K-pop boyband EPEX under fire for allegedly referencing Nazi pogrom in new song

However, the boyband's agency C9 Entertainment claims the song was inspired by George Orwell's '1984'

K-pop boyband EPEX have been called out for allegedly referencing the Nazi anti-Jewish pogrom Kristallnacht in their new song ‘Anthem Of Teen Spirit’.

On Monday (April 11), the South Korean music group released their latest mini-album ‘Prelude Of Anxiety Chapter 1. 21st Century Boys’, which was led by the title track ‘Anthem Of Teen Spirit’.

Soon after its release, however, fans of the group started noticing what they alleged to be references to and parallels between the song’s lyrics and the historical event Kristallnacht, a November 1938 pogrom carried out by the Nazi Party against Jews in the city of Danzig.

Fans specifically pointed out the line “I see them burning raw, Crystal Night is coming” from the song’s chorus as what they allege to be a reference to the historical event. On the other hand, others have compared EPEX’s styling in the music video to those worn by Nazi Party officials.

One of the writers of the song, Albin Nordqvist, has since spoken out about the situation, where he clarified that he only worked on the English demo of the track and had no idea about the revisions that had been made. Instead, the songwriter directed fans to message EPEX’s agency C9 Entertainment.

“I have no involvement with the current lyrics or topic. Today is the first day I’ve heard this version,” he wrote in a Twitter thead on April 11. “I would also like to ask you to stop messaging me about this… Please refer to the Agency instead.”

Earlier today (April 13), two days after the controversy broke, C9 Entertainment released a statement about the alleged references to Kristallnacht in ‘Anthem Of Teen Spirit’. In its statement, the agency claims that the song was instead inspired by “various literary works, films and physics theories”, with George Owell’s 1984 as one of the main points of reference.

In particular, the company alleges that the song’s lyrics do not reference Kristallnacht, but instead the symbolic “glass paperweight” from the novel. “It has absolutely nothing to do with actual historical events,” C9 Entertainment claims.

The agency later apologised for “not check[ing the metaphor] more carefully and in detail” in its statement. It added that the it has since changed the lyrics for the song and the boyband have re-recorded the controversial parts of ‘Anthem Of Teen Spirit’, and the company is in the process of replacing the song on music services.

The label also addressed the boyband’s styling in the video, claiming that “all costumes and contents were expressed using the setting and lines of 1984 as a motif, and there is no connection with actual events, people or groups”.

“We will be more careful and pay deep attention so that the music, lyrics, and music video[es] of EPEX do not hurt anymore,” C9 added. “Once again, we sincerely apologise to everyone.”

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