By Sébastien Roback
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
A Québec City-based record label with extensive ties to known hate groups is providing a platform for racist metal bands.
In November 2020, Légitime Violence – a Rock Against Communism (RAC) band which doubles as a promotion tool for the neo-fascist group Atalante – announced the arrival of a new member, Steve “Chtev” Labrecque into its ranks, according to a report by Québec Antifasciste.
Labrecque is a veteran in the Québec hate rock scene, as well as the owner and manager of La Barricade, a Québec City-based record label that specializes in “traditional NS (National Socialist) folklore and propaganda,” according to its website.
The label makes no effort to hide its hateful leanings. Their recording facilities prominently display racist flags and symbols.
Even their logo features a sonnenrad (or black sun), a symbol often used by neo-Nazis in place of a swastika.
Behind the drum kit hangs a US Confederate battle flag, and visitors are greeted in the doorway by a large banner bearing the words Misanthropic Division.
Misanthropic Division is an international neo-Nazi network linked to Ukraine's Azov Batallion, a paramilitary group that recruits white nationalists around the world, it has found many new members through the NSBM scene.
In 2017, three members of the group were arrested in Russia on charges of extremism and “justifying terrorism.”
Last year, a US soldier who professed his admiration for the group plead guilty for sharing a guide to build explosives on social media – court documents showed he planned on using homemade explosives to target former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
In 2018, during a protest in front of the Montréal home of Daily Stormer editor Gabriel Sohier-Chaput, a fascist counter-protester was photographed wearing a shirt which read “NSBM Against Antifa – Misanthropic Division Vinland & La Barricade Label and Distro.”
Steve Labrecque doesn't just share racist imagery through his label, but through his personal accounts too.
Photos from his Facebook account, where he goes by the name Steve Rebel, show him wearing a jacket adorned with a patch featuring a Totenkopf, a symbol used by the Nazis during World War II. The numbers “1488” are tattooed on his knuckles.
The infamous 1488 is a combination of two neo-Nazi numeric symbols. The 14 is short for David Lane’s 14 words, a white supremacist slogan, and 88 stands for Heil Hitler, as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Steve Labrecque. Source: Facebook
Légitime Violence is also not Labrecque’s only hate-fuelled musical project.
Until 2018, he was a member of Folk You!, a controversial folk band fronted by an ex-member of the Ste-Foy Krew skinhead gang. Today, he shares his time between Légitime Violence, and his two NSBM projects, Hollentur and Hlk.
Hollentur features Labrecque on guitar and bass, as well as his Légitime Violence bandmate Félix ''Fix'' Latraverse on drums. In June 2019, the band was slated as the opening act of a concert featuring the French NSBM outfit Baise Ma Hache (Kiss My Axe) and Légitime Violence, which took place in spite of a last-minute venue change.
Responding to a Facebook post after the concert, Labrecque stated it was ''an honour'' to share the stage with the infamous skinhead act he would later join.
Labrecque (colourized left) and Félix Latraverse (colourized right) with their Légitime Violence bandmates. Source: Facebook
In Hlk – previously named Holocauste – Labrecque plays the backing instruments behind frontman Carl Bouchard, a musician from Lévis, Québec. The band’s 2017 promo tape cover includes a picture of the Auschwitz train tracks.
Bouchard, much like Labrecque, is not one to hide his neo-Nazi leanings. On Bandcamp, where he goes by the pseudonym “Nokturnal Wolf” but uses a profile picture also found on his Facebook account, Bouchard identifies himself as an “NSBM vocalist.” The use of the word ''Nokturnal'' is likely to be a reference to Nokturnal Mortum, a prominent band in the NSBM scene that also has rallied behind the Azov militia.
He is also an avowed supporter of Kristian “Varg” Vikernes, a convicted murderer and hate peddler behind the seminal NSBM one man band Burzum, declaring his admiration for him in several forum posts in a Black metal community group.
In 2013, Vikernes was arrested on suspicion of planning acts of terrorism in France.
It is unclear whether Hlk is still an active project. When reached for comment, Bouchard stated that his participation in the NSBM scene was “part of his past life.”
When asked whether he had previously apologized for his affiliation with neo-Nazism, or if he had made restitution to the communities affected by his work, he merely stated that he did not know anyone in the scene anymore.
Recent posts to his social media accounts show he continues to interact with individuals associated with neo-Nazism.
Labrecque (right) and Carl Bouchard (left). Source: Encyclopedia Metallum
La Barricade has published materials by both Holocauste and Hollentur, but is far from just an outlet for Labrecque’s music. Other bands tied to the Québec hate music scene, such as Atroce, Soleil Noir, and Neurasthene have released music through the label. Légitime Violence’s latest offering, a ''greatest hits'' compilation named “Dix années de gloire” (Ten Years of Glory) was also produced by La Barricade, before Labrecque was announced as the band’s newest member.
It is likely that Steve Labrecque is La Barricade’s only employee at the moment, though another Québec City-area neo-Nazi, Gabriel Macron-Drapeau, claims to have worked for the label on his Linkedin. On social media, where he also goes by the nickname ''Warhead Rahowa'' - a reference to either the neo-Nazi concept of Racial Holy War or the infamous Canadian RAC band - Marcon-Drapeau leaves little room for confusion regarding his political beliefs.
In a recent post, he jokingly encourages his friends to get the numbers 1488 tattooed on them, in order to "show their support to Black Lives Matter." In another, he mourns the death of Tom Metzger, an American neo-Nazi and past Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, who passed away in November 2020.
In many of his profile pictures, he poses in front of hateful symbols, like the Confederate flag, or a Misanthropic Division banner.
Gabriel-Marcon Drapeau in front of a Misanthropic Division Vinland Flag. Source: Facebook
When asked about his employment at La Barricade and his support for the extremist group, Marcon-Drapeau claimed to have left the label some time ago, and clarified that he has “nothing to do with Misanthropic Division anymore.”
His departure from the label has not stopped Marcon-Drapeau from attempting to cash in selling neo-Nazi paraphernelia, as he now runs Vinland Striker, an online store specializing in “World War II accesories,” which he launched in late 2020.
Neo-Nazis in the Black Metal Scene
In addition to owning La Barricade, Steve Labrecque also manages Le Marchand de Crime (The Crime Merchant), an online “extreme music distributor” which sells CDs and band apparel. In contrast with his record label, Le Marchand de Crime does not advertise itself as a neo-Nazi business, even though it almost exclusively sells merch from NSBM and RAC bands.
The two businesses, however, are undeniably linked, as La Barricade’s Instagram page advertises products from Le Marchand de Crime, and even provides a link to the store’s website in its bio.
Despite this minimal attempt at hiding his support for extremism, the Québec black metal community seems to have embraced Labrecque as one of their own. As a member of “Communauté Black Métal du Québec'' – the largest Québécois Facebook group dedicated to the genre – he engages in public discussions and sells his merchandise, seemingly without ever facing criticism or pushback for the views he states on social media and through his music.
In several posts in the group, the owner of GMML, a small concert promotion company, advertises his collaboration with Le Marchand de Crime for giveaways.
After publication, Benjamin Poindront from GMML contacted us regarding the company's relationship with Le Marchand de Crime.
“We were only in contact with Le Marchand de Crime once for a Christmas giveaway,” he said in an email, adding a commitment not to platform hateful bands and labels in the future, and further dissociated his company from “a universe polluted by extremist groups and organizations.”
Other members of the group routinely share links to NSBM songs, praise artists tied to the scene, and even advertise their concerts. The few commenters who criticize these posts are met with barrages of insults.
The Black metal scene – in Québec and across the world – has long faced criticism for its uncritical position towards racism and its refusal to shun neo-Nazis artists. In 2016, the Montréal Black Metal festival Messe des Morts was forced to cancel a concert featuring the NSBM-tied band Graveland after antifascist protests. A little under two years later, a small Black Metal festival in Saguenay, Skogen Fest, held its first edition with the same band as its headliner.
Steve Labrecque declined to comment when contacted.
This post was updated to include comment from Benjamin Poindront of GMML productions.
Follow Sébastien Roback on Twitter @sebroback.