On September 18, Los Angeles-based shock-rockers W.A.S.P. are scheduled to play a headlining concert at the Kvarteret venue in Bergen, Norway. Local politicians are now launching an attack on the heavy metal band's stage show and are urging the local promoter to cancel the concert.
According to iBergen.no, W.A.S.P.'s stage show includes a simulation of a crucified nun being raped with a knife, followed by vocalist Blackie Lawless pulling out a bloody fetus from the woman's womb and impaling it with the knife.
"That is totally unacceptable," rages local councilman Torstein Dahle, who represents the political party RV. "Such a show has no place whatsoever in a civilized society."
Dahle strongly objects to the student organization Aktive Studenters Forening's decision to book such a band to play in Bergen.
"Rape is a huge problem in society that we must deal with to the best of our abilitilies," says Dahle. "To book a band that makes fun of it on stage is totally wrong. Kvarteret should strongly urge the band not to put on this stage show and instead focus on the music."
Local councilwoman Trude Drevland, who represents the political party Højre, is demanding that the concert be cancelled.
"A band like this being allowed to perform in front of students is unheard of," she tells iBergen.no. "Kvarteret should listen to their conscience and immediately cancel this concert. You must clearly distance yourself from this sort of expression. I'm prepared to go to great lengths as to what could be viewed as entertainment, but the line is crossed with rape — or even before that."
Johan Aubell from Aktive Studenters Forening dismisses the criticism.
"You have to view it as part of a show," he explains. "W.A.S.P. is a theatrical band and I just can't feel that something like this should be a problem these days."
Nobody raises their eyebrows any longer at Alice Cooper's guillotine act or Gene Simmons in KISS spitting blood. But surely rape on stage is an altogether diffent matter, isn't it?
"Yes, maybe that's taking it too far, but I strongly doubt that the band thereby defends rape," says Aubell.
Would you consider putting restrictions on the band's stage show?
"No, we don't censor the bands we book. But we will probably contact their booking agent to find out if this is still a part of W.A.S.P.'s concerts. We are very pleased to have been able to get them to play at Kvarteret. If there happens to be a lot of commotion ahead of the concert, we might have to look at the stage show a little more closely."
Check out Norwegian media reports on this W.A.S.P. controversy: