Keeler condemns Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes in statement
Death From Above member Jesse F Keeler has been forced to dismiss alleged links to the alt-right, condemning far-right figure head Gavin McInnes in the process.
A Medium post recently detailed Keeler’s alleged links to Vice co-founder McInnes, known for his controversial political views and his “pro-Western fraternal” group Proud Boys. The author pointed to Keeler’s multiple appearances on McInnes’ podcast and his present at an Election Day party with McInnes and other self-proclaimed Proud Boys.
Responding to the claims in a statement posted to Twitter, Keeler described the suggestion of him being a Proud Boys member himself as “completely false”, adding: “I would never join that group”.
“My connection to Gavin however is real,” he continued, “but begs to be clarified.” Keeler described how he “became loosely acquainted” when his band released music on McInnes’ Vice Records label. “Through the years we remained friendly and as our lives diverged, we spoke only on occasion, mostly about Dad stuff as we both have kids,” he said.
“Over time, I watched many people distance themselves from Gavin both professionally and personally. I always perceived that as people just thinking he was ‘a little much’. In short, I gave him the benefit of the doubt,” Keeler wrote.
“When he invited me to his talk-show and a party on election night last year, regrettably, I attended. Never without a morbid curiosity. Anyone who knows me, or has met me for longer than 5 minutes knows how curious I am. I never thought that my curiosity would lead to this moment, where now it feels like I’m walking through a lake of mud.”
“Soon after the election, I began noticing that Gavin was promoting violence and a form of radical politics that I absolutely do not agree with. I have always been anti-war and anti-violence. That is my baseline position.”
Keeler went on to point out how he is “the child of an Indian mother and a Canadian father”, adding: “I was raised in Canada by my immigrant-Indian family who struggled to make it in a new country.”
“So here I am, again caught between two things. Reality and fiction. The reality is that I am not ‘Alt-Right,’ nor a White Supremacist. The facts are I am a mixed race father of two and a musician. I am so sorry for putting my family, friends and fans in this position. I never wanted to talk about politics, I just wanted to make music and leave that stuff alone. Unfortunately, my actions have brought me here, and I am deeply heartbroken about it. To a fault it seems that I give people the benefit of the doubt, and I hope that you will give me the same in return.”
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Read Keeler’s full statement beneath:
Death From Above – formerly Death From Above 1979 – released their third album ‘Outrage! Is Now’ in September.
The band recently spoke to NME about the new record. Keeler said: “This record is interesting because I didn’t have any pre-conceived ideas of what the songs would be like. We just wrote what we thought we’d enjoy. One of the things that’s always been important to us is trying to avoid repeating ourselves, musically. I realise that’s probably to the detriment of our careers.”