On Threats, Censorship, and Destroyer 666
If you keep an eye on the comings and goings in the metal underground, you’re no doubt aware of the slowly expanding PR fireball that Destroyer 666 has created. I believe there’s still plenty to discuss with regards to the band’s words and actions, as well as the bigger issue in the relationship between the press and bands in the metal world.
Allegations of racism aren’t a new thing for Destroyer 666, or more specifically, for frontman KK Warslut. Many consider those allegations to be pointless, as the music is what’s important to the listening public. I personally feel that there shouldn’t be free passes for hate speech; it needs to be exposed, and the listening public can decide from there if they want to keep supporting the band or not. This article, however, isn’t intended to be about said allegations. KK’s recent outbursts have shown a disturbing level of anger toward various metal outlets, and it would do the whole metal community well to think about and avoid any precedents being set.
I’ll try my best to lay out a timeline here: On July 9th, a drunk KK spent a good amount of time on stage at Metal Magic festival in Denmark expressing his hatred for the audience. He was particularly “sick of” the men, who had descended from Vikings, but were now living in a “matriarchal” society. He also became outraged at a concertgoer in an Antifa mask, but in fairness, that outburst was far more understandable due to the militant nature of the Australian left-wing extremist group, who tends to default to immediate violence themselves. Several fans jumped on stage at different times in an attempt to fight KK, who had to be held back himself. Luckily, their set ended without violence. This unprompted display of misogyny resulted in perplexed coverage from a few metal websites; Metalsucks paired it with a discussion of KK’s Nazi-associated tattoos, his identification of the white wolf (which is standing over its mutilated brown prey) on their Unchain The Wolves album as “the spirit of the white man,” and his former membership in the openly racist band The Raven’s Wing.
Next, Blair Hopkins of Invisible Oranges did a review of a D666 show where she also attempted to photograph the band while they were playing. KK continued in a similar fashion as his Danish show, taking a vocal survey of the crowd to check for possible “pussies,” “faggots,” and “internet warriors.” KK approved of the roaring crowd’s assurance that none of those were in attendance, and he also approved of the “good looking chink” in the audience (some comments have suggested that he actually said “good looking chick,” but that change in the narrative does little to affect the outcome). Hopkins continued with her account of being annoyed—and later groped—by a drunk dude throughout the entire show, and the difficulty she had taking pictures due to the frenzy of the audience. While there is plenty of subtext implicitly deriding KK’s overt sexism and racism, Hopkins praises the band’s performance, their recent album, and even recognizes the appeal of the frontman’s persona. The only shade of a blame one could find is her comment that their aesthetic “makes for unpredictable audience behavior.” Even then, she clearly recognizes that the band is simply putting on a good show, and the obvious side affect is a raucous crowd that makes photography (part of her job) difficult when there isn’t a designated space for photographers (a fault she never comes close to leveling at the band).
The next day, Destroyer 666 posted the following on their Facebook page (the post has since been deleted).
I suppose there are a few points KK could have been trying to make with this completely asinine statement, but there is absolutely no excuse for being edgy about a global tragedy by mocking those families in their devastation and grieving. Especially when it takes place in a country that is being forced to make senseless violence and horrible loss a part of their daily lives. Unbelievably, however, KK’s utter lack of emotional intelligence on this post hardly plays a part in the current debacle.
This brings us to July 17th. Destroyer 666 posted a long tour wrap-up on Facebook, and spent most of it calling out metal blogs and SJW culture (ah yes, the old standby attack). In a truly deplorable display, KK railed against Blair Hopkins, calling her a “little lying dishonest whore.” He accused her of being “more intent on advertising her attractiveness to drunks than she was in writing an honest review.” Then, switching to a second person narrative (while drastically upping his typo-per-sentence rate), he finished with “Clearly your insecure about your looks woman and felt a burning desire to advertise just how irresistible you are.To drunks.Sad desperate bitch.” I’ll spare you the English lesson that we desperately need in favor of the humanity lesson we need even more. First of all, it’s not a secret that the instances of women being groped and straight up molested at metal shows are really high (yeah, those are all different links citing this sort of thing. Stop groping women at metal shows, idiots). She was reviewing a live show, and it shouldn’t be a debate that this drunk dude’s nagging was a big part of her experience. Secondly, she had nothing but positive and well-written things to say about each band. The only troubles she spoke of were getting thrown around in the pit while trying to take pictures, and how the drunken idiot was groping her anytime she was mildly stable. She even mentioned how she laughed about the ordeal on her way out, stating “I’ve gotta have another crack at those guys…but it’s gotta be somewhere with a photo pit.”
I urge you to read her review for yourself. If I’m clearly wrong and Hopkins deserves the hideous, dimwitted hate speech KK leveled at her, I’d love to hear your reasoning. I consider myself a decently intelligent guy and I can’t come up with anything other than emotional reasoning on his part, or the propensity of a certain individuals to only see the world and motivations of others in terms of their own emotional state. KK was unhappy with how his drunken, misogynist tirade in Denmark had gotten negative coverage from metal outlets, and he projected that onto this basically positive live review by a woman and responded by lashing out at his perception of someone out to get him. While I can’t see it happening, I desperately hope he apologizes for his idiotic rant against Hopkins.
Next, and most deplorably (although finding new lows seems difficult at this point), he targets the editors of Metalsucks. Like several other metal blogs (and grown men who call themselves KK Warslut), each contributor writes under a pseudonym in an effort to keep their personal lives separate. Metalsucks has long been known for a dry, nearly sarcastic tone when writing op-ed pieces, and that sort of voice worked well when they boiled down KK’s words and actions over the years to label him a “racist d-bag” in the article. KK took great offense to this, and posted the real names of both editors, and a picture, the home address, and personal phone number of the site’s founder in their rambling nonsense. I don’t care what kind of insult you think your band has received, giving that level of personal information to a wide and unpredictable audience of random people is pure, childish garbage. A respected Toileteer said it better that I will: “At best, you’re trying to intimidate someone with the implication of potential violence. At worst, you’re hoping some idiot that likes you will carry out that violence on your behalf.” Do you truly, and I mean truly, want that very real violence on your hands, Mr. Warslut? You did, after all, say that nature could take its course, now that their names are in the public domain. But nature doesn’t take its course here, the whims of random people that you personally influence take their course. I hope that you hope nothing happens.
Now, I should point out that KK posted that information with claims that they received death threats due to Metalsucks’ article, and, not being in the band’s shoes, we’re not in any position to doubt that those claims were made. However, his posting of highly personal information to their already rabid fans undoubtedly takes that way farther than Metalsucks could have. Not to mention that, given D666’s Australian location, Metalsucks’ primarily North American following, and the vast difference in population of both areas, there’s a strong skew in actual threat here (note: I can’t believe I felt the need to lay out that line of reasoning, but I did. Thanks, KK). But that’s not all! Metalsucks went back and deleted all negative articles about Destroyer 666 and posted an apology article, citing their regret that the band received the threats. It took KK a very long time to respond in kind, and the personal information was left up well past the time that the apology article ran. When the address and phone number were finally taken down, the bloggers’ real names still remained. Within that time, an anonymous source revealed this:
If you read Metalsucks’ apology, I don’t think I need to explain how childish KK was being at this point. Another anonymous source close to the situation revealed that KK himself was leveling threats against people involved to the point that law enforcement had to be included (he stated in the initial post that he’ll be in the state where the involved party is located for the next four weeks, giving some kind of assumption that he’s in the position to act upon said threats), heaping piles and piles of hypocrisy upon his anger that threats of physical violence are crossing the line, which prompted Metalsucks to detract and run the apology piece. If you followed D666’s post, you might have noticed at this point that KK was banning and deleting anyone with an opposing opinion (I think I may have heard the complaint that “SJW-types” dismiss anyone with an opposing opinion…hmmm…). I got blocked really quickly for voicing a differing viewpoint, and the same was swiftly done for anyone else. At this point, anyone who views that post will only see comments that confirm KK’s views due to his censorship of the post.
Clearly, things at this point are boiling over into absolute nonsense on the part of the manchild called KK Warslut. I mentioned earlier that this article is intended to be about dangerous precedents that may be set here, and here we are: can bands simply reveal personal and dangerously accurate information for metal outlets when those sites give them negative coverage in exchange for retractions? Voices on the Toilet ov Hell Facebook group echoed the same sad sentiment, and I dearly, dearly hope that we haven’t arrived at that point. If Todd Jones of super mega tuff band Nails had the physical address of the slightly-but-not-really-negative blogger in the UK with whom he had a Twitter beef, would he have purposely incited violence to get a retraction of the negative coverage? He threatened playground, “meet-me-by-the-bike-racks after school” violence himself, so it’s difficult to conjecture at this point. If the various Phils of the metal realm (Phil McSorley, Phil Labonte, Phil Fasciana) had physical identification of the many metal blogs that gave them grief for their racist and/or misogynistic diatribes, would we have been in this current situation years ago?
Once again, I dearly hope that other bands haven’t taken notice. If a trend catches on of petty bands leveling petty, yet real-world threats that can result in actual violence against press that simply state facts about the band, the world of metal will significantly suffer for it. Not on the behalf of blogs, but for the fair treatment of all music being released. Imagine a world where threats of violence can completely curb even slightly negative reviews. Or, in this case, imagine a world where threats from members of the band itself can warrant apology pieces from a blog that simply drew conclusions from facts about the band based off available statements. What would that sort of atmosphere do for a community built on subjectivity and (supposedly) open discussion?
We here at the Toilet ov Hell have a colorful history with the folks at Metalsucks, but I can say now that we’ve reached a point of mutual respect. We, as a group, are appalled and disgusted at the threats of harm from both the members of and the fans of Destroyer 666, and we wish nothing but peace and happiness for everyone involved with Metalsucks. We also wish peace and happiness for both the members of and the fans of Destroyer 666. The band’s new album has garnered positive praise from all corners of the blogosphere, including many of our readers. I won’t deny for a second that Destroyer 666 is the band to fill your rifftastic black thrashing needs, and I’m not seeking to vilify anyone that chooses to ignore the personal proceedings of the band and simply listen to the excellent brand of metal they produce. But if you think for a second that being a tuff, trve metal warrior involves threatening innocent people and their families, you have tremendous amount of growing up to do. I firmly believe that the disgusting views held by the grown man that calls himself KK Warslut can openly be mocked by the same free speech he cries for (but denies by deleting detractors), and anyone that immediately dismisses it as “SJW propaganda” should hold a calm and level-headed discussion below. Did I incite fiery replies with several of my last sentences? Of course I did, now shut up and give me a well-reasoned response below.
Editor’s Note: I reached out to the band’s label, Season of Mist, for a comment on this story. Michael Berberian, the label’s founder replied thusly:
“I can’t comment as SOM – as my views are not the one of the company. However, on a personal level : here is my comment“