Chthonic’s Freddy Interviews Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway on Metal, Dissent, and Human Rights

Chthonic’s Freddy Interviews Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway on Metal, Dissent, and Human Rights

Chthonic’s headbanging podcast Metalhead Politics, co-produced with Ghost Island Media, is releasing its fifth episode, “Nation Building,” on October 10th. It’s hosted by Chthonic vocalist Freddy Lim and Ghost Island Media co-founder Emily Y. Wu.

In this episode, Freddy and Emily interview Barney Greenway, vocalist and grindcore pioneer from the English death metal band Napalm Death. They discuss the relationship between music and politics, states and individuals. Like Freddy, Barney has long been an advocate of human rights. In 2012, Napalm Death performed in Taiwan, where Barney met with several local anti-nuclear activists.

Freddy and Emily dive into the thorny issue of national representation in modern Taiwan. This may surprise Metalhead’s international audience, but the “Taiwanese” flag and Taiwan’s “National Day” didn’t originate from Taiwan at all. For many Taiwanese people who lived through the martial law period from 1949 to 1987, these are the symbols of a dictatorship that can never truly represent Taiwan.

How can Taiwan (re)create itself? Freddy says it’s not just about “identity.” What matters more is the development of a nation’s spirit — the growth of progressive values. Freddy and Emily discuss Taiwan’s recent achievements, most notably marriage equality, and its remaining challenges, such as indigenous representation. In spite of immense pressure from China and all the diplomatic barriers stemming from it, they believe that Taiwan can still gain substantial international attention and support by building a fair, beautiful, and progressive society. The case of Taiwan shows that universal values are not limited by national or cultural boundaries. Taiwan has gradually become a beacon of democracy and human rights in Asia.

Metalhead Politics has been sharing Taiwan’s stories and experiences from its first episode in June. Since then, it has become a popular news commentary program on Apple Podcasts. It aims to amplify Taiwan’s views on various international issues, push back against old party-state propaganda, and authentically describe — rather than be described by others — Taiwan’s complex past, hopeful future, and ever-shifting present to the broader English-speaking public.

Episode 5 was released on October 10th on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other podcast platforms. Besides listening to the podcast, you can also find the highlights video of the latest episode on Chthonic’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Apple Podcasts:
Google Podcasts:
Ghost Island Platform:
CHTHONIC YouTube Channel:

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