Hailing from Mount Gambier, grunge trio Recreator was emitting some considerable heat from the regional South Australian centre. The band had received critical, and industry acclaim: they had a record label; they’d just finished a new record which they were moments away from announcing.
Now, all that exists of Recreator is screenshots, unlinked tags, and an important lesson in how being racist will ruin cripple your bands progress in Australia.
In 2019, Recreator took to Facebook, specifically the group Melbourne Hard Rock, to share a recent Daily Mirror article covering the murder of an innocent Melbourne woman of Sudanese heritage, along with the caption “1 down 150,000 To Go’.
The post was met with a barrage of disapproval from the groups community. Soon after, it was deleted and the band posted a statement explaining the page was “hacked”, adding “Why the hell would we post something like that from our page for (sic)? Bloody hell!”
Following the release of their self titled debut album in 2016, Recreator (FKA Cornerstone) were signed to US label Housefire Records. Recreator were buzzing.
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But within hours of the post, Recreator were almost a myth. No Facebook, no Twitter, their triple j Unearthed page has been removed, as has their listing on the Music SA page.
One of their last remaining pages was their Bandcamp, which listed members Nathan Jenner as vocalist and guitarist, Chris Newell as drummer and Jesse Berkefld as bassist. In 2016, the group had won the South Australian Music Award for Most Popular Band as per the Public Voted Categories.
Prior to their YouTube channel, the last of their pages to be taken down, the band were gearing up to announce a new album. Now, there’s nothing but silence. In fact, if the band wanted to announce anything, they no longer have a platform to do so.
Not because their statement was both inadequate and insensitive, but because this isn’t the first time Recreator have used their band as a vehicle to push volatile political and social views.
In 2018, Jenner, took to the Australian Facebook page of the far-right group, Proud Boys, in an attempt to encourage fellow members to support their bit in claiming the Most Popular Band for the 2018 South Australian Music Awards, hoping to “Stick it to the lefties.”
Using your band’s platforms as a political vehicle isn’t wrong. Nor is it uncommon. But to promote racism, and even hint at genocide is. It should be a career ruiner in this industry, and thankfully in the case of Recreator, it appears to have been.
The band members hadn’t responded to requests for comment, neither had Housefire Music.
Recreator had regressive social views, that went unchallenged for so long, they felt emboldened to share them on a public forum. While this suggests that on a social level, Australians need to have a deep and uncomfortable conversation about how we challenge far-right radicalisation. We’re no longer naive enough to think this behaviour is harmless or exists in a vacuum.
But, in the meantime, we have an important lesson. One we should all heed. You can be a racist if you want. You can post “edgy” racist memes from your band’s page, you can even connect with like-minded groups…You can even just be “putting up” with a racist member of your band.
But don’t be surprised when you’re blacklisted by their entire industry…
Oh, and prepare to cancel that order of physical copies.