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Labour MP criticises Sun report on metal band mates

By | Published on Tuesday 18 April 2017

Richard Burgon

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon MP has denied claims that a metal band for whom he recorded guest vocals have far right connections. An piece of artwork claimed to feature “Nazi symbols” was in fact a parody of a piece of Black Sabbath album cover, he said.

Last week, The Sun reported that Burgon had “joined a heavy metal band that delights in Nazi symbols”, suggesting that the politician was now the singer in Leeds band Dream Tröll. This followed Burgon posting a picture of himself in a recording studio on Facebook, announcing his guest appearance on a new track by the band.

“The group uses the name of Hitler’s infamous SS security unit as lettering in its promotion posters”, wrote The Sun. “It also spells its name in German military font, complete with an umlaut over the letter ‘o’, and has the motto; ‘We sold our soul for rock n troll'”.

Responding on Facebook, Burgon said: “I love heavy metal and have done ever since I first heard Iron Maiden when I was just eight years old. The other week, a local Leeds band – the wonderfully-named Dream Troll, whose members I’ve known since we were all heavy metal obsessed teenagers – asked me, for a bit of fun, to do a guest appearance on their new song, reading a few lines to add dramatic effect to a classic swords and sorcery style heavy metal narrative”.

“I grew up in Leeds with members of this band”, he continued. “I have known them since we were teenagers. They are not politicians. They play in a (non political) heavy metal band for fun after work and on weekends. They are ordinary decent blokes and there’s not a racist or Nazi bone in their bodies. For being friends with me, they now find themselves seen by The Sun as a legitimate target for public attack. That’s just not right”.

Turning to the artwork singled out by the newspaper as proving the band’s Nazi sympathies, he said: “The Sun claims that they are ‘a heavy metal band that delights in Nazi symbols’ … The real story is, they made a spoof/parody of the cover of a famous Black Sabbath record from the 1970s (‘We Sold Our Souls For Rock N Roll’) … They are fans of Black Sabbath not neo-Nazis. Before The Sun went to print, they were sent a copy of the Black Sabbath record cover, but they responded by dismissing its relevance to their ‘story'”.

“Not bad for our first review”, commented the band.

The album on which Burgon’s vocals will appear, ‘The Knight Of Rebellion’, is out on 19 May. From it, here’s a non-Burgon featuring track, ‘Velvet Drawbridge’: