By day, Thomas Gurrath, 29, is a trainee teacher in politics, history and ethics at Hegel Gymnasium in the city's Vaihingen district. By night, he is Thomas “The Bloodbeast” Gurrath, frontman for the gory metal band Debauchery.
Now, he's been given an ultimatum: it's one or the other. According to daily Bild on Friday, education authorities have told Gurrath he will have to give up the teacher traineeship he began on January 1 unless he quits his band.
Clemens Homoth-Kuhs, spokesman for the regional education authorities, told the paper: “We have in the end agreed that Mr Gurrath is now to stop his traineeship, but have told him that he can start again under certain conditions.”
The band's album covers and promotional posters include naked, blood-covered women, chainsaws and all manner of sado-masochistic equipment. The band performs smeared in fake blood and incorporate topless, blood-covered women in their live act.
A supervisor at Gurrath's school discovered some of the material on the band's website and told education authorities.
On the website, Gurrath explains that the violence depicted in the band's music and image merely reflects a violent world.
“But it's still only music, a form of art. It`s no real violence, no one gets hurt by music, only if it is too loud,” the website reads.
Album titles include “Kill, Maim, Burn”, “Rage of the Bloodbeast” and “Torture Pit.”
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Authorities gave the singer the ultimatum, according to Bild, on the grounds that non-violence was a key aspect to the image of the teaching profession – and one that Gurrath could not plausibly represent to his pupils if he stayed in the band.
Gurrath told the paper he would not back down.
“I would never give up my music just because the education authorities order it,” he said.