'Hate Music' Is Key Element in White Supremacist Circles; Musical Performances Are Lucrative and Are Used as Recruitment Tool

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE - When they aren't ranting in Internet forums, many of the nation's white supremacists seek a louder outlet for their extreme views: thunderous, thrashing heavy metal or punk music with lyrics that call for a race war.

Wade Michael Page, the gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before being killed by police, was deeply involved in the "hate rock" scene - a shadowy world of hundreds of performers in the U.S. and Europe, most of them playing metal or hard-core punk. Some also play country, folk and other genres.

Largely unknown to most Americans, this musical subculture is an integral part of neo-Nazi circles, offering a way for like-minded followers to connect with one another and socialize, recruit new members and raise money for their cause.

"It really was a good political weapon for the agenda," said Jason Stevens, who once fronted a white-power band called Intimidation One in Portland, Ore.

Page played guitar and bass with Intimidation One in the early part of the last decade. He also appeared in bands named Definite Hate and End Apathy.

Stevens, who turned his back on white supremacy in 2004 and now owns a small business, said he was shocked to hear that a friend he remembered as "mellow and quiet" had committed such a heinous crime.

The two last talked on the phone in 2010, and Stevens said Page was "his usual laid-back self." At the time, Stevens said, he had a job at a Colorado metalworking shop.

Stevens said money raised by his band's tours and record sales was often funneled to legal defense funds for white supremacists charged with federal crimes, including Randy Weaver, whose 1992 standoff with federal agents in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, left a U.S. marshal and two Weaver family members dead.

The music "brings in more revenue than virtually anything else," said Brian Levin, a criminal justice professor at California State University at San Bernardino, who has consulted for the FBI and other federal agencies on white supremacists.

The National Alliance, a prominent white-power organization, sometimes cleared $1 million a year in profit from music, books and magazines, video games and other supremacy products, Levin said.

One of the most influential white-supremacist record labels, Resistance Records, often sold hate-rock albums for $14.88 - "14" represented the 14 words in a popular skinhead mantra, and "8" pointed to "H" as the eighth letter of the alphabet. …