Toten Hosen gets lost in the quagmire of abolitionist culture

The festival was not canceled because of Pantera
Dead pants get lost in the quagmire of abolitionist culture

Die Toten Hosen with singer Campino (center), Kuddel (left), Breiti (right), Andi and Ritchie (second from left)

Die Toten Hosen with singer Campino (center), Kuddel (left), Breiti (right), Andi and Ritchie (second from left)

© Rolf Vennenbernd / DPA

Die Toten Hosen has responded to the controversial appearance of heavy metal band Pantera at the Rock im Park festival. In a statement, they explained why their appearance wasn’t canceled — and were sharply criticized by fans.

The waking present can be complicated. The slightly gray German punk band Tote Hosen around singer Campino had this experience. The Dusseldorf group is set to headline the dual festivals Rock am Ring / Rock im Park in early June. But now the look is controversial and often faces criticism.

The reason is that the American heavy metal band Pantera is also booked in for shows there. Their singer Phil Anselmo had a nasty far-right fail in 2016 during a show in Los Angeles. Completely drunk (according to his own account, but believable), Anselmo saluted Hitler at 2 am and unleashed “white power” on the crowd. (The concert was held in honor of Pantera’s guitarist, Darryl “Dimepage” Abbott. The band had already broken up in 2000 and only reunited in 2022).

The discussion is getting faster

At first, the attack commander tried to downplay the incident. “White Power” was supposedly an inside gag for the band and stood for the white wine the group dropped behind the bandage backstage. But after the criticism mounted, with bands like Anthrax and Metal Head criticizing Anselmo, he recorded an apology video a week later (“It was ugly, it didn’t fit”). Days later, I follow up with a written statement. Interviews followed, including in the magazine “rolling stone”, where he declared that he was not a racist (“I don’t give a damn about skin color, nationality, religion or anything else”). Anselmo’s apology was not accepted or accepted by many.

The 2016 incident wasn’t the first to draw negative attention from the metal singer. There are many stories from the 1990s of him dabbling in racist innuendo or reportedly wearing a Carnivore T-shirt with a South African racist motif.

Now the band, reunited in 2022, has embarked on a world concert tour and is being viewed critically, at least in Germany. Incidents like Anselmo’s are not easily forgotten. Controversy over Pantera’s initial appearance spread on social media. Then a green city council group in Nuremberg joined the protest and called on the organizers, Argo Konzerte GmBH, to cancel Pantera’s performance.

The lengthy justification of Tuten Hussein

Finally, Die Toten Hosen got involved in the discussion by also publishing two statements. The first came out last Friday. In it, they eloquently explain why they want to perform in spite of Pantera. They, of course, find Anselmo’s salute to Hitler “disgusting,” they wrote. And they have their doubts about the singer’s apology (as does the Greens). The question remains how believable this is, the band writes on their Facebook page.

But they also maintain that they have never met Anselmo and cannot judge his true position. “We find the whole situation complicated and unfortunate.” At the same time, they note that Pantera will be appearing at many festivals this year with ensembles that are “hard to fit in the right corner”. Totin Hussain writes that “the majority of the rock world” seems to accept the singer’s purification. So there is no trace of the so-called “cancellation culture” among the old villains.

As a result, the group has received some heavy criticism from fans, who seem to have reacted very leniently. This, in turn, prompted them to make a second, brief statement defending their decision and pointing to tickets sold by fans. At the end they write “we will keep you updated”. The controversy over Pantera and Toten Hosen may not be over yet.

Sources: DPA,”Rolling Stone“,”diffuse“, Green city council faction NurembergAnd Toten Hussein’s Facebook pageAnd YouTube video with Hitler salute by Phil Anselmo

Leave a Reply

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