A 19-year old Sockburn man was arrested last week after a policeman took offence to his cover of the Rage Against the Machine song “Killing in the Name Of”. The man, a warehouse assistant who only wanted his stage name “Chester” to be used, plays in a rock and nu-metal covers band around the Western Christchurch circuit. His band, Ubêrmünt, was playing at Venue 88 in Hornby when the incident occurred.

After opening with “Break Stuff” by controversial Christian Metal band Limp Bizkit, and following that with a more pensive cover of a Hoobastank b-side, the Münts (as they are known by their biggest fan Shazz, who is the girlfriend of drummer “Borrowz” and the daughter of the bar owner) ripped into their take on the break-out single from the California band. After four minutes which seemed to confuse the band as much as the audience, Chester began the anthemic coda chant of “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!”, but had only managed to get through 5 of the 16 repetitions before the police shut the gig down.

The arresting officer, John St Porsine, said that he had no problem with offensive language if used in context. “But they were just butchering the song. It’s a classic.” He said that Ubêrmünt “were totally missing the point of the RATM version, with it’s visceral hatred of the system and critique against military unilateralism. The guitarist managed to trip over his lead and unplug it from the amp during the first verse. He didn’t notice and continued to play the rest of the song unplugged.” St Porsine defended the arrest, saying that whilst the band had the right to exercise their freedom of expression, their sound was negatively impacting on the enjoyment of the patrons in the bar.

Arthur Bagley, a bar regular for almost 35 years, was disappointed with the band. “Usually on Friday nights we come down for the league and a couple of jugs. There is a meat raffle then I drop a thin lizzie (a $20 note) on the pokies.” He said that things had changed after the quake. “There was a great covers band, who used to play the songs we all loved; “Clown”, “A.D.I.D.A.S.”, “Blind”. But they’ve gone to Hamilton now.”

Ever-defiant ahead of his upcoming appearance in the district court, Chester defended his band’s version of the song: “I just really like saying ‘fuck’ a lot”.

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