Paul "The Axeman" Martin, host of New Zealand's long-running weekly metal radio show "The Axe Attack" (web site), has sent the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding the recent media reports [Report#1, Report#2] focusing on DAWN OF AZAZEL frontman Rigel Walshe's "ultra-violent militarist" image and satanic symbols and lyrics:
"For The Record: 'The Axe Attack' continues in its 100% support of DAWN OF AZAZEL. This type of sensationalist writing (re: Jennifer Dann's article [in New Zealand's Stuff newspaper]) is the real cancer of our society, drawing attention away from the 'real' news and creating scapegoats for our government and societies weaknesses. I am sure the police minister has more important things on her agenda than investigating this (let's concentrate on finding Irana Asher or one of the other dozens of missing persons in this country, or perhaps they could concentrate on the rapes, beatings and thieving that so many seem to get away with).
"Personally, I have known Rigel for some time. I hold the man in very high esteem; his character, dedication and integrity are beyond reproach and to see him lambasted for the sake of a pathetic sensationalist rag is infuriating. To label someone a 'tattooed skinhead' in these days of one-eyed political correctness, is to me as offensive as calling someone a n*gger, it is inciting prejudice and hate, something newspapers should be well aware of.
"Rigel is an artist and orator he is passionate about his music and his job and takes both very seriously. The fact that he has coloured skin and a shaved head are no reason to persecute him. If he were a Maori he would've been hailed for having the strength of character and conviction to sing from his heart but being a 'tattooed skinhead' just draws derision and scorn in this article.
"To mention the band's performance at Riverhead in 2000 'climaxed in a 300+ person riot, the ensuing chaos leaving several injured and hospitalised.' Well, they should put that a lot of soccer games overseas and U2 concerts end up exactly the same way. This is a great example of discrimination from an uninformed writer who should know better. As for the subject of his lyrics, we have freedom of speech and are usually allowed, even encouraged, to speak our minds. Rigel's lyrics are a hell of a lot more intelligent and enlightened than 50 CENT or EMINEM's and don't encourage the 'gangsta violence mentality' that gets rammed down our throats via hip hop artists on NZ TV every day.
"I hope the poor sad girl that wrote the article never reads the bible or we may be in for these shock headlines next Sunday: 'Scruffy Long Haired Hippy Starts Death Cult!
"Get a grip and start reporting some real news, not the controlled media slop we are served. How about writing an article on New Zealand's REAL history and the pre-Maori, European tangata whenua that we're not allowed to discuss?? How about reporting on what the hell is going on with our sun, and why is it a secret, who is really controlling the governments and why are we still subject to chemical experiments, who is controlling the weather, who funds the wars...and it goes on and on... Call yourselves journalists???
"I, for one, will never buy that particular crappy paper again."