Death From Above 1979 bassist Jesse Keeler has denied claims that he has links to the alt-right following a blog post calling attention to his relationship with right-wing figure Gavin McInnes, the former Vice co-founder, and founder of the Proud Boys, a men’s rights organization often associated with the alt-right.
In February 2016, McInnes claimed Keeler was a Proud Boy in an article that’s since been deleted. Keeler has also made appearances multiple times on The Gavin McInnes Podcast, and was spotted hanging out with McInnes on election night 2016.
However, in a new post to Death From Above’s official Facebook page, Keeler denies having a relationship with McInnes and being a member of the Proud Boys “This is completely false,” Keeler said in the post. “I would never join that group.”
Keeler first met McInnes around 2003 as Death From Above released albums on Vice’s record label, and he had a friendship with him until last year. “Soon after the election, I began noticing that Gavin was promoting violence and a form of radical politics that I absolutely do not agree with. I have always been anti-war and anti-violence.”
Keeler goes on to talk about his mixed race heritage and says he was “raised in Canada by my immigrant-Indian family who struggled to make it in a new country.” “My skin tone may not tell this story, but it’s a fact. Growing up I didn’t identify as either race, as choosing one group seemed to somehow betray the other. I’m sure this is the plight of many mixed-race people.”
“The reality is that I am not “Alt-Right,” nor a White Supremacist,” Keeler continues. “The facts are I am a mixed race father of two and a musician. I am so sorry for putting my family, friends and fans in this position. I never wanted to talk about politics, I just wanted to make music and leave that stuff alone. Unfortunately, my actions have brought me here, and I am deeply heartbroken about it. To a fault it seems that I give people the benefit of the doubt, and I hope that you will give me the same in return.”
Read Keeler’s full post here.