Former Westlife member Kian Egan has responded to reports that the boy band’s music has been used in Afghanistan to torture prisoners.
In a report called Out Of The Darkness, the American Civil Liberties Union describes how Westlife and heavy metal music were used on repeat to try and break down Tanzanian fisherman Suleiman Abdullah, who was handed to the CIA in 2003 amid claims he was a threat to the USA.
Westlife’s 2000 single ‘My Love’, taken from the album ‘Coast To Coast’, is singled out as one of the songs used in the process.
“His interrogators would intersperse a syrupy song called ‘My Love’ with heavy metal, played on repeat at ear-splitting volume,” the report states. The metal tracks are never individually identified.
Speaking on RTE 2fm (as reported by The Irish Mirror), Egan said: “If we’re talking about [playing it] repeatedly, it probably only took about two hours to actually crack the poor guy with that one.”
He added: “I am only trying to shed a bit of light on the subject and have a bit of fun about it all.”
The singer also revealed that he’s a fan of Metallica and can understand why the torturers chose his former group’s music: “Well look I’m a heavy metal fan as well, I listen to Metallica on repeat. Heavy metal and boybands are two extremes of music, you can understand why they were used. I mean, it is what it is.”
Westlife’s ‘My Love’ can be heard below.
The Irish boyband aren’t the first major act to have their music linked with torture methods. Back in 2005, a Human Rights Watch report claimed that tracks by Eminem and Dr Drewere used for torture. Songs by Red Hot Chili Peppers are said to have been used in Guantánamo Bay.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were upset by the association, with drummer Chad Smith telling TMZ: “I’ve heard that they use more… like, hard rock, metal… Our music’s positive man, it’s supposed to make people feel good and that’s… it’s very upsetting to me, I don’t like that at all. It’s bullshit.”