Labour MP and heavy metal fan Richard Burgon has slammed The Sun newspaper after they ran a story claiming a band he has ties with “delights in Nazi symbols.”
The Shadow Justice Secretary and MP for Leeds East guests on a track by Leeds band Dream Troll – who the British tabloid say use “the name of Hitler’s infamous SS security unit as lettering in its promotion posters.”
The poster in question reads: “We Sold Our Soul For Rock ’N’ Troll” – a spoof of the cover of Black Sabbath’s 1975 album We Sold Our Soul For Rock ’N’ Roll. Both emphasis the ’S’ in the words ‘Sold’ and ‘Soul.’
Burgon has hit out at the story calling it “utter rubbish” and says the band “are fans of Black Sabbath, not neo-Nazis.”
He says in a statement: “I grew up in Leeds with members of this band. 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.
“The Sun claims that they are ‘a heavy metal band that delights in Nazi symbols.’ The Sun even got a Conservative MP to issue a statement, denouncing me in the most serious terms for being friends with the members of this band.”
- Metal Hammer Golden Gods returns for 2017
- What's next for Brian Johnson? The new issue of Classic Rock is on sale now
- Our new issue is an Iron Maiden spectacular with the most Eddies ever
- Read Classic Rock, Metal Hammer & Prog for free with TeamRock+
Burgon continues: “The Sun bases its accusations on an image I hadn’t seen before – a mock-up record cover the band made that says ‘Dream Troll - We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘N’ Troll.’ According to The Sun, the fonts used in the image show this is a group of people that ‘delights in Nazi symbols.’
“The real story is, they made a parody of the cover of a famous Black Sabbath record from the 1970s. 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.’
“In other articles, The Sun has praised Black Sabbath as ‘legends’ and an ‘iconic rock band’ – a rare occasion of decent reporting from The Sun.”
Burgon adds: “When The Sun hates you and what you stand for, they’ll come at you. That’s not right, but it’s what The Sun does to people like me who have different views and principles to those of Rupert Murdoch, Kelvin MacKenzie and the rest of them.
“But The Sun should leave my mates out of it. They are not politicians and they shouldn’t have their lives intruded upon in this way.”
Metal Hammer interviewed Burgon last year, where the MP revealed it was Iron Maiden’s Live After Death album that kickstarted his love of rock and metal.
Read Burgon’s full statement below.