Should Musicians Stay Out Of The Political Arena? TOM GABRIEL FISCHER Weighs In

May 26, 2024

During an appearance on a recent episode of the Iblis Manifestations podcast, former HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST and current TRIPTYKON singer, guitarist and main songwriter Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom Gabriel Warrior) weighed in on the debate about whether musicians should use their platform, either on record or on stage, to preach their political and environmental views. He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's a thin line. It's a two-sided thing. I'm the first one who never liked to be told what to think and what to do. Starting with my school time, which was severely damaged by me always having problems with authority figures and me not wanting to be told what to do, and, of course, this basically set up the entire path of my life. But at the same time, I've been given a platform, a huge gift by the audience. And in my opinion, even though I honestly don't take myself that serious, and I really mean that, and people who know me know that's true, but I still think we have some kind of responsibility. If this platform is given to you as a gift, are you supposed to just walk blindly and never address anything that needs to be addressed, especially for young people? And I'm speaking as a former young person, with the same issues decades ago."

He continued: "I really don't wanna become a Bono of U2 or some of the other protagonists, even if I share their concerns sometimes. But I don't wanna be a missionary, and I respect my audience the way I look at myself. I think they don't want to be told what to think by me. What right do I have to tell them, politically or environmentally or whatever, do I have a right to tell them? No, I don't really have a right. And they don't wanna be told by Tom fucking Warrior, out of everybody, what to think or what to do. So it's kind of an internal controversy. Do you address issues that you know need to be addressed, especially for people who are shaping this planet right now and in the future, the young people in the audience? Do you address these things or do you keep your mouth shut because it's not your place? I'm not a politician — otherwise I would be a politician — but I'm a musician. On the other hand, I've traveled the world for 43 years and I've seen a million things, I've talked to a million people and I've seen ups and downs and I tend to hope that I have some kind of intelligence and I'm following what's happening to the environment, I'm following what's happening to people who are suppressed, to women, to animals. And sometimes it's very difficult for me to shut the fuck up. And so I do address these things. I simply try to give it some measure and not to overdo things. As I said, I don't wanna become a Bono, but I know that people who come to my concerts come for the music and not for Tom's fucking preaching. But this is always a very difficult issue, and you have to trust your instinct and you have to trust, is it the right moment for this or not?"

Tom added: "Music also carries thoughts. Music carries energy. And I have to admit, certain things that certain musicians said that I look up to in the past 50 years, ever since I became a metal fan in the seventies, sometimes I read an interview or read an interview as a young teenager, I was, like, 'Wow, this makes me think.' Even though I'm reading this interview for the music, but sometimes they said something about the environment or whatever or political situation, I was, like, "Wow, this makes me think.' So in a way, yeah, you have this responsibility. It would be very blind to just go on and act like the planet is perfect and then never say anything. 'I'm just doing it for record sales.' How superficial is that? No, sometimes you have to — if you have some kind of conscience, you have to stake at least parts of your career, because you will always find people who disagree with you and might no longer buy your albums, but sometimes you have to stake that against each other and take responsibility and say something, as long as you do it well measured, I guess."

Fischer went on to say that he understands why some fans have the tendency to grow upset when musicians they follow on social media weigh in on their political beliefs.

"One of my favorite counter arguments is, 'He's a musician. He should stick to playing music,' which, of course, I understand the argument and it's got a point," Tom explained. "But on the other hand, so who are you? If you're a baker or a taxi driver or a banker, you also have a political opinion. And why is that opinion better than…? [Being] a musician is also a job. And just because [I'm] a musician, [I] should not voice mine? And because you're a baker, you know better than me? No, we all have our opinions, and if anything, having traveled the world for 43 years, to all kinds of nations, and having been in touch with the people who live there — like literally in touch, not like a tourist, but actually talking to them and traveling their countries on tours and everything — maybe even gives you a better oversight over the planet than a housewife from Hackney [a suburb of London]."

Iblis Manifestations is hosted by Shayan, a musician and fitness coach, born in Tehran, Iran after the Islamic Revolution. He grew up in a world of totalitarian religious extremism, under the rule of cultural and societal restrictions — defying which could lead to punishments of imprisonment or even death. He is known as the frontman and guitarist of the black/death metal band TRIVAX, which is now based in the United Kingdom.

Last year, Tom and the rest of TRIPTYKON played several concerts during which they performed a set of early CELTIC FROST songs celebrating the influential Swiss metal band that he co-founded 40 years ago.

Bassist Martin Eric Ain, who played with Fischer in both HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST, died in October 2017 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 50.

CELTIC FROST reformed in 2001 and released its comeback album "Monotheist" via Century Media/Prowling Death in 2006. The band broke up in 2008, with Fischer going on to form TRIPTYKON.

Find more on Celtic frost
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).