Chicago and internet-based Neckbeard Deathcamp define their music as "FEDORA CRUSHING BLACK METAL," and with an album cover featuring a dick-headed reichsadler with Pepe the meme frog in place of the swastika, they mean it. The band's satirical mockery of über-cvlt NSBM bands might seem like a one-off joke, but the grinding raw black metal showcases talents honed by years of cutting their teeth in the underground.
When their debut, White Nationalism is for Basement Dwelling Losers, came out July 21st, plenty of metalheads took notice. The album quickly sold out of physical copies, and Prosthetic Records jumped in on the hype with a record deal. We had a chat with the band members to discuss the group's inception, goals and feelings on their newfound notoriety.
FIRST OFF, CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING A VIRAL METAL SENSATION THIS SUMMER. YOU GUYS ARE ALL EXPERIENCED MUSICIANS, SO WHAT'S IT LIKE HAVING THIS BE THE RELEASE THAT REALLY PUTS YOU ON THE MAP?
SUPERKOMMANDO It is a great feeling to know that the most impactful release I have ever done is one with a relevant message and in regards to two things I am passionate about: black metal and destroying bigotry.
KRIEGMASTER HATESTURM It feels excellent to be here. We are in exultation at finally being acknowledged for our efforts in a war worth fighting. I think often in metal we build shrines to our own suffering and demand others worship at them as a way of licking wounds. So in this present time it is nice to be able to come out strong and swinging in something less myopic and petulant than a lot of other extreme metal projects have felt comfortable becoming.
HAILZ KOMRADEZ I am extremely grateful for the response this release garnered. However, it is important to mention that we all have more serious projects.
WHAT KIND OF BANDS ARE YOU IN WHEN YOU'RE NOT TOGETHER?
SUPERKOMMANDO I play guitar and bass in a wide stylistic range of projects from brutal death metal, black metal, doom metal, to grindcore. My other main live project right now is a blackened death-grind band called Morgue Walker. Other notable projects of mine include Your End (black/death/doom) and Hateful Transgression (blackened brutal death).
KRIEGMASTER My other project is called Whitephosphorous. It's politically charged harsh noise on the legendary throne of Bael Records.
HAILZ Under a full moon (black/death/doom), Delaying the Inevitable (depressive blackgaze), Chainsaw Disfigurement, Your End, Hateful Transgression, and many others.
SO AS NEWFOUND LEFTIST METAL HEROES, WHAT'S YOUR ORIGIN STORY? WAS THIS BAND SOMETHING YOU THOUGHT OUT CAREFULLY OR MORE LIKE SOMETHING YOU JOKED ABOUT OVER SOME BEERS AND WENT THROUGH WITH? SUPERKOMMANDO It really was just a joke that Kreigmeister and I thought of one day and decided to record an album over a series of weekends. We were sick of the amount of un-empathic losers in the black-metal scene and decided to make an artistic statement regarding it. We had no expectations of it ever achieving this level of success. It is truly amazing. We are eternal.
HAILZ It was a joke over metaphorical internet beers.
KRIEGMASTER We joke about it a lot more over a lot more beers now.
WHEN I FIRST APPROACHED YOUR GUYS FOR AN INTERVIEW, YOU MADE SURE I KNEW THERE WERE THREE MEMBERS AND YOU WANTED ALL TO HAVE EQUAL REPRESENTATION IN THE ANSWERS. WAS THE SONGWRITING AS EGALITARIAN?
SUPERKOMMANDO The songs started with me writing and recording the guitar and bass music. Then I sent the music to Hailz and he recorded drums. Then Kriegmaster wrote the lyrics and themes and recorded vocals. I went out of my way to imitate lazy un-inspired NSBM riffs to ram the point further, which makes the bad reviews and critiques of the album even more hilarious because it just goes to show how many people still fell for it.
KRIEGMASTER Actually I think of myself as the least contributory to the actual songwriting process. I consider my role in the project to be more on the branding and art side.
ARE YOU GUYS INVOLVED IN ANY ACTIVISM YOU'D LIKE TO DISCUSS OUTSIDE OF MUSIC OR DO YOU PREFER TO CHANNEL YOURSELF CREATIVELY WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS?
SUPERKOMMANDO I am not personally affiliated with any organization. However, I look forward to donating some of our proceeds to good causes that are TBD.
KRIEGMASTER I work primarily with sexual assault in the music scene prevention programs, and women's reproductive health organizations. I openly encourage organizers for these types of things to get ahold of us as our warships pull into your town. We will gladly use our platform to empower yours and deftly handle any opposition to your movements.
HAILZ I do not consider myself an activist of any kind. Though we intended to use the band to literally put our money where our mouth is.
WHAT WAS THE INITIAL REACTION AMONG THE THREE OF YOU WHEN PROSTHETIC REACHED OUT?
HAILZ Shock and joy.
SUPERKOMMANDO Bewilderment. At that point we didn't know what was coming, but now we are just going to ride the wave of Nazi tears and see what happens.
KRIEGMASTER Grim satisfaction.
YOUR FIRST FACEBOOK PAGE WAS DELETED DUE TO WHAT SEEMS LIKE THE COMBINED EFFORTS OF THE TYPE OF PEOPLE YOU MOCK ON THE RECORD. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY MORE SERIOUS THREATS DIRECTED YOUR WAY?
SUPERKOMMANDO Yes, there has been plenty of hate from our target audience, but we knew we had that coming from the beginning. The best parts about that whole thing include 1) seeing the actual lack of sense of humor among the alt-right, 2) watching the plethora of antisemitic, racist and homophobic insults come at us from grown men in their thirties who vehemently protest that they are none of the afore-mentioned adjectives, and 3) bringing out in the open the sheer amount of complacency and sympathy for white nationalist beliefs among people you would never know otherwise.
HAILZ They are all powerless, weak, poser keyboard warriors.
YOU'VE OPERATED UNDER RELATIVE ANONYMITY TO THIS POINT. WHAT'S BEEN THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT THE BAND SO FAR?
SUPERKOMMANDO The biggest misconception is that we are inherently an Antifa-affiliated band. There is a misconception that hating Nazis and doing something about it is inherently "radical leftist," which is simply not the case. We know our enemies and we fight them on our terms.
KRIEGMASTER Though I second Superkommando's denial of our Antifa affiliation, I would like to take this time to publicly confess to punching Richard Spencer every single time he has ever been punched in his life. From the playground in 4th grade, to that one video we all love, to tomorrow night when someone recognizes him and his signature mayonnaise on sourdough sandwich in Panera Bread. It was always me, and it will continue to be me.
WHAT PLANS ARE IN THE WORKS AS FAR AS A BIGGER RELEASE WITH THE LABEL AND SUPPORTING TOUR?
SUPERKOMMANDO We have a split and a new full-length in the works at the moment. Each record will be more and more pummeling than the last. We are still planning more shows, but we are officially booked to play the Stygian Rites Black Metal Festival in South Dakota next June.
KRIEGMASTER The VIP wristbands may buy you access to more luxurious restrooms at our coming festival dates, but I would just spring for general admission because you're going to shit your pants after you hear the unrelenting hatred of the new album through that big money sound system. Using the difference to buy more pants would be a real power move.
No tolerance. No prisoners. Only casualties.