Deafening Hate: The Revival of Resistance Records

  • January 8, 2013

Read the whole report: Deafening Hate The Revival of Resistance Records (PDF)

The music is loud, fast and grating. The lyrics preach hatred, violence and white supremacy. This is "hatecore" – the music of the hate movement – newly revived thanks to the acquisition of the largest hate music record label by one of the nation’s most notorious hatemongers. Resistance Records is providing a lucrative new source of revenue for the neo-Nazi National Alliance, which ADL considers the single most dangerous organized hate group in the United States today. William Pierce, the group's leader, is the author of The Turner Diaries, a handbook for hate that was read by convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh prior to his April, 1995 bombing attack. The National Alliance stands to reap thousands of dollars from the sale of white supremacist and neo-Nazi music.

Resistance Records, which has had a troubled history, has been revitalized since its purchase last year by William Pierce, leader of the National Alliance. Savvy marketing and the fall 1999 purchase of a Swedish competitor have helped Pierce transform the once-floundering label into the nation’s premiere purveyor of "white power" music. Bolstering sales for Resistance Records is an Internet site devoted to the promotion of hatecore music and dissemination of hate literature.

Building a Lucrative Business Selling Hate

Since taking the helm of Resistance Records after wresting control of the company from a former business partner, Pierce has built the label into a lucrative business that boasts a catalogue of some 250 hatecore music titles. His purchase of Nordland Records of Sweden effectively doubled the label’s inventory to 80,000 compact discs. In order to accommodate burgeoning record sales, Pierce has constructed a warehouse on the grounds of his National Alliance headquarters in Hillsboro, W.Va. Meanwhile, Resistance Records reportedly is fielding about 50 orders a day. Assuming that rate, the record company could have annual sales of up to $1 million.

Pierce has also begun marketing the business through the Internet and through the label’s music magazine, Resistance Magazine. The quarterly publication hawks Resistance CDs and related merchandise and presents album reviews and band interviews. Resistance Magazine is edited by Erich Gliebe, the head of the National Alliance in Cleveland and the label’s full-time manager and promoter. The Winter 2000 issue, a glossy, 64-page publication, spoke of "building Resistance Records into the musical arm of the Aryan revolution." As such, the magazine included numerous articles on the hate movement, including an interview with Matt Hale, the high profile, 28-year-old leader of the virulently anti-Semitic and racist World Church of the Creator.

Looking for Young Recruits

Like many record labels that cater to teenagers and young adults, Resistance Records has taken to the Internet with a Web site devoted to the promotion and sale of its music. The site, which includes articles from Resistance Magazine and a searchable database of artists and album titles, enables users to download and sample music clips. An order form allows users to order music using a credit card. Other features include "Resistance Radio," which offers a continuous stream of "music of the white resistance," and an online music catalogue. Articles posted on the site in recent months have encouraged supporters to spread the word about Resistance Records and to consider sponsoring a hate music concert in their hometowns. The Web site touts Resistance Records as the "Pro-White Alternative."

Hatecore: Music of the "White Resistance"

The brand of hatecore or "white power" music sold by Resistance Records is awash with violent images and epithets aimed at Blacks, Jews, Asians and immigrants. The racist bands are easily recognized by their not-so-subtle monikers – "Aggravated Assault," "Nordic Thunder," "Angry Aryans," "Brutal Attack," "Plunder & Pillage" and "Blue-Eyed Devils" – to name a few. Their music sounds similar to mainstream heavy metal or industrial music, except for the lyrics, which are replete with racist invective and violent images. "Kill all the niggers and you gas all the Jews, Kill a gypsy and a coloured, too," members of the racist skinhead band RaHoWa (short for "racial holy war") sing in "Third Reich."

One of the pioneers of this type of racist neo-Nazi skinhead music was George Burdi, who founded Resistance Records in 1993 after he began selling music out of his home in suburban Windsor, Ontario. Burdi created Resistance Magazine, and moved the operation to suburban Detroit, where he built the fledgling record business into the number one distributor of hate music in the United States.

Hatecore music offers the National Alliance a means to bring younger listeners into the hate movement. The music plays on themes of rebellion and chaos. The bands are almost exclusively male. Many band members have shaved heads and wear racist symbols such as swastikas.

Violence often accompanies hatecore concerts, which sometimes include "mosh pits" where dancing quickly breaks down into kicking, punching and body slamming. Such concerts are rarely held in traditional music venues. Often, concerts will take place by invitation only in rural areas.

History of Hatred

As the inheritor of Resistance Records’ legacy of hatred, Pierce is seeking to position the National Alliance for the future. He believes hate music – with its racist, anti-Semitic and anti-government messages – can be used simply and effectively to attract troubled youths. His stated goal is to fill the ranks of the National Alliance with a new generation of haters.

Resistance Records may serve as the linchpin of that plan. The label was founded by neo-Nazi skinheads and throughout its history has maintained links to organized hate groups. The label, originally linked to a Canadian chapter of the World Church of the Creator, underwent a succession of ownership changes before it was acquired by the National Alliance.

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