A New Jersey metal band that played an annual metal show in Maryland has been removed from the bill of an offshoot of that festival in the Netherlands after its ties to neo-Nazis surfaced, resulting in a number of bands threatening not to play the event if they were still scheduled to play.
According to the website Metal Injection, the Clifton, NJ-based Disma, which has been playing out since 2005, was scheduled to play the Netherlands Deathfest which is to take place Feb 26-28 in Tilberg, Netherlands. However long-simmering issues were once again raised regarding lead singer Craig Pillard’s other band Sturmfuhrer, a White Power metal band who releases their albums on Elegy Records, a National Socialist Black Metal record label also based in Clifton, NJ that was started by two former members of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, Robert DiSienna and Greg Pillard. It is not known at press time if Craig and Greg Pillard are related.
In an interview on the website Mourning the Ancient, Craig Pillard said his political leanings were towards the far Right and with Stumfuhrer he is able to express them. “I definitely see it getting worse unless “WE” start doing something about world Jewry/usury!” he said. “We are going downhill fast with the media multi-cultural cesspool that is being subjected to every decent White person that turns on the “Electric Jew” (television)!!!!! As long as “WE” keep getting force-fed this shit, and not do something about it, the faster “WE” DIE!!!!
On Monday, the organizers of the Netherlands Deathfest announced on its Facebook page that Disma was removed from the lineup, replacing them with Funebrarum, a band featuring Disma members. “This is the first time in 14 years of putting on festivals that we’ve been put in such an awkward situation, and in the end, just like a member of Disma who recently quit the band, we’ve decided to distance ourselves from the drama surrounding the band lately, the statement read. “For the record, nobody ‘pressured’ us into making this decision and the decision is solely ours, but it should be stated that the billing would look drastically different if Disma remained on the bill, as at least 10 bands have said they do not want to play the event if Disma remains on the bill.”
This was not the first time Disma, who’s other members do not share the same beliefs as Pillard, had been removed from the bill because of its lead singers Nazi leanings. In 2011, the band removed itself from the Chaos in Tejas festival lineup when the issue started controversy there with not just them but with Nyogthaeblisz, a band that was openly anti-Semitic that was also taken off the bill. When Disma attempted this time to complain on their Facebook page, saying “Hell has officially frozen over!!! Non metal PC bands got a “Death Metal” band kicked off a “Death Metal” fest,” There were some words of encouragement, while others responded negatively. “Maybe u should stick to extreme right wing gigs if that’s what your fans want,” one post read. “I love the music but srsly (sic) can’t stand hearing bigots whining about their freedom to spread hate being shat on.”
Netherlands Deathfest is a spinoff from the Maryland Deathfest which also happens annually every Memorial Day Weekend and is said to be the biggest of it’s kind in North America. Like Netherlands Deathfest, it does not promote a neo-Nazi agenda, but neo-Nazis have been seen invovled with the festival, possibly unbeknownst to the organizers. A group photo of the multiracial Maryland Deathfest Security staff on their Facebook page shows neo-Nazi Jason Tankersley of the Maryland “Skinheads” (MDS) and owner of the White Power music distro Label 56 among them. Tankersley was seen at the event patting attendees down at the gate.