|The record Future Of War by my band ATARI TEENAGE RIOT was placed on the index in Germany on the 8th of May 2002. To keep a long story short, this means it is forbidden to sell this music in public. |
The record was released worldwide in spring 1997 and has sold about 200.000 units. When international artists, for example the Beastie Boys (who released the record on their own label Grand Royal for the U.S.) or Beck (who, after he heard the record once, invited the band to support him on his U.S.-tour) explored our music, this record got huge attention and recognition because of it‘s left-rooted crtitque of the "modern" high-tech-war, as we had seen it all some years previously during the Gulf War.
It‘s a warning of a Germany that strategically ignores it‘s own hostility towards foreigners (as well as the inherent anti-Semitism and racism) because of its over-ambitious national pride, and therefore tolerates the crimes and violence committed by the extreme right and neo-nazis.
The international media welcomed the musically and lyrically clear signal from a Germany which was more famous during that time for skinheads and the regular burning of asylum homes. This record is a call for change, and the kind of emotion and rage expressed on there was seen as absolutely necessary.
We are frightened and angered about the ban of the record in Germany. In my eyes, musicians, artists, authors and film makers have the duty to criticise, to have visions and to speak about subject, that others would like to remain silent about. You can always criticise, discuss and argue about the individual artistic approach and method - and at the end of the day that’s what it is all about!
This is not a matter of taste; this is about the freedom to form and express one’s own opinions as well as artistic freedoms. A lot of people in our society seem to have forgotten how important these basic rights are.
To all those who perceive this as a "marketing campaign“ I can only say this: The record is almost six years old and we don`t expect any sudden chart positions (this isn’t possible at all, remember: The record is banned on the index). So why are we going public?
Because laws and censorships like this kind of thing have the potential to one day be applied to all parts of the media until it is impossible to publish independent reporting and to criticise in public (watch Italy).
Whether you like this record or not, you must understand that it is wrong that it is placed on the index.