Published February 13, 2012
The singer for Icelandic hard rock band Sólstafir believes that the ban on Motörhead shiraz violates basic human rights, saying that blaming music for behaviour is groundless.
As reported, the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) recently rejected an importer’s request to begin importing and selling a shiraz called Motörhead, lent its name by the eponymous metal band. Their primary reason for the rejection was that “The name of the band is a reference to users of the illegal drug amphetamine, and the lyrics of the band’s songs are regularly about war, the abuse of power, irresponsible sexual activity and drug abuse.”
Vísir reports that Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, lead singer for the band Sólstafir, told reporters, “It is a violation of human rights to not be able to buy yourself red wine.”
Aðalbjörn pulled no punches in his criticism of ÁTVR. “How can you say that an artform encourages war, drug use and irresponsible sex? It’s out of the question. What century are we living in, anyway? You don’t take LSD even though you listened to [the Beatles'] Let It Be. Children are playing video games but not going out and killing people. It’s fascist thinking of the worst kind.”
Other musicians have chimed in as well. Bergur Geirsson of the pop band Buff said ÁTVR were being hypocrites, in that they would allow Winston Churchill cognac – despite the fact that he was “a speed freak and an alcoholic”. Writer Vésteinn Valgarðsson added that if ÁTVR’s reasoning was applied to everything else being sold in Iceland, there would likely be many products banned that are currently available.