Crash Worship or ADRV (Adoración De Rotura Violenta) was a San Diego based experimental aktionist industrial-noise, multicultural/multidisciplinary performance group formed in 1986, most renowned for its live shows in which three stand-up percussionists hammered out concussive poly-rhythms to abstract mutated guitar, synthesizers, effects and dueling vocalists. Audience members were showered in various substances such as blood, wine and honey while band members ignited combustibles and fire within the performance area. Crash Worship also released several albums and singles of both live and studio-recorded music. Mostly self-produced (unusually packaged and laboriously handcrafted) works in visually stunning screen printed metal splattered with paint, urine, blood and other esoterica. Although they toured playing their recorded material, the celebratory nature of these events left each show open to spontaneity and improvisation.[4
Initially starting as a studio project, Crash Worship soon learned the power of a live audience. During performances, the band's members (or often provocateurs) would manipulate the crowd, involving them more deeply into the show, ultimately eliminating any boundaries between spectator and performer. The musicians would also mobilize their instruments on and off the stage into the middle of the audience (or outside), lighting explosives and hosing down the crowd with various liquids creating an atmosphere of celebratory abandon and mirth. Strobe lights, nudity, mysterious liquids, sex and smoke filled rooms (at next to zero visibility) were all a part of the average show. The chaos of these events often invited unwanted attention from police who would later forcibly shut down a large percentage of the band's performances.
After much successful touring of the United States, Crash Worship followed suit with two full European tours in the mid-90s. It was also around this time the band was deemed "unmanageable" by many labels, booking agencies and clubs which proved difficult to tour much afterward. Although at the height of notoriety, Crash Worship had been banned from countless cities across the United Statesmaking it almost impossible touring there or abroad.
From RosecityAntifa.org (Tides Foundation funded) Waldteufel and Markus Wolff's Involvement With The New Right Cultural Movement
As a result of public pressure, local musical project Waldteufel was dropped from the line-up for a Portland show by touring band Psychic TV, who played at Euphoria Nightclub on Saturday, December 12th. Complaints about Waldteufel’s presence on the bill began after Portland band Aradia raised criticisms of Waldteufel’s deep involvement in neo-fascist subculture. After making their concerns known, Aradia--who previously were also on the show’s bill--were dropped from the line-up by the organizer for Psychic TV’s Portland stop. On Thursday, December 9th, Aradia issued a statement on Facebook about their concerns regarding Waldteufel, mentioning that their anti-racist musical project had been knocked off the bill after raising these concerns. The resultant outcry about Waldteufel quickly led to that band also having its support slot pulled.
We believe this was an important decision to keep neo-fascist bands from maintaining and expanding their presence in the Portland music scene. Members of Waldteufel have strong connections to organizations and members of the far-Right. Despite Waldteufel being dropped from this particular show it is still important to expose these connections.
Markus Wolff and Tyr Journal
Waldteufel’s frontman and primary member is Markus Wolff, who currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Wolff was a member of the influential percussive industrial project Crash Worship during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. More recently, Wolff has been a jack of many trades: in addition to being a musician, he is a writer for the journal Tyr and an editor for the magazine Hex (now ceased publication). Wolff is also an artist focusing on pagan-inspired drawings and sculptures that he calls Heidnischwerk, or “heathen works.” He creates organic jewelry for body piercing.
For the last couple of decades, Wolff has also been a constant presence in the “Conservative Avant-Garde” cultural scene. This scene is closely connected to European New Right and thus neo-fascist ideology. (The term “Conservative Avant-Garde” is taken from Markus Wolff’s friend Gerhard Petak of Allerseelen, but is an appropriate description of how a broader circle of artists view themselves. Markus Wolff used to contribute to Sigill , a German-language publication whose subtitle translates as “Magazine for Europe's Conservative Cultural Avant Garde,” again suggesting that “Conservative Avant-Garde” is an accurate label for the scene that Wolff/Waldteufel operates within.) One of the better-known publications Wolff writes for is Tyr , a “radical traditionalist” journal that describes itself as “celebrat[ing] the traditional myths, culture, and social institutions of pre-Christian, pre-modern Europe.” The journal’s editors understand radical traditionalism as an expression ofyearning for the “small homogeneous tribal societies that flourished before Christianity.” Tyr is released by Ultra Press and edited by Joshua Buckley and Michael Moynihan. Buckley was active in the violent neo-Nazi group SS of America in the early 90s and later went on to work as a business partner with white supremacist, Klan lawyer, and real estate mogul Sam Dickson in Atlanta, GA. (Buckley currently lives in South Carolina.) Michael Jenkins Moynihan
Frequent Waldteufel/Wolff collaborator Michael Jenkins Moynihan--the second editor of Tyr alongside Buckley--is a publisher, musician, and journalist born in Boston, MA who lived in Portland, OR for several years in the mid-90’s to early 2000’s. As a publisher Moynihan has released, among other titles, Siege : The collected Writings of James Mason. In this book Moynihan compiled the newsletters that Mason--a former member of the American Nazi Party and the National Socialist Liberation Front--put out over the course of six years. (Mason also headed the Universal Order, a bizarre outfit that combined Nazism with Charles Manson-worship.) In 1989 Moynihan joined the fascist think tank the Abraxas Foundation, which was founded by holocaust denier Keith Stimely and white supremacist Boyd Rice. The think tank was described by Rice as a group aimed at "a new demographic of people who [were] into the occult, Fascism, and Social Darwinism.”
Moynihan has also edited and published books by Julius Evola, attempting to bring these works to a wider audience in the English-speaking world. The first English translation of Evola’s Men Among the Ruins was edited by Moynihan, with a limited hardback edition published by Moynihan’s Dominion Press. In his editorial acknowledgements for the book, Moynihan thanks Markus Wolff for his help--Wolff translated the lengthy essay “Julius Evola’s Political Endeavors” by H.T. Hansen (pseudonym of Hans Thomas Hakl) that is part of the book’s front matter. Evola’s Introduction to Magic was also edited by Moynihan.
Julius Evola, the figure so admired by Moynihan, is also a major figure for Wolff. Not only did Wolff translate Hansen/Hakl’s essay included in the first English edition of Evola’s Men Among the Ruins , but in 1998, Wolff’s Waldteufel project contributed a track to “ Cavalcare La Tigre ,” a CD compilation paying tribute to Evola.
Evola (1898 – 1974) was an Italian “Traditionalist” thinker who has a cult following on the extreme/far-Right. “Traditionalism” in this sense (somewhat different yet overlapping with the “radical traditonalism” of Tyrjournal) aims to return to perennial truths allegedly found in the major world religions. However, for Evola this spiritual task gave rise to an extreme, anti-egalitarian, and aristocratic worldview that happened to involve an affinity for European pre-Christian beliefs. Evola propagandized for his philosophy to the Italian Fascists, then to German Nazis (especially the circles around the SS), and then finally to postwar Italian fascists, some of whom would go on to commit acts of terror during Italy’s bloody “Years of Lead.”
While Evola rejected what he saw as crude and unspiritual versions of racism and antisemitism, he essentially promoted his own variant of each, identifying Jewish people as agents of decay within Europe. Evola’s Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race, published in 1941, introduces Evola’s concept of “spiritual racism.” By framing both his racism and antisemitism as spiritual and cultural concerns--rather than biological ones--Evola to some degree preempted the cultural justifications for separatism put forward by the European New Right. By discussing previously socio-biological categories in terms of cultural difference while, at the same time, decrying cruder racism, New Right groups can often get around accusations of fascism or white supremacist politics since their reformulations avoid stereotypes regarding such belief systems. Nevertheless, their political core is still recognizably far-Right.
Waldteufel & Wolff’s Worldview
Markus Wolff and Waldteufel employ a similar approach to maneuver around accusations of fascism as the European New Right. The project draws inspiration from the Völkish movement, a movement that sprung up in Germany in the late 1800’s, combining ethnic nationalism, folklore, and romanticism. It was meant to spiritually connect people and the land and thus became a basis for the ultra-nationalist tendencies that spread throughout Germany in the early 1900’s, eventually feeding into German Nazi party.
When talking about the German language in an interview in Descent magazine , Wolff expresses a hope that Waldteufel can “ play a little part in preserving the integrity and beauty of [the] language endangered by foreign influences,” here displaying a typically Völkish concern about keeping European cultures free from the impact of alien forces. Later in the same interview, Wolff contrasts folk-based “Romantic Nationalism” (which Wolff understands as having a positive cultural impact) with the opposing forces of “international modernism.” In spite of this sort of rhetoric, Wolff often associates himself with Völkish figures who later became marginalized once the Nazi party was in power. In this way, Wolff can claim that he represents ideals that were at odds with Nazi orthodoxy and state power--minimizing the role Völkish movements played in creating an environment hospitable for National Socialism in the first place.
To give some idea of the milieu that Waldteufel initially involved itself within: the bassist on early Waldteufel recordings and at some Waldteufel live performances was Aaron Garland. Garland edited the publication Ohm Clock in the 1990s, whose content included an interview with James Mason (the neo-Nazi author whoseSiege book was published by Moynihan) and a cover story on the white supremacist band Rahowa (short for “Racial Holy War”). While Garland no doubt saw himself as ruffling the feathers of egalitarian do-gooders with his publication, the simple fact is that he uncritically circulated neo-Nazi viewpoints and propaganda. Garland also played alongside Wolff in Moynihan’s Blood Axis during that project’s 1998 European tour. Hex Magazine
In addition to his other activities and associations, Wolff was one of the main editors for Hex magazine, which was published in Oregon from 2007 to 2012. While several of Hex’s writers are relatively apolitical pagans, Hex also contained writing by a number of far-Right and neo-fascist authors, such as Cody Dickerson, a former neo-Nazi bonehead and more recent collaborator with neo-fascist “national anarchist” Troy Southgate ; Andrew King (mentioned above); and Gerhard Petak of Allerseelen (who we have alreadywritten extensively about ).
In its infancy, Hex was also edited by Amie Beckwith (then Amie Rautmann), who we first encountered attending a Portland talk by notorious Holocaust-denier David Irving in 2009 (see here for the the leaked attendee list , where she is referred to as “Amy.”)
Amie Beckwith’s ex-husband Scott Rautmann was also present at the 2009 David Irving event. We encountered Scott Rautmann again when David Irving made another stop in Portland in 2012 (and again had a Rose City Antifa welcoming committee.) Scott Rautmann is another associate of Wolff’s; Rautmann co-released the Waldteufel album Heimliches Deutschland on vinyl along with Markus Wolff’s Volkways label. Changes and RN Taylor
Finally, we should stress Wolff’s association with RN Taylor of the folk group Changes . As mentioned earlier, RN Taylor is an open white nationalist, whose far-Right involvement goes back to his membership of the Minutemen paramilitary group in the 1960s. Taylor does not disguise his far-Right views in interviews. This October, Taylorperformed at the National Policy Institute conference , a major white nationalist event held in Washington, DC. Just as Wolff frequently collaborates with Michael Moynihan’s Blood Axis musical project, Wolff has also appeared on stage playing drums with Changes. Both Taylor and Wolff (as well as Moynihan and Buckley) were contributors to the Asatru Alliance’s publication Vor Tru in the 1990s, and Taylor and Wolff have certainly kept in touch since. (While the Asatru Alliance formally rejects racism, the Alliance identifies Asatru as “the ethnic religion of the indigenous Northern European peoples” and is therefore exclusivist--the Alliance sees its purpose as helping “Northern Europeans [...] believe and promote their own culture and heritage.” RN Taylor and the “Tribe of Wulfings” kindred associated with Taylor exited the Asatru Alliance in 1999.)
In 2005, Markus Wolff hosted Changes for a show at the Alberta Street Public House in Portland. When both Changes and Waldteufel played the Northern California black metal/neofolk/experimental festivalStella Natura in 2013, fascist publisher Greg Johnson specifically mentioned these groups (and Ian Read’s Fire + Ice) as the projects he was most interested in seeing.
Wolff’s Response to Anti-fascist Criticism
Forced by Aradia’s criticism, Markus Wolff issued a reply in which he denies his racism.
Markus Wolff’s response: "The misguided guilt by association witch-hunt that has ensued over Waldteufel's billing with Psychic TV is sad and deplorable. Just because I have worked with some bands that are deemed controversial does not mean I share all or any of their views. And people evolve and change over the years, and I have done so as well. I am certainly far from perfect.
“This much should be clear to all who know me - that I disdain all totalitarian forms of government including Fascism. I support indigenous cultures the world over. I have sided and been fascinated with American Native peoples since I was a child. Colonization has been a horrible mistake, and native peoples need more of a voice in what happens to their lands. I have always loved being outdoors in nature, so it's a no-brainer I support environmental causes and justice and saving what we can of nature and wilderness, as well as finding ways to live sustainably with nature. I hope we can find a way out of capitalism and materialism. My spirituality is based on all of that, and I certainly do not buy into the notion of one's culture or ethnicity's superiority over another. I try to focus on the positive and life-affirming aspects, not division and emnity[sic].
“The underground scenes I have been lucky to be a part of include people of many diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations and viewpoints, and I feel privileged to call so many of them friends. I would not go through the trouble to make and maintain these connections if I was motivated by anything but love and support among artists and musicians.
“I hope this clears up any misunderstandings some of you might have."
In this response, Wolff also delivers a narrative completely compatible with the European New Right’s worldview. The New Right tends to praise indigenous peoples’ right to their own lands, promote ecology, and condemn colonialism. What they add to this is the view that they see “indigenous” European cultures as also being endangered by modernity and universalism--a view that can be seen in Wolff’s interview comments about the German language being threatened by “foreign influences.”
Wolff does not address any of the specifics pointed out by anti-fascists, such as Wolff’s endorsement of far-Right thinkers such as Evola and de Benoist. Wolff also completely refuses to discuss his long-running involvement with figures such as Buckley, Moynihan and Taylor, instead accusing those who have raised criticisms as launching a “witch-hunt.”
The fact that Wolff hosted the band Changes, fronted by white supremacist RN Taylor, and even played live drums for them is hardly compatible with Wolff “not [buying] into the notion of one's culture or ethnicity's superiority over another” except in rhetoric. This rhetoric is nevertheless familiar on the European New Right, which claims to fight for European cultural distinctness rather than a supremacist position (despite the fact that in practice this leads to racist politics, reframed in terms of culture.)
Wolff’s collaborations with Michael Moynihan and RN Taylor, his promotion of Julius Evola, and his presence in the “Conservative Avant-Garde” scene should be more than enough to show where he stands politically. Rose City Antifa are glad that Waldteufel was dropped from the show in Portland--too often this project has gone unchallenged, simply on the basis that it is not comprised of paramilitary boneheads but rather reflects a cultural and pseudo-intellectual strategy that is nevertheless recognizably far-Right. To be sure, different forms of fascism or neo-fascism call for different strategic responses. We applaud those who have stood up against counter-cultural fascism, which is in some ways a more difficult fight than against blatant neo-Nazis who make no effort to soft-pedal their worldview and intentions. We are committed to fighting fascism and neo-fascism in all their forms, as our fight is not against one or another way of packaging the fascist project, but rather the ends of fascist and neo-fascist organizing.
The counter-cultural approach of projects such as Waldteufel and Allerseelen eschews traditional political organizing, instead reproducing far-Right themes via culture. This cultural approach nevertheless creates a space that is welcoming for more directly political fascist organizers, as may be seen for example in the fascist project Counter-Currents Publishing setting up a merchandizing table at the “ Stella Natura ” neofolk festival in 2013. (The editor of Counter-Currents also singled out Waldteufel as one of the groups at that festival he was most excited about at that festival.) While cultural strategies should be distinguished from more expressly politically-activist ones, we believe that the attempted normalization of fascist motifs and themes within cultural spaces should be challenged. This at minimum means putting such fascist counter-cultural activity up for debate and challenging it where it appears. We also believe that venues and musical projects should speak out and act consistently with their anti-racist convictions--for example by refusing to book or share a stage with the “Conservative Avant Garde.” Finally, bands, venues and counter-cultural media that are unequivocally anti-racist and anti-fascist deserve our support. There is no alternative to building and maintaining a vibrant anti-racist presence in our musical scenes.