Download a PDF of the map here.
Almost twenty years ago, white
nationalist music (aka hate rock or white power music) moved from the margins
to the cultural mainstream of America. 1994 was the year that George Burdi (who
has since renounced his neo-Nazi beliefs) incorporated Resistance Records and
cornered what was a lucrative and growing market. At its peak, thirty-four
music acts were part of the Resistance Records stable, raising over $300,000 for
the larger white nationalist movement.
Things have changed remarkably since
then. Today’s white power bands rely less on record labels for publicity and
embrace a do-it-yourself ethic, creating profiles on Facebook and MySpace, and posting
music videos on YouTube.
Other changes, such as digital music
sharing, have also impacted white nationalist labels and musicians, decreasing
their profit margins significantly. White nationalist music distributors also
now find themselves in a competition with mainstream distributors like
Amazon.com and iTunes, which are willing to profit off the soundtrack to the
white revolution. Resistance Records itself has ebbed and flowed (mostly
ebbed), changed hands, and even has its own more successful competitors
(Tightrope and Micetrap Records).
Genres are widening. Oi! and Punk,
the traditional music genres of burgeoning young white nationalists in the 90s,
have learned to share the stage and the white power music market with growing
subgenres like National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM), techno, rockabilly,
grindcore and even folk bands. Hate groups recognize that alienated white
youth, their most promising potential recruits, can be found across music
subcultures, and they market accordingly.
Perhaps the largest single
successful change for white power music in the United States may be that for
both its adherents and the broader public, it no longer holds the mystique it
once had. During the 2000s, white power music quietly reworked its image in an
effort to carry it into the mainstream. A hate group in Pennsylvania
successfully books both white power and ostensibly nonpolitical bands for a
weekend festival. And more white power bands can be found on the world’s
largest online music retailers.
Regardless of these changes, one
thing has remained constant – music is still one of the most effective vehicles
of recruitment for white nationalists. Bryant Cecchini, owner of white
nationalist Tightrope Records, explained the power of spreading hate through
music concisely: “If you put it to music,
they’ll listen to it twice before breakfast every day.”
For fans, bands, retailers, venues
and labels, now is the time to reinforce a culture of anti-bigotry. You have a
right to ban white power music from your school, store or venue. Send a message
by refusing to market white power albums or appear at a show with a known white
Keeping this music from creeping
into schools and communities is not an issue of infringing on free speech; it’s
an exercise in the right to speak out against hate.
This map includes white nationalist
bands that have recorded, toured, or otherwise actively promoted themselves
within the past three years. We will continue to update this list from time to
time, as new bands surface or old bands resurface. We welcome any feedback, and
we encourage you to send us information about bands you think need to be
included on our list.
It is our hope that bands, venues,
promoters, parents, teachers and most importantly fans can use this list to identify
and respond to white power music in their communities. More than anything, the
Turn It Down Campaign believes in the power of communities – composed of every
facet of the music industry and its audiences – as the most effective tool in
keeping hate out of our scenes.