Charlie Hebdo: When freedom of speech and expression are shot down

Controversial cover of Charlie Hebdo, cartoon depicts the Prophet Mohammed making out with a Charlie Hebdo artist. 8 Nov 2011

by Rev. Kess

On 7 January 2015 in the city of Paris, France, two gunmen entered the offices of a magazine and killed 12 people. Charlie Hebdo, a satire magazine known for sometimes taking their exercise of free expression to extremes, became another statistic in the “war on terrorism” that has been waging since long before 9/11.

Many have made this tragic shooting into a discussion of religion (which it may well be), others have tried to claim that the shooters’ religious beliefs had nothing to do with their actions. Vox.com and others are making an attempt to say that the tragedy had nothing to do with the cartoons and other satire published by Charlie Hebdo.

All over the interwebs, especially on social media, I have seen numerous postings by average people regarding this incident. Everything from outcries against Jihadists to victim blaming, from confused and terrified people to bored and I-don’t-give-a-damns (though if they are posting about it they obviously do care, or are trolls).

What I see the most is people saying this tragic shooting of 12 people (including two police officers, one of which is said to have been Muslim, Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility) was an attack on the freedom of speech and freedom of expression that so many of us in Western culture hold as sacred.

I would tend to agree with that. Here in the United States we have a constitutional right to the freedom of speech, expression, and the freedom of the press. Not to mention the freedom to worship as we choose. Granted, each of the freedoms goes only as far as they can without encroaching on the rights and freedoms of others in our country. That is, we can worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster if we want, but we can’t sacrifice children in the name of Marduk. We can expect that our journalists, even our “news commentators”, to say pretty much whatever, as long as they remain within the facts and do not make false statements against another – even op-ed pieces need to be as accurate as possible. We can tell a police officer, “In my opinion,” and flip them the middle finger without it being a crime, but we must be prepared for the consequences of that and other actions. We must always be aware of the possible consequences of our words and our actions. Journalists are not immune to being sued for libel and slander, artists’ work can (and have been) banned for the images or content of their art, authors’ books have been banned from public institutions for content, and a flipped off police officer is most probably going to look askance at you for your hand gesture.

Let me make something clear right here. I am not pro-censorship. Not by any stretch. I just realize that some of what I create as an author and as a commentator may be construed as unfit for general consumption. Does that stop me from creating it or saying it? No. Though I do mind my language when on community radio. My words can have an adverse effect on the station, not just on me. That said….


New Age instrumentalist Sajjad’s Defiant.

“Our hearts go out to our friends, family and all impacted by the horrific events in Paris. This feels seismic. Solidarity with all who value freedom of speech and expression. Nous sommes tous Charlie.” – Frenchy and the Punk, Samantha Stephenson and Scott Helland

On the same day a small incendiary device went off outside of the NAACP office in Colorado Springs. It wasn’t clear at the time if the office was the intended target. Thankfully no one was harmed in the incident. It did smack of similar incidents from past decades of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

At least one newspaper, in Germany, that republished some of the most controversial cartoons from Charlie Hebdo has also been targeted. The offices off Hamburger Morgenpost were fire bombed after going to print. Again, no one was hurt. A fire bomb was tossed into a back window of the newspaper, setting their archive rooms on fire. Al Qaeda has taken credit for these attacks on the cartoon publishers, both in France and Germany.

Over the course of the last week many things have happened, both on the ground and on the internet, in response to the attack at Charlie Hebdo and the bombing of the NAACP office in Colorado Springs, Co. One thing that has been repeatedly brought up on social media is the Boko Haram slaying of over 1,000 civilians and how it seems that mainstream U.S. media coverage of that terrible event has been ignored and all the focus put on Charlie Hebdo. (My heart breaks to hear about all those innocents lost.) It should be noted that Boko Haram is closely tied to  Al Qaeda, even though Al Qaeda has said in the past that Boko Haram is sometimes too extreme for even them.

I think why the U.S. media is not giving as much air time and print to the Boko Haram slayings is that everyone is up in arms over the apparent disregard for something that we in the United States do hold sacred: Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression (not that we do not hold human lives sacred). Much of “Western Civilization” adheres to these ideals – much of Europe, North America, Australia. It has even been creeping into the minds and lives of people in the East. What we tend to forget is that a good portion of this planet does not hold to the same ideals as the United States and countries influenced by us and Europe. It wasn’t until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union that our friends in Eastern Europe were able to openly embrace these ideas. China, the Middle East, much of Africa, and parts of South America do not have the luxury of being able to rest on their laurels when it comes to these freedoms. And not all of these countries are controlled by those who claim Islam.

The attack by Al Qaeda on Charlie Hebdo was not just an attack on a magazine. It was not just a retaliation against those who had maligned the image of the Prophet. It was a calculated attack on the Western ideals of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I know that is a strong statement to make. But I feel it to be true. As do many others. Indeed, Al Qaeda has threatened that the worst is yet to come.

When a terrorist organization takes the life of anyone it is a tragedy. When they attempt to silence the speech or the expression of an individual or a group it is doubly so. When those two gunmen entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo they didn’t just take aim at 10 individuals in the offices (and later two police officers), they took aim at the idea of being able to freely express ourselves. Yes, their Prophet was insulted by the satirical cartoons that had been published. Yes, they felt that they needed to retaliate in some way. No, they did not have the right to kill as a means to retaliate. No, they did not have the right to kill to avenge their Prophet.

As activists, as writers, as artists many who read this site fight for the right and exercise the right to freely express themselves.  As activists writing on this site we exercise and fight for the right to freely express ourselves. Not everyone has that right, as I pointed out above. But all journalists, all artists, all writers, all of those who – if only in the minds – are free thinkers are hurt whenever someone or a group of someones take actions to silence that expression, to silence that speech.

The Free Speech Movement at UCLA-Berkeley in the 1960’s faced less violent attempts to silence them, but faced strong opposition nonetheless. The late Margot Adler wrote extensively on the FSM in her memoir A Heretic’s Heart. She and others involved in FSM were threatened, bullied by school administration, arrested, and jailed. Some even suffered physical violence at the hands of their oppressors. It was only after much debate and civil unrest on the campus that many of the faculty and staff at Berkeley stood in strained solidarity with the FSM that the freedom to demonstrate, hold peaceful gatherings, and host information tables on ideas and politics that differed from the main was not only allowable on campus but a right of the students. Adler was no stranger to political thoughts and actions that went against the main, her family’s involvement with the Communist Party and their connection to free thinkers in both the Soviet Union and East Germany brought her up in a sub-culture that was at odds with the mainstream way of thinking in the United States in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

On a more personal note, I have experienced the oppression of expression and speech in my own life. While attending a public high school in Lincoln, NE in the mid-90’s I was subjected to the authority of close-minded teachers and staff. My physical education teacher took umbrage to my proudly displaying pro-gay buttons on my jacket. She said at one point “I have a 12-year-old, I’m not ready to deal with that.” To which I wanted to say, but did not feel that I could, “you have a 12-year-old, you better be ready to deal with it.” My science teacher that same year was a Catholic teaching biology. He started the semester out with a conversation about pseudo-sciences and freely lumped psychology, sociology, and other “soft sciences” in with the “crackpots” who would still believe the world to be flat and the Earth at the center of the universe. By this time I was already on my Pagan journey and took offense to such words, but again felt that I could not safely speak up. The result of those and other experiences, seemingly sanctioned by the authorities of the school, I did not feel that I could express myself freely in school. My time at that school ended with homophobic actions being taken against the personal property of fellow students and friends who had been seen driving me to and from school – vandalism of their car with hateful anti-gay slogans painted across the smashed doors. Lucky for me I had called out sick from school the day that happened. I left that school, indeed I dropped out of high school at that point for fear of my own life.

Original piece by Mike Edholm.
(c) Mike Edholm 2015
http://www.mikedholm.com

Hosts at the community radio station I volunteer at have taken such a stance, two of them opening up an invitation to Nebraska authors, poets, etc to submit their own works on these freedoms. In this evening’s episode (Thursday 15 January 2015) of The Platte River Sampler three Nebraska based cartoonists are interviewed about how the tragic “assassinations” (to use the hosts’ word) of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and staff have impacted them. You can tune in live to that program at the KZUM website at 6pm Central US.

Some Other Articles Related to Charlie Hebdo

Not Born Sinners

I used to watch Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort try evangelizing techniques in the street on Christian channels. He would say that you needed to bypass the persons reason and approach them on an emotional level. He did this by making people feel guilty and reminding them that they are sinners. He reminded them that all have sinned after having them admit they have lied, or had impure thoughts about a neighbours wife, or had stolen something. All are apparently guilty and headed to hell. Then he brings the sales pitch that they need Jesus to escape hell.

I used to watch Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort try evangelization techniques in the street on Christian channels. He would say that you needed to bypass the persons reason and approach them on an emotional level. He did this by making people feel guilty and reminding them that they are sinners. He reminded them that all have sinned after having them admit they have lied, or had impure thoughts about a neighbours wife or had stolen something. All are apparently guilty and headed to hell. Then he brings the sales pitch that they need Jesus to escape hell.</p>
<p>I never quite understood how people fell for this so easily and some ended up praying with Kirk or Ray the conversion prayer. </p>
<p>There is certainly right and wrong and all societies have always condemned murder and theft. It is simply logical and a part of evolution as hominids that at some point we had to work together to survive - If you simply kill everyone and destroy your environment, you would not survive. A degree of morality is inbuilt and even still developing. </p>
<p>Why do such things as crimes need to have a spiritual effect? If you are caught you are tried by secular laws and you are punished. Methods of catching criminals are continuously improved upon. But to believe in sin implies that you first have to accept on blind faith that mankind has some kind of spiritual evil or are in a fallen state. You have to accept on faith that there is some kind of "fall". </p>
<p>Apparently the rift between "god" (at least a Canaanite one in this case) and man could only be repaired through a bloody sacrifice of a perfectly innocent man on behalf of the crimes of others (imagine courts allowing that, would it be just?). Now Christians make a huge emotional fuss over "God so loved the world...only begotten son". </p>
<p>We all would instantly call someone who sacrifices theselves to save others a true hero - but the threat needs to be credible and tangible - a fireman running into a burning building - Basically, Jesus died to save us from a magical type of evil we first have to believe in first - err thanks. If I hear Jesus died for my sins it is absolutely meaningless to me.</p>
<p>Furthermore, sin in the Bible is also frequently not a moral question. Sin is frequently displeasing a jealous god, having other gods, not keeping a sabbath, abusing a name NOT moral issues that makes you better or worse at all and these are the major points. Considering that despite popular current consensus the world does NOT revolve around the Middle East, Israel and old Canaanite cultures (Greek, Rome, Sumeria, Egypt achieved far, far more than ancient Judea) and people have had diverse and complex religious systems through the ages - the whole "one true, living god™ idea makes little sense anyway.</p>
<p>Then this all knowing god, basically told his first two created humans about the forbidden trees in the MIDDLE of the garden (he might as well have put up signs with big arrows and flashing lights). Since "god" set up this scenario, why play it all out with the incarnation and atonement which MUST be in blood (is god also limited and bound by certain rules, therefore inferior to some other?)</p>
<p>Interestingly enough Judaism and the Old Testament has nothing on a messiah who needs to atone for sins and reconcile man to god. Sin can be punished and sin can be repented - no notion of poor pathetic humanity born bad, always bad and saved only by a bloody sacrifice (perhaps the scapegoat idea). The Bible is also quite contradictory when it comes to whether there is punishment for "sins of the fathers" or everyone's sin being their own. </p>
<p>Now most Christians don't even believe in a literal Adam and Eve anymore - but it seems Paul and Jesus did accept this notion of an "original sin".</p>
<p>Illogical Christianity and the notion of "Born Bad" has certainly left the world a very bizarre guilt trip as a legacy. Even early Christians did not all agree on the notion, but Augustine accepted it. The emotional ties to Jesus "dying for our sins" makes absolutely no sense either way.

I never quite understood how people fell for this so easily and some ended up praying the conversion prayer with Kirk or Ray.

There is certainly right and wrong and all societies have always condemned murder and theft. It is simply logical and a part of evolution as hominids that at some point we had to work together to survive. If you simply kill everyone and destroy your environment you would not survive. A degree of morality is inbuilt and even still developing.

Why do such things as crimes need to have a spiritual effect? If you are caught you are tried by secular laws and you are punished. Methods of catching criminals are continuously improved upon. But to believe in sin implies that you first have to accept, on blind faith, that mankind has some kind of spiritual evil or exist in a fallen state. You have to accept on faith that there is some kind of “fall”.

Apparently the rift between god (at least a Canaanite one in this case) and man could only be repaired through a bloody sacrifice of a perfectly innocent man on behalf of the crimes of others; imagine courts allowing that, would it be just?. Now Christians make a huge emotional fuss over “God so loved the world…only begotten son”.

We all would instantly call someone who sacrifices themselves to save others a true hero, but the threat needs to be credible and tangible; a fireman running into a burning building. Basically, Jesus died to save us from a magical type of evil we first have to believe in… err, thanks. If I hear Jesus died for my sins it is absolutely meaningless to me.

Furthermore, sin in the Bible is also frequently not a moral question. Sin is frequently displeasing a jealous god, having other gods, not keeping a sabbath, abusing a name; not moral issues that make you better or worse at all, and these are the major points. Considering that despite popular current consensus the world does not revolve around the Middle East, Israel and old Canaanite cultures. Greek, Rome, Sumeria, Egypt achieved far, far more than ancient Judea and people have had diverse and complex religious systems through the ages. The whole “one true, living god” idea makes little sense anyway.

This all-knowing god told his first two created humans about the forbidden trees in the middle of the garden. He might as well have put up signs with big arrows and flashing lights. Since “god” set up this scenario, why play it all out with the incarnation and atonement which must be in blood? Is god also limited and bound by certain rules, and therefore inferior to some other?

Interestingly enough, Judaism and the Old Testament has nothing on a messiah who needs to atone for sins and reconcile man to god. Sin can be punished and sin can be repented, but no notion of poor pathetic humanity born bad, always bad and saved only by a bloody sacrifice. The Bible is also quite contradictory when it comes to whether there is punishment for “sins of the fathers” or everyone’s sin being their own. Most Christians don’t even believe in a literal Adam and Eve anymore but it seems Paul and Jesus did accept this notion of an “original sin”.

Illogical Christianity and the notion of ‘born bad’ has certainly left the world a very bizarre guilt trip as a legacy. Even early Christians did not all agree on the notion, but Augustine accepted it. The emotional ties to Jesus “dying for our sins” makes absolutely no sense either way.

Je Suis Charlie

editor-in-chiefIn solidarity with the family and friends of the policeman, cartoonists, journalists and editor of Charlie Hebdo, and in unity with global publications and organisations who have rightly condemned this senseless violence of prejudice, Penton has decided to publish some of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon covers, especially those militant extremists don’t want exhibited because it offends them.

Nothing should be immune from criticism and satire, especially not religious beliefs.

Je-suis-charlie-640#solidarity  #CharlieHebdo  #JeSuisCharlie

charlie01 charlie03 charlie04 charlie05 charlie06 untitled

Review: Skaldic Tales by Glenn Bergen

by Green Owl

Skalds were poets, musicians, advisers, teachers and most importantly they were the oral historians who preserved the knowledge of their race very much like the Welsh Bards and Gaelic Ollaves did for their Celtic counterparts. Kings worried what Skalds would say of them, and very often, they were the ones who judged a man’s character as being a hero or villain.  By their recitations of their stories, they passed the entire record of their people from one generation to the next until such time that this knowledge was recorded in writing.  Because of them, we know of heroes, villains, family genealogies, wars, religion, social structure and origin.

Skaldic Tales V1 by Glenn Bergen

Skaldic Tales V1 by Glenn Bergen

Skaldic Tales V1 by Glenn Bergen

Published by Saga Press, ISBN-13: 978-0986497223 and ISBN-10: 0986497223

Available at Amazon  and www.kenaz.ca

In “Skaldic Tales” Glenn Bergen masterfully brings this ancient tradition to life with a new spin on some of the well-known sagas and the introduction of two modern tales.

The book “Skaldic Tales” features 12 short stories reminiscent of the old Nordic sagas and will appeal to both Heathens and non-Heathens alike. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them – waging battle against the dwarves besides the Goddess of Winter and her wolf pack in “Skadhi and the will of the warrior”, attending Freyr and Gerd’s wedding and watching how the All-Father deals with unruly children in “The Gifted One”; just to name a few.

The last two tales “Temple of their own” and “Temple divided”take place in the 21st century and show the challenges of a group of Asatru kindred to be accepted in a small town in the USA, not only by the Christians but among themselves. One specific scene brought literally tears to my eyes: it shows what unity of all People, no matter what path we follow can achieve.

This book is best enjoyed next to a fire with a horn of mead in your hand or read it aloud to your children to teach them that the “9 Noble Virtues” are still valid in our modern times. Hail to the Gods!

About the Author:

Glenn Bergen never intended to become an author. However, the gods just would not leave him alone. He travelled to Iceland in 2009, where the gods followed and it became clear to him that his life was about to change. Twenty two stories and 152 poems later, this fellow heathens began to ask him when he would publish. It was not until a fellow heathen author offered to help him get his works in print, that “Skaldic Tales” was born.

Black Hat Society: Interview with Hauk Heimdallsman and Karin Dell

blackwell_interviewsThis is the third time that I have interviewed Hauk Heimdallsman. The first time was for my Samhain 2008 issue of ACTION and we talked about his background and a Heathen folk metal band. The second time I interviewed him was for the Yule 2010 issue of ACTION. He was working with Skaldic Hearth Kin and we were talking about creating an album of Wassail songs. I also interview Karin Dell , the other half of the Black Hat Society.

Hauk has very eclectic tastes in music. He has classical orchestration training. He can play a variety of different instruments, is a sound engineer professionally as well. He likes to blend a variety of music styles. He is also a song writer and a singer. Just don’t try to fit him into a neat box, because he won’t stay there.

Christopher: I recall hearing that you have been doing some serious sound engineering for a variety of people. Can you mention a few of them?

Hauk: I’ve been freelancing at a couple different studios lately, as well as working out of The Nest, my personal studio. I’m currently co-producing the new album for the Pirates Charles, and I have a few artists in pre-production right now. I’ve also been working on a few films, doing post-production and sound editing. Nothing major, but a few name actors here and there.

Christopher: Have you done any musical scoring for any projects?

Hauk: I’ve scored one feature film called Ru and a few short films. Ru has been screened at a few nationwide festivals; it’s doing nicely.

Christopher: You are also married now?

Hauk: Yup! Best decision I ever made.

Black_Hat_Society

Hauk Heimdallsman and Karin Dell

Christopher: Karin could you tell us a bit about how you came to become a musician, your training, and how you came to play the fiddle? Do you play any other instruments?

Karin: I come from a very large musical family and music was a big part of life for me growing up. Name an instrument and someone in my family plays it. I initially wanted to play the cello, like my mother, but she suggested I pick up the violin when I was about 8 years old. My aunt lent me one of hers and I started playing around with it and never looked back. I’ve had maybe a handful of lessons but I’m mostly self-taught and learned from example by those around me. I played a bit of viola in middle school but my love is the fiddle.

Christopher: How do you keep up the energy?

Karin: I don’t really consciously push the energy. There’s something inside of me that just takes over when the music starts and I lose all inhibition and just go with it. I couldn’t hold back even if I wanted to. It’s the only time I can really let go and truly express myself. There’s no feeling like it in the world.

Christopher: How did you end up working with Hauk?

Karin: I met Hauk through some friends at a local camp out about 4 years ago. They heard he was looking for a full time fiddle player for the folk metal band and brought him over to me. We had a conversation about his music and he sent me some files after the event. He came over to my place and we jammed a bit on them and he asked me to join the band. I’ve been working with him since then.

There’s not really anything specific I’m looking to get out of working with him other than making good music and having fun. We have a great connection writing music together and I have a lot of fun working with him. Music is my passion and his as well so it just works. I hope people enjoy listening to our music as much as we do creating and performing it.

Christopher: What is Black Hat Society? Do you have a webpage for it?

Karin: I think what we are trying to do here is hard to classify. Black Hat Society is a bit of country, folk, blues, rockabilly, doom, rock, and metal all thrown together. We’re outlaws, not the good guy, not the bad guy, but rather people driven by what’s right in our hearts. It’s real music, made by real people, and not just some formula put together purely to be marketable. We’re telling ghost stories, love stories, political stories and real things that people can relate to. I hope people can relate our music to their own personal stories, make them think about what is going on in the world around them outside their smart-phones, and have some fun!

We don’t have a website yet but we do have a Facebook page. I believe a website is in the works though right Hauk?

Hauk: I do hope to get a formal website done at some point, but right now we’ve just been focused on recording and writing new songs.

For me, the concept of the Black Hat comes from old Westerns where you could always tell the good guys and the bad guys apart because the bad guy always wore a black hat. That changed a lot when Clint Eastwood did Sergio Leones spaghetti westerns. There came a point where you can’t tell anymore just by looking. Things stopped being cut and dried.

It’s the same with life. We no longer have heroes and good guys. We’re all in the same boat trying to survive. I think that’s reflected in our songs; we have a bit of country, a bit of rock, and bit of doom, a bit of this and that, songs about freedom, about love, about the dead rising. When you capture a bit of western America in a song, you really capture more than just a story. You’re capturing freedom, hope, fear, and that spirit that just won’t quit.

Christopher: Why and when did you start putting it together?

Karin: We started working on this about a year ago when the folk metal band became defunct. Hauk wanted to do something different and asked if it would be something I’d be interested in. He showed me a few songs he’d been working on and I easily had ideas of my own that meshed with it. Once we started the music just exploded out of us.

Hauk: About two weeks after we released Anthems for an Age Arriving with the folk metal band, my grandpa died. Grandpa had always told me I needed to make a country album and for the next few months after he died, all I did was play my acoustic guitar and write country songs. It wasn’t  a conscious decision, it just happened.

From this I had a lot of good ideas and some half finished songs, and I knew it was not something for the old band. I played some of the songs for Karin and she immediately filled in the gaps. It was like it was meant to be. We’ve been working on these songs for about a year now, and we’ve got a lot of songs on the way.

Christopher: What are some of the musical influences for the type of music Black Hat Society does?

Hauk: We did a show back in April where the MC asked us to describe our sound. I rattled off a few different band names that he’d never heard of and finally got him to understand when I said Willie Nelson meets Megadeth. A little bit country, a little bit folk, a bit of metal, a bit of punk, a fair helping of doom, and some prog thrown in for good measure. I guess if you had to use a genre descriptor, it would be Alt Country, or Outlaw Country.

Christopher: What about your musical influences in developing your own style, Karin?

Karin: I have a variety of musical influences from across the board. I was surrounded by music growing up and learned early that a specific genre doesn’t necessarily mean good music. For me, passionate music is good music. The bands that you can just tell really love doing what they are doing and really believe it in.

My hugest influences are Murder by Death, Hank III, Vivaldi, Corelli, Led Zeppelin, Guns and Roses, early Metallica, Black Sabbath, Hank Williams, Charlie Daniels, Opeth, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphy’s, Bob Dylan.

I’m also greatly influenced by those legendary lead guitar players like Jimmy Page, Randy Roads, Jimi Hendricks, Brian May, and Slash to name a few. My brother Chris is gonna be one of those someday and playing music with him gives me massive ideas. I like to think my style isn’t really a fiddle style, I’m more of a lead guitarist with a different spin.

Black_Hat_Society2Christopher: In the Black Hat Society who does what?

Hauk: I do guitar and vocals, although for recording I also do some bass and banjo.

Karin: Hauk and I co-write the music and I play the fiddle and do a bit of backing vocals.

Christopher: What kind of instruments are used?

Hauk: For live shows, I usually just have my Gretsch 5120 and my Taylor 314. In studio though, I’ve been using a variety of guitars- 7 strings, 12 strings, banjos, a lot of slide guitar too.

Karin: My fiddle is an A.R. Seidel. The strings I use are the Pirastro Violino line. I’m still experimenting with pickups. Haven’t quite found the one yet.

Christopher: Where are some of the places that you have played?

Karin:  We’ve played mostly bars and a few coffee shops. Recently we played what was basically a 4 hour jam session at this amazing bakery in Woodland Hills called The Baker. It was tons of fun and we got to play around with some fun covers. Their bread, pastries and food are to die for!

Hauk: The Baker was a lot of fun. It was nice to just sit back and jam. We’re playing Fresno in a couple weeks at the Mia Cuppa Cafe.

Christopher: Have you a schedule set up and where can people find it?

Hauk: It’s all on the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/blackhatsocietyband

Christopher: What kind of Gigs do you play and how can people arrange one for you?

Karin: We’ll play just about anywhere. Performing is the best part of making music. You can contact us through Facebook or email me or Hauk to arrange a gig.

Hauk: Coffee shops, bars, clubs, festivals, rallies, fundraisers for animal shelters, bar mitzvahs, you name it, we’ll play it.

Christopher: Do you have an album out yet?

Hauk: Not yet. We’re aiming to release our first album by the end of the year though. The working title is This Machine Kills Fascists.

Christopher: So what plans do you have for the future? Is there anything you have not done in music that you would like to try?

Hauk: I think we’re doing it right now.

Karin: Right now we’re working on recording our first album. Our hope is to get this done by the end of the year and out there and start touring. I’d love to play a huge music festival. I’d also love to do a European tour.

Hauk: Touring is a definite must. The future will come as it will. For now, we’re just making the music we want to make.

Christopher: Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?

Hauk: We’re playing in Fresno on November 8 at the Mia Cuppa Caf. Be there! And check out the Facebook page for all the latest studio updates! Let us know what you think too? I could care less what the industry hotshots have to say, but you better believe we care about the fans.

Karin: I hope people like what we are doing and come out to see us play. We love making music and want this to be interactive with our fans. Don’t be shy and have a drink with me after!