MARDUK Guitarist Blasts Former Bassist Over 'Deplorable Behavior' At U.K. Festival
May 19, 2023
MARDUK's founding guitarist Morgan Håkansson has distanced his band from the actions of former bassist Joel Lindholm, who appeared to make a Nazi salute onstage during a performance last week.
Lindholm's gesture was captured in a fan-filmed video during MARDUK's May 14 performance in London as part of this year's Incineration Fest. In the clip, Lindholm can be seen standing slightly behind lead singer Daniel Rostén on the left side of the stage. The bassist can be seen deliberately crossing his arm over his chest, before extending it with his palm downwards.
On Thursday (May 18),MARDUK posted a statement to Facebook announcing Lindholm's departure. "Following a variety of intolerable stage antics by a very drunk Joel at Incineration Fest last week, he has vacated his position in the band," the group wrote. "Our old friend and bass player Devo [Magnus Andersson] has agreed to step in on a temporary basis, so this is unlikely to affect any of [our] upcoming shows."
A short time later, Håkansson offered a brief comment to writer Hannes Lännerholm of the Swedish newspaper Expressen, saying about Lindholm's actions: "It's obviously not something we accept."
Asked why MARDUK continued playing even after Lindholm's onstage gesture, Morgan told Expressen: "I don't see what others do on stage." He added that the decision to fire Joel from the group was made "when we saw the video, of course."
Håkansson went on to call Lindholm's actions "deplorable behavior" and added that "it's not gratifying when you are working and someone doesn't behave and embarrasses themselves."
Morgan is the sole remaining member of MARDUK who played on the band's debut LP, 1992's "Dark Endless".
In recent years, MARDUK has been plagued criticism for glorifying Nazi imagery and anti-Semitism, in part because of a fascism-friendly album titles like "Panzer Division Marduk", which refers to WWII-era German tanks. The band's February 2017 concert in Oakland was shut down by the Anti-Fascist Action Bay Area group, which accused MARDUK of having "white supremacist ties" and pointed out that MARDUK's 2015 album "Frontschwein" was written "entirely about the Third Reich."
Håkansson gave an interview in early 2014 in which he was asked to comment on the fact that Norwegian black metal musician Varg Vikernes was convicted of hate speech against Jews and Muslims in France in 2014. "It's strange that it's illegal to dislike a religion. I find it really strange that you can't have certain views," he reportedly said.
In a 2013 interview with Metal Blast, Håkansson spoke about the accusations of associations with national socialism which have been leveled at MARDUK. "I was not shocked because I'm not shocked by anything, but I was more surprised by the stupidity," he said. "It's strange that you can sing about certain historical topics but not about others. Some big magazines tried to boycott us and were sending faxes, back in those days, to promoters telling them avoid us, but that only made us stronger."
He added: "I'm fascinated by certain historical aspects and we will continue to write about them as long as it is inspiring to write lyrics about it, and if it's World War II, it's fine with me, and if somebody has a problem with it, they can fuck off. SLAYER, MOTÖRHEAD, they have done it before and I don't see a reason why not to do it."
Expressen has reached out to Lindholm to get his comments on the Incineration Fest incident and his exit from MARDUK but has not yet received a response.
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