images of racial violence in a world where non-white, non-European men, women and children are getting harassed, discriminated against and killed by (often state-endorsed) bigots every single day.

    You haven’t done it and they haven’t done it. And, by the way, saying “we’re not racist” in one interview isn’t enough, not by a very long chalk.

  47. johnny February 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Jesus christ, just because not everyone feels like playing antifa crust punk, doesn’t mean they are nazis. You think that people who don’t take a clear stand against racism are cowards. You think that it’s not okay to artistically interpret violence, oppression etc. unless you are wearing a “crossed out swastika”-t-shirt? Well, it’s ok for you to think that, not much I can do about it, but it’s really shitty to spread poorly based, sensationalistic rumours

  48. Lucy Cage February 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    “You think that people who don’t take a clear stand against racism are cowards.”

    Are you fucking joking?
    Yes. Yes I would imagine that most of the people here arguing that Iceage are being naive, trollish, dangerous, ignorant and/or actually perilously close to endorsing intolerance would say that if you don’t take a clear stand against racism you are a fucking coward.

    Even asking that question… Jesus.

    Yeah, sure, in your world it’s shittier to call a band out on their use of fascistic signifiers than to play around with them in the first place…

    Thing is, Iceage are using this imagery from a position of power and privilege. They are young, white, educated male and now darlings of the international establishment music press; they are at the top of the heap. The people at the bottom might not think that it’s so clever to even hint at the fact you might think fascism is – forfucksake – cool.

  49. Hail Zaitan February 21, 2013 at 12:49 am

    It IS very easy to ignore you, Lucy. That you are European doesn’t it make it easier to understand, why the hell you are projecting your goddamn pseudo-intellectual contextualization on some kids having fun. They don’t care what you think. Neither should anyone sane.

  50. Hail Zaitan February 21, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Go call Lemmy a nazi instead. Oh well, I suppose you are French. And so far left wing that you can slap yourself from the other side, just for the heck of having some one to be paranoid about. Which you should, silly.

  51. Wallace Wylie February 21, 2013 at 12:54 am

    So Iceage are not political at all. Not in any way. Yet they are using fascistic imagery in an ironic way to express distaste for the right-wing politicians they hate? Well that clears everything up.

  52. Hail Zaitan February 21, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Yeah, Wallace. But probably not for you.

  53. Hail Zaitan February 21, 2013 at 1:02 am

    To quote the very eloquent Donni indirectly: You are not Danish. You. Don’t. Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About.
    So please stop trying, this is pretty tiring for Danes, and for Iceage not the least.

  54. Oh God What February 21, 2013 at 1:23 am


    That a band writes about politics does not neccesarily make them a political band. Especially not when said band does not write about political issues in an understandable way. It’s not really obvious that Iceage’s lyrics have anything to do with politics at first glance, unlike, y’know, basically every single other hardcore punk band in existence.

  55. Wallace Wylie February 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

    So people who criticise Iceage are pretentious and pseudo-intellectual, but Iceage themselves are not? I mean, I’m not Danish or anything so maybe I just don’t get it, but it seems to me that Iceage are referencing/endorsing people and musical acts who have gone on record as having right-wing, fascistic views. Why are they doing this? Ironically? They don’t really enjoy Buzrum or Absurd? I’m not saying it makes them Nazis, I’m simply asking why they are doing it. To attack right wing politicians in an ironic manner? That doesn’t make any kind of sense. At the very least Iceage themselves are a bunch of pretentious, pseudo-intellectual navel-gazers who have fetishised their own sense of alienation. Nobody calls an album ‘You’re Nothing’ if they’re just out to have some fun. Unless that’s what Danish people do for fun. I’m not Danish you see so I don’t understand. Wallowing in your own misery and referencing fascistic images and people is fun in Denmark?

  56. Everett True February 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

    To quote the very eloquent Donni indirectly: You are not Danish. You. Don’t. Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About.
    So please stop trying, this is pretty tiring for Danes, and for Iceage not the least.

    Wow. The notion that you can’t ‘get’ Iceage unless you’re Danish is pretty fucking insulting to any Iceage fans who live outside Denmark.

  57. Ben February 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

    It’d have to suck if people got the wrong idea about your band. An article on Pitchfork this morning happens to make reference to the Incesticide liner notes. “At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us – leave us the f–k alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”

  58. johnny February 21, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Lucy, why do you insist on taking one line form a comment out of context and replying to that, instead of addressing the whole comment. You have done it all throughout this discussion and it’s kind of childish. But I guess it’s difficult to argue since you already know that Iceage have in fact denied accusations of racism, said FLAT OUT “we are not racist or fascist”, “I despise racism and homophobia” (<–actual quote). Yet you and others try to push the point that despite this they are not anti-racist enough? Who are you to decide that?

    How clear a stand against racism have you taken today? When you bought milk (soymilk I presume, otherwise we really need to talk) at the supermarket, did you tell everyone in the queue that you were totally against racism? Because you know, as a privileged citizen in a first world country you really are in a position of power and it's really cowardish to not take a stand in everything you do, ever

  59. johnny February 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

    And just to make it clear, I have no interest in defending Iceages music or aesthetics. What I don’t like at all is the fact that most people who aren’t familiar with the subject will only read this blog entry once and the words “Iceage” and “nazis” are the only things they will remember. I think that after band members have actively spoken out on the subject, it’s one thing to think that it’s stupid but it’s another thing to keep flogging a debate that only serves to spread rumours and suspicion.

    Also good on you for speaking out on the behalf of the people at the bottom. “The qualifying factors are politics and class”! I guess “you know how the niggers feel cold and the slums got so much soul”

  60. Wallace Wylie February 21, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I’m not sure how somebody who despises racism could enjoy Burzum and Absurd. Again, I’m not saying enjoying and actively promoting these bands makes you racist, but considering both acts are actively racist and not merely exploring ugly racist ideas for art’s sake, then it seems like, when you throw in some of the other factors mentioned, that some kind of explanation is necessary. Now, saying “I’m not racist” is not an explanation. It is merely a denial. Lot’s of racist people claim they are not racist, that they in fact hate racism, but then it turns out that they are. Like if someone were to say “I’m not racist, I just hate the Muslim influence on European culture and feel we need to take a stand against it”. Let me be clear, I’m not saying anyone in Iceage thinks such things, but racist people are certainly capable of rationalising their thoughts to convince themselves that they are not racist but merely defenders of freedom or something like that.

  61. CBP February 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

    The more I listen to those that defend Iceage, the more I suspect that the group are probably racist. Perhaps not outright fascists, but certainly not a group which show any willingness to explain themeselves properly, which you would want to do if someone presents to you all the evidence above. Is this interview gonna happen then? I want to find out if Iceage are a serious rock proposition or just posing chancers.

  62. J Vinciguerra February 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Shock horror, handsome danish boy band uses what is really pretty benign imagery, and their refusal to admit that yes, they are neo nazi’s makes dem all da more insidious, just like all that is not mentioned in a Lovecraft novella (or even a shirt story). I would now like to see Scott write an article about Eric Clapton’s career flourishing in spite of his racist outburst in the mid 70’s where he demanded that all the wog’s and coon’s leave Britain because it was turning into a black colony. The argument presented here is at best tenuous, but it will probably help da band sell more records

  63. Laila February 22, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Hi Everett True, I am a fan of your writing and wanted to ask your opinion about these two (random) albums:

    To bring you my love by PJ Harvey
    Stankonia by Outkast.
    I’ve just started listening to them for the first time.
    Thanks, Laila.
    P.S. Also I read you didn’t like the smiths somewhere, why was that?

  64. Lucy Cage February 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Johnny: my advice to both you and Iceage is not to say things you don’t mean.

  65. Stuart Gadd February 23, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I wish journalists wouldn’t confine their political engagement to when there’s a controversial record out. Maybe it takes a terrifying new Iceage record to galvanize your interest in the situation of Denmark’s Muslim minority – if You’re Nothing is as risible as suggested on the site I doubt Muslims will be quaking in their beds for a new Viking onslaught.

    Anyway, what I’m saying is, if you believe in something, don’t just be passive and wait for events, do something active, which Iceage seem to have perhaps unwittingly done. Ezra Pound was an anti-Semite prick, so was Eliot, Ian Curtis voted Tory and coerced his wife into doing the same. If it’s any good it will float free.

  66. Interested Buyer February 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Where can I get Iceage pom-poms like Donni has?

  67. David Glans February 25, 2013 at 6:24 am

    First of all; How am I suppose take someone serious if they don’t know what a nazi salute looks like?

    Death in June are not nazis, they’ve even played shows in Israel. You can debate about their opinions but they’re defenitly not nazis. Tony Wakeford was asked to leave the group when he joined the National Front. I’ve been to 3 Death in June shows (2 of them in Copenhagen actually. The guys from Iceage were at the first one) and there where people of non european origin at all 3 of them.

    “How come nobody talks about Elias’ drawings of weather forecasts and football highlights? That’s what I want to know”
    Do I even need to comment on how retarded this quote is? The drawings where made for an underground fanzine, not the morning paper.

    Me and a couple of friends talked to Jakob (the bass player) after an Iceage show and my friend who is a communist mentioned something about politics. Jakob then said something like “I’m not a communist, but I have nothing against communists”. I doubt that a fascist would say that.

  68. Dan Shea March 1, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I’m a Death in June fan, and from reading interviews with Douglas P it is apparent that he has at least a fascination with WWII: and I guess there’s no reason he shouldn’t, he lived through the aftermath in Britain, members of his family fought fascism and it’s a very important and interesting part of history. Armchair psychology would suggest that his fixation with war and sexual attraction to authority figures comes out of some misplaced longing from the father figure he lost tragically early. While people’s opinions can and do change radically throughout their lifetimes, it really is worth noting that Crisis were definitely involved in left-wing politics and that Douglas has spoken out about gay rights, played in Israel and an early Di6 show was a SWP benefit. Not your typical fascist type, really. If anything he’s the kind of person who, if he was an angry young man now, would join the EDL or an associated movement that covers far-right politics in a thin but very transparent anti-racist egalitarian veneer. Although it would take a spectacularly stupid person not to realise the EDL and their kind are as sexist, racist and homophobic as the rest of the far-right: they’re just not open about it.

    All this about political views aside, there comes a point where we need to divorce the artist from the art. My favourite director, David Lynch, is right-wing. Public Enemy in early days endorsed the Nation of Islam, as do many “conscious” hip hop artists whose work I enjoy; a lot of hip hop is similarly misogynistic and homophobic. Even Kathleen Hanna made some stupid transphobic remarks when she was the same age as Ice Age are now; most people have forgiven her, she was young and misguided. These examples could go on and on: if I were to only listen exclusively to artists I enjoy who I agree on everything with, my listening material would consist of Saul Williams, Xiu Xiu, Bjork and Antony and the Johnsons. PJ Harvey’s out: she supports fox hunting.

    There’s a lot of Nick Cave fans here: so they should be, he’s fantastic. He also adorned the Mutiny! EP cover with a swastika, wrote a song where someone is described as a “bad blind nigger” and has written lyrics that many have (in my opinion wrongly) read as the ravings of a misogynist. Dabbling in offensive imagery does not a fascist make: now, if Ice Age started talking positively about Holocaust revisionism that would be a dead giveaway. Using this imagery is definitely irresponsible and it can be easily misconstrued but isn’t punk MEANT to be irresponsible and shocking?

    Personally, I’d take the band that inspires arguments like this over the twee, studiedly blank slush sloshing around the “indie” ghetto at the moment everytime. I’m not a big Iceage fan but give me them over the current crop of morons who consult their PR team before sneezing any day. As Europe’s far-right are enjoying a resurgence, now is the time to have this debate and talk about these issues. If the furore surrounding this band has opened one apolitical eye up to the reality that some seriously bad people are experiencing a groundswell of support due to the mess society is in, then they’ve served a valuable purpose (whether it’s the one they set out to do or not). If you’re going to slag this band off, don’t slag them off purely for using far-right imagery, do it because you think they’re shit.

    The far-right have more in common than they’d ever admit with the extremists they claim all Muslims are. Both the far-right and Islamic extremists (and ALL religious extremists, whether they be Muslims or Christians) espouse in incoherent ideology built solely on blind faith in an imagined past and hatred of the Other (i.e. everyone who isn’t a male heterosexual). It’s a good job they’re too stupid to realise this.

  69. wed waven April 3, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Everett and Scott are right to be concerned about Fascism – a big thank you
    to them –
    stupid football managers
    stupid bands
    stupid fans and idiots like a lot of the people who use the same divisive arguments over and over and over again – bugger the facts!
    well – facts about how this poison is spreading by casual acceptance –
    can be found in many places on the net – like here – find out about Death In June
    and others – find out about fascism before you simply repeat crap denials by people whose music you love, football managers who get results but have mussolini tattoos, do fascist salutes but won’t talk politics now that they’ve made what they are clear etc. so that people think it is ok to like – “friendly,successful fascism” –

    NO PLATFORM – ¡No Pasarán!

  70. Pingback: Iceage og den fascistoide forvirring

  71. Cam May 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Please delete this website.

  72. Pingback: Elias Ronnenfelt, abanderado de la nueva ola danesa

  73. yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah May 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm


  74. danielle June 26, 2014 at 5:54 am

    this is the biggest joke of a write up I have ever had the displeasure of writing. AS AN OUTSPOKEN ANTI-FASCIST AND ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN, THIS PIECE OF JOURNALISM IS A COMPLETE JOKE.


  75. Pingback: The Lord’s Favorite | Bakterien für eure Seele

  76. Zane Goodeker August 13, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    tbh I don’t see the sig heiling. I see people throw there hands up all the time and even if people were things in these settings are often done for shock. THe fist in the air thing I actually always associated with the soviets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.