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Banned skinhead group in Australia

Sunday Times, Australia
Ma. 10, 2004
Ian McPhedran
www.sundaytimes.news.com.au

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday March 10, 2004

A Melbourne recording studio is producing hate songs for a skinhead band that preaches white supremacist messages via heavy metal music.

The modest St Andrews Studio in Cheltenham is used by the banned German band Exxtrem.

The studio boss who recorded the band said: “Their main idol is Hitler.”

German authorities banned Exxtrem and its music as racist and they insist on legal clearance for locally produced skinhead or satanic bands.

Officials closely monitor the band and liaise with Australian security agencies to counter the spread of racist hate music.

“The skinhead music scene continues to play an important role in bringing together and consolidating groups of extreme Right-wing juveniles with a propensity to violence,” a German report says.

Exxtrem produces its own songs in German plus English covers of others such as the works of dead American racist rocker Ian Stewart.

Exxtrem’s latest album carries the Stewart song Stand Up, which includes the lyrics: “Do you realise what you’ve done now our country is overrun, politician explain what was happening in your brain, foreign intruders that’s true but I bet none of them live near you”.

Former owner of St Andrews Recording Studio (once owned by 1970s Aussie band Skyhooks) Mark McCormack, conceded band members were white supremacists and their idols were Adolf Hitler and the American racist musicians Ian Stewart and Bobbie Matthews.

“I have never met one that is violent or like Romper Stomper,” Mr McCormack said.

“They should change what they look like and get into politics.”

Mr McCormack, who has recorded two albums for Exxtrem and played keyboard with them, said he did not agree with their views.

“What they sing is not my business,” he said.

Director of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (counter terrorism) in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg in Stuttgart, Hans Jurgen Doll, said during a recent security briefing the internet was the most important outlet for Right-wing extremists.

Exxtrem’s website shows members wearing T-shirts carrying the Nazi emblem, the swastika.

The band is led by a German skinhead called Steffen, who is a lawyer from Stuttgart. It includes his fellow skinhead, Klaus, plus two Australian session players called Geoff and Mark.

Steffen spends a month at a time in Melbourne hiring St Andrews and musicians to create albums that will be sold on the internet.

Owner of St Andrews Studio Steve Gijsbers said it had recorded many European and Australian heavy metal and skinhead bands.

“I look at the music on a technical level rather than a tasteful level,” he said.

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