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Watain banned from playing Singapore; band responds

Watain

Swedish black metal vets Watain were banned from performing a concert in Singapore tonight (3/7) due to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) concerns about “the band’s history of denigrating religions and promoting violence,” Reuters reports. That’s a quote from the Info-communications Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) full statement on the cancellation, which reads: “MHA has expressed serious concerns about the concert, given the band’s history of denigrating religions and promoting violence, which has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore’s social harmony. MHA has therefore asked IMDA to consider cancelling the concert for reasons of public order, and IMDA has agreed.”

Watain vocalist Erik Danielsson responded in an email to Yahoo News Singapore, saying that while they understand people are “afraid” of their Satanic brand of music, they view “attempts to govern other peoples (sic) lives and decisions” with scorn. Erik Danielsson continues, “(As) if our supporters in Singapore were incapable of deciding for themselves what makes them strong or gives them encouragement to go on living their lives in freedom.”

The cancellation follows a Change.org petition being launched to ban both Watain and fellow “Satanic music group” Soilwork from performing in Singapore (it currently has over 17,000 signatures). Danielsson responded to commenters on Change.org saying that Watain’s “Satanic and suicide themes” would “corrupt” young minds, saying, “(Do) we feel that they are accurate in their accusations? Yes, some of them are. But how to approach such things, we believe, is for each and every grown man and woman to decide for themselves.”

Danielsson also added, “To say that we advocate self-destruction and suicide is like saying that the gospel of Jesus encourages people to crucify themselves.”

As of now, Soilwork’s Singapore show is still on.

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