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TAAKE interview. Hoest: «I wish more people had the balls to criticize Islam»

TAAKE mastermind Hoest is not fond of doing interviews, but I was lucky enough to get his answers and discuss a number of delicate topics. Sadly, I didn’t make it to see TAAKE live last weekend in Vilnius, but definitely hope they’ll have a place on a bigger Brutal Assault stage this year.

Taake Hoest TAAKE has been a subject of several controversial (and quite stupid, to my opinion) stories recently, ending up with a number of concerts cancelled. What irritates you in such situations most of all?

What annoys me the most is to be branded as a nazi for the rest of my life for having painted a swastika on my chest in Germany 12 years ago, just for fun and to annoy the Germans basically. It was not meant as support for the nazi ideology and I said so in my statement the very next morning. That should have been the end of it, but worthless braindead scum still insist I meant it seriously. Retarded journalists and other enemies also link this episode to my anti-islam shirt and lyrics, which has nothing to do with nazism. The two were even allied in the 2nd world war. It’s two separate things entirely, one I don’t at all stand for and one I stand for 100%.

Do you think there will be no problem with playing gigs in USA after all?

We will certainly perform in the States again soon, but do expect a lot of resistance. Hopefully the government or others will have had a huge crack-down on Antifa in the meantime.

You’ve been trolling audiences on various occasions over the years, so you are no stranger to causing controversy. Do you think it attracts extra attention to the band? Are scandals useful for the band’s promotion and popularity?

Some scandals can be useful to a certain extent, others not so much. Not all of it was on purpose, mind you. The fact that certain episodes cause news articles and make new people listen to the band and enjoy it, should be appreciated I suppose.

Do you miss the times of intolerance when it was allowed to write lyrics about beating women or hating black people (remember ANAL CUNT) and you didn’t have to explain every word and be sorry for anything you say? (That doesn’t mean I support racism or beating anyone – I’m just assuming everyone’s become over-sensitive now, and there’s no real artistic freedom.)

Yes indeed, there should be no taboos in Black Metal and other people need to mind their own fuckin business. This music style was meant for the underground anyway, those pre-programmed robots will never understand. I thought censorship was a thing of the past, but with all this political correctness it’s ridiculously mainstream these days. This has gone way too far and I’m sure it’s about to change.

Taake Hoest How you’d evaluate the role online media are playing nowadays in terms of the bands’ promotion? Are journalists and bloggers really helpful? Do you personally read online magazines and news sites?

Times have changed since the fanzines, flyers and tape-trading era I belonged to. Online media can be useful promotion indeed, considering how many hours people spend on the internet daily. I mostly only read news or watch documentaries, I am not interested in what goes on in the metal world.

Everyone seems to be excited about the “Lords of Chaos” movie. Are you going to watch it? Do you think this kind of popularization is a good thing for the black metal genre?

I know some of the people being portrayed in this movie and they all boycott it, with good reasons. I’m sure it won’t have anything valuable to offer the genre and I doubt I will ever watch it. The movie makers asked if they could use one of my songs for the end credits, but I refused of course.

Aside from your bands, you’re being a member of live GORGOROTH line-up. How did this kind of collaboration happen? Is it just a job for you – or something more?

Infernus is a long time friend of mine and I have been a fan of the band since the demo was released. When he fired Pest he asked me to replace him. It should have happened years before in my opinion. Their first vocalist Hat inspired my own stage presence and I do enjoy performing the old songs for the nostalgia. I also agree with the band’s message of course. I would never do anything just as a job when it is something that requires passion.

You’ve been imprisoned for several times. Do you still think violence is an appropriate way of problem solving?

It depends. When people provoke you out of the blue, they certainly deserve a lesson. I try to avoid it these days though, as each sentence would automatically be longer than the last and it’s a waste of time in there with all that human scum. Meaning most of the people who work there as well as most of the inmates.

Taake Hoest You’ve always been saying you hate and despise all religions equally. But don’t you think, Islam is a more dangerous thing to hate as compared to Christianity? There’re just a few bands who dare to say bad things about this religion – even if the islamic community is growing rapidly all over Europe. Do you think a new wave of anti-islamic black metal is coming, or people are too afraid to start this kind of war? Burning churches was a trend in the 90s, but I can hardly imagine any mosque burning these days.

I wish more people had the balls to criticize islam. But you obviously risk getting branded as a racist, the great taboo of our time, if not attacked by Antifa or killed by muslims. There’s an extreme double standard in how these two religions are being treated, but more and more people are waking up. I find it preposterous that it’s supposed to be racism if you despise the doctrine of islam, when this bullshit has followers of all races all over the world. The stupidity and lack of logic is overwhelming. And islamophobia is the most ridiculous word I have ever heard, as a phobia is an irrational mental disorder. I’d say islam is an irrational mental disorder.

I remember one of your interviews where you addressed Norwegian black metal saying: “The glory days are long gone”. So… what’s next for the genre? Does black metal need any renovation or reinvention? I know, you’re doing your own traditional thing with TAAKE – but still need to keep your music fresh and sufficient, not repeating yourself, etc. What keeps your flame burning? Are you interested in the modern metal scene in any way?

I’m still very inspired and just feel a need to stay creative. But what other bands are doing or where the genre is heading, I don’t really care anymore. I’m not easily impressed and mostly just pay attention to what friends of mine are recording. In my opinion, Black Metal is almost dead, with the exception of a handful or two of the old bands still going strong.

(Russian version of the interview is here.)