During W.A.S.P.‘s August 15, 2011 concert at Glassheim in Jevnaker, Norway, the band’s mainman, Blackie Lawless, led the crowd in a prayer for the victims of the July 22 bomb attack in central Oslo and shooting rampage in Utøya island.
Anders Breivik, the man responsible for the massacre, a white native Norwegian, was described by the Guardian as “a Christian fundamentalist with a deep hatred of multiculturalism, of the left, and of Muslims.”
Prior to launching into the song “Heaven’s Hung In Black” during the encore portion of W.A.S.P.‘s set, Blackie told the audience, “We started [this leg of the tour in Greece in late July], and we saw things down there we’ve never seen before. And as we went through Europe, we saw things happening in almost every place we went we had never seen before. All of that started about a month ago with what happened about thirty minutes from here. And it’s a part of this continent that… I’ve been coming here for many, many years, but there’s things I’m seeing now that I just don’t recognize and it’s disturbing me greatly. And for those, I believe, 78 people that were murdered here last month, I wanna do something that I’ve never done before. A lot of you people may know that I’m a Christian, and I know some of you here may not believe in that, but I wanna lead the people tonight that believe in this in a prayer — a very short prayer. For those of you that don’t believe this, please give us a moment and don’t say anything. [Begins prayer] Almighty Father, we come to you in the precious name of Jesus, and we know that your word promises us that for those that believe, all things work together for good. We ask you, Father, to strengthen the families and the loved ones of the people that were lost here and heal this nation and raise them back up again. Father, we praise you in Jesus’ mighty, mighty name. Amen. Amen.”
Lawless has stated in past interviews that he will never perform W.A.S.P.‘s classic song “Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)” live again because of his “religious faith.” “What can I do to be a positive influence?” he told Norway’s FVN.no in 2009. “So I’m looking at what I’m doing and I’m trying to create the best example that I can. I don’t want 13-year-olds going around singing that song. If that’s something they wanna do later in their life, that’s their business. But, like I said, it’s a question of faith and the religious conviction that I have.”
Speaking to the Attention Deficit Delirium in 2010, Lawless elaborated on his reasons for not including “Animal” in W.A.S.P.‘s current setlist. “Words are the most powerful things we possess,” he said. “They shape our very lives and determine who and what we are.”
He continued, “Some may find it remarkable, but I was born again when I was 11 years old. I was very active in my church until I was 18, and when I left the church, I went about as far away as a person could go when I then studied the occult for three years. I wrote [‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’] a couple of years after I stopped that study. I went for 20 more years before I returned to my Christian faith, which is where I am now. That song was put into my life for a reason.”
He added, “I was talking to Alice Cooper, who is also born again, and we both feel the same about our early work. Although a lot of the music we did early on was as diametrically opposed to the way we had been brought up, a lot of the early songs we did were laced with those Christian valves. He and I were talking and said, all we need now is Marilyn Manson and we could start a band. The world would never believe it!
“I said all that to say this: I renounce, denounce and pronounce that I will never play that song [‘Animal’] live again. Actually, I’ve not played it live for several years.”align=center