Two bands feud over transphobic tweets

Whirr is a shoegaze band hailing from San Francisco.

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Whirr is a shoegaze band hailing from San Francisco.

by Zach McCollum, Opinion & Editorial Editor

Whirr was dropped from both Run For Cover and Graveface Records for posting transphobic tweets directly attacking the punk band G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside of Society’s ****) this past Tuesday.

Whirr is an American rock band known for being heavyweights in the California shoegaze revival: a movement which surfaced in the 2000s that revived the sounds of influential 90s rock groups My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Slowdive. Whirr have been known to personally attack certain groups and their own fans on social media. These posts are often written in slight joke form, but Whirr stands by what they tweet or post even if it’s highly offensive.

On Tuesday, Whirr took a step too far when they directly attacked G.L.O.S.S, an acclaimed hardcore punk band with a transgender singer.

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G.L.O.S.S. is a hardcore punk band fronted by a transgender woman.

With music fans in an uproar, it was not much of a surprise that word would get to Run For Cover Records’ Jeff Casazza, who immediately dropped Whirr from the label and disassociated with the band entirely. The label in charge of Whirr’s digital releases, Graveface Records, also disassociated themselves from the shoegazers, leaving Whirr label-less and without a strong fan base.

Whirr’s Nick Bassett (also a member of Nothing and a former member of Deafheaven) responded by blaming the tweets on a close friend and saying that the band would never make bigoted comments.

This statement was likely not true at all. Whirr is clearly blaming the tweets on a fictional friend to gain back any semblance of a fan base along with their two record labels.

The upsetting fact of the matter is that Whirr is a fantastic shoegaze band and are very critically acclaimed to boot.

Whirr has been posting awful things like this for years, and in a way, has gotten what they deserved. Speaking out against any sexual orientation is hate speech and all bands, no matter how they identify sexually should be treated with the same respect that all other bands are.

Whirr works with many artists. In fact, guitarist Nick Bassett has formed and participated in many projects over the years including Camera Shy, fellow shoegazers Nothing, and highly acclaimed black metal giants Deafheaven, and it’s such a shame that the band has to let their personal opinions and web presence get in the way of their music careers.

Unfortunately, politics and bands’ personal lives are often factors in whether a person will purchase a record or stream an album on Spotify.

If Whirr just simply keeps their personal opinions from their fans and from the labels they associate with, they will have much more success as a band. That will never excuse what they did, and maybe it can never be redeemed, but like-minded bands should filter their strongly-held hateful opinions from the ears of their beloved fans.