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Music award strips 'far-right' band nomination

Published: 08 Mar 2013 12:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Mar 2013 20:17 GMT+01:00

Bands are selected based on record sales, and South Tirolean group Frei.Wild sold enough to make into the “German Rock/Alternative” award category, daily paper theSüddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

But after loud protest from others up for the Echo, the German equivalent of the Grammy awards, including bands MIA and Kraftklub, the music association the Phono-Akademie decided to pull Frei.Wild from the nominations list on Thursday.

The decision reportedly came after intensive discussions about the controversy surrounding the band, which is considered part of the so-called “identity rock” genre often associated with the far-right.

Florian Drücke of Germany's music industry council the BVMI said in a statement that Frei.Wild's chart success and subsequent Echo nomination had caused not only controversy but also overshadowed the nomination of other popular artists.

The line between “identity rock” and neo-Nazism is, according to undercover journalist Thomas Kuban, fluid. He explained on FM4 radio station that there were numerous bands labelling themselves as belonging to the genre, which are held in high esteem on extremist forums.

Both Kraftklub and MIA posted messages on their Facebook sites urging fans to boycott the awards.

Kraftklub said that it did not want to be associated with Frei.Wild and MIA said it was thrilled about the nomination until it realized that the controversial band were also nominated for the same award.

“We find their outlook sickening,” MIA said.

But apparently not everyone in Germany does. The neo-Nazi NPD party announced on Friday that it would protest the decision to exclude Frei.Wild from the Echo awards ceremony on March 21st.

A statement released by the far-right party said it would hold a vigil in front of the venue in Berlin in support of the band.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:14 March 8, 2013 by jojofilipa
What a load of CRAP. The label given to them is unfair, and so is pulling them off of the nomination. MIA and CRAPclub were probably worried they would lose. Bunch of BS and sadly typical behaviour from ignorant fools.
14:28 March 8, 2013 by Firmino
Are they for real? How are Frei.Wild a far right band?
16:18 March 8, 2013 by Bulldawg82
The stiffling of free speech will only get you that which you are trying to avoid. Bands get labeled a lot of things that they (the band itself) doesn't want. Most of it is very unfair. Either way, the disenfranchisement of a whole section of socity is a quick way to have the movement grow even larger.
19:49 March 8, 2013 by sonriete
A lot of Gays are turning against Madonna because of her support for the Kaballa religion which preaches strident disapproval of homosexuality. I suppose everyone has a right to listen to whatever types of music they want to, but refusing to go to an awards show because you don't like the politics of your competitor? It seems strange and intolerant to me.

An interesting question would be should the Gays boycott music Madonna produced 30 years ago when she was pro Gay, or just the music she is producing now, since she embraced Kaballa?

Similarly, I wonder how these outraged musicians would react if Frei-Wild switched sides and joined the Green movement? Would they then embrace all of their music? Or maybe continue to boycott the older tunes but enjoy the new ones?
20:09 March 8, 2013 by Englishted
Can't say I care ,because if the only way I can hear the groups is on you tube then the great god GEMA has forbidden me ,on some grounds or other.

All power to the GEMA.
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