Glencore Ruin Headbangers Ball – by Andrew Fleming


Guhn Twei is not neutral when it comes to a Swiss multinational polluting his hometown. (Photo: William Brière Daigle/Handout)

Drag metal pioneers Twisted Sister got it wrong with their breakthrough hit “You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll.” Just ask the organizers of Alienfest, an annual alternative music festival outside the northwestern Quebec town of Rouyn-Noranda, who recently pulled the plug on the latest edition rather than risk upsetting the company town's main employer.

Metal band Guhn Twei said it was banned from performing at the free outdoor concert because it was mean to Glencore PLC, a Swiss multinational energy giant that runs a massive copper smelter in the city. One of the organizers is a subsidiary employee who fears he is biting the hand that feeds. Nevertheless, lethal amounts of arsenic are also being supplied.

Guhn Twei's album Glen corruption contains lyrics that refer to the world's largest commodities trader as “thieves in ties,” “capitalist parasites” and “rapists of the planet.” At least that's what indie music magazines think Calling out! claims the offensive lines Are. I'm supposedly bilingual, but I honestly couldn't tell if the words were in French or English.

You are welcome to try it yourself:

I've never been able to fully appreciate the harder forms of metal, as it's impossible not to imagine Cookie Monster providing the growling doom vocals, but the language seems almost polite coming from one music genre that gave us greats like Gwar and Cannibal Corpse, and the Revolting Cocks.

But Guhn Twei isn't just screaming at the devil here. As residents of the city, they actually have a stake in the game, albeit less than before.

Lead singer Simon Turcotte, 35, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and blames Glencore for the amputation of his right leg. He also has evidence from the provincial health authority, which published a report two years ago on the significant health damage in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region higher rates of cancer and heart diseasenot to mention the lower birth rates caused by being downwind of the Horne Smelter, the country's only remaining industrial scrap metal processor.

“Censoring a local artist whose cancer has cost him a leg and who denounces the poisoning of his fellow citizens in his songs in order not to displease an ecocidal multinational corporation is the complete opposite of the punk movement,” Turcotte wrote on Facebook shortly before The upcoming event has been canceled.

The mining town of Rouyn-Noranda emerged nearly a century ago after gold, copper and other shiny objects were discovered underground in this corner of the Canadian Shield. Around the time the toxic smelter was built, President James Y. Murdoch of the now-defunct Noranda Inc. reportedly said, “This smelter will be a monument illustrating either our stupidity and recklessness or our wisdom and foresight.”

A hundred years later it looks more like the former.

Glencore is one of those corporate giants that, if you've ever heard of it at all, is usually doing something tragic and/or evil, as is the case with ExxonMobil, BP, or Monsanto. They were imposed a fine of $1.1 billion a few years ago following Justice Department investigations into bribery and corruption cases in the US, UK and Brazil.

They also have somewhat of a track record when it comes to poisoning people. For example, about a third of the population of La Guajira, nearly 340,000 people, suffer from respiratory problems after four decades of inhaling dust from the Glencore coal mine in northeastern Colombia.

The late company founder's name may also be well known as the recipient of a presidential pardon on Bill Clinton's last day in office. The aptly named Mark Rich fled the country in 1983 rather than face a prison sentence of up to 300 years Break the law through tax evasion, extortion and covert dealings with Iran during the time the Americans were held hostage. The main prosecutor in the case was none other than Roodles the Clown from a more innocent time when the American mayor's brain still worked.

The pardon was controversial because Rich's wealthy ex-wife was a major Democratic Party donor long before it was normal for a sitting president to simply sell her like ordinary steaks, sneakers or state secrets.

Trump's pardons have nothing to do with donations to his campaign. NOTHING AT ALL.

How much does a Trump pardon cost? Well, apparently the going price is just $302,542. Cheap at twice the price! The Daily Beast was first to note that Paul Pogue, one of yesterday's pardon recipients, apparently paid for the favor in cash. Or maybe his family gave it to him as an early Father's Day gift. Definitely between August and October…

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4 years ago · 190 comments · Liz Dye

Quebec is a separate society and has a more relaxed approach to the mining industry and safety standards than elsewhere in Canada. That is a country Province that once had a town that proudly bore the name Asbestos until four years ago when it was renamed Val-des-Sources (Valley of the Sources) in the false hope of attracting tourists and outside investment and remained that way Dildo, Newfoundland, the reigning champion of the amusingly named Canadian cities, although the municipality of Quebec Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! remains a solid contender.

For decades, the Horne Smelter was allowed to emit up to 33 times more arsenic into the atmosphere than the provincial limit, but in 2022 the limit was reduced to just five times. Progress! Le progress too!

A contractor in Rouyn-Noranda offering Guhn Twei a stage is like an RFK Jr. campaign staffer inviting the Dead Kennedys to perform at a fundraiser. Although it would be more on-brand if Sideshow Bob's campaign announced DK would appear without actually checking it first.

Just ask Jed Bartlet, Iron Mike or the Queen of Smooth Pop.

Whoever comes to RFK Jr.'s Circle Jerk birthday party, it's not Dionne Warwick

Do you know the sad thing when a conservative organization or other social outsider sends out an invitation to an event with BIG NAMES! but if you look closer, does it mean that these people were simply invited to perform? Or even more embarrassing that she…

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3 months ago · 119 Likes · 260 Comments · Evan Hurst

It's a shame that Glencore are such idiots because their name actually sounds pretty metallic. “Glencore” suggests a pastoral form of metal that is specific to Scotland, just as black metal is to Scandinavia. “I just heard Lokness Mönster's new Glencore album and it's absolutely brilliant!” Or perhaps a misspelled subgenre with a muscular baritone inspired by the vocal stylings of Danzig founder Glenn Danzig.

“C IS FOR COOKIE!” (Photo: Jonas Rogowski/Wikimedia Commons)

It's a huge loss for the metalhead community, which doesn't have much else to look forward to in the upcoming cultural calendar other than a few local non-metal music festivals and a Bryan Adams concert in August. Let's call it his summer of 63 Trip.

Shub Niggurath, the black forest goat with a thousand youngsaid in the Wonkette chat cave that she was “FILLED WITH TOXIC ANGER” at the news of Alienfest’s demise. Should any of you care to offer a blood sacrifice or two to cheer up a dark creature?

Or just buy her something nice

[Exclaim! / CBC / DOJ]