It’s Not Just Transphobia: Whirr’s Problematic History


Trigger warning: mentions of sexism, gendered language, ableist language, and transphobia.

I absolutely love fuzzy, shoegaze influenced music. I’m obsessed with instrumental post-rock bands and basically every related sub-genre. While Whirr’s music is right up my alley, I refuse to listen to or support them in any way.

Whirr has seen a lot of success as musicians, but the band continually attempts to push the envelope of what’s acceptable. They have historically turned to disrespectful and hateful words. Their social media presence has been consistently offensive, and they’ve been called out over the past few years about their problematic racist, sexist, and most recently transphobic comments online.

It’s no surprise that they continue to wage a war as “self-crowned misogynistic trolls of the internet.” The public eye realizes that this shit simply isn’t okay. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is a regularly occurring issue with Whirr.

In episode 99 of the Run For Cover Records web series Tuesdays with Tay, Domenic Palermo founder of Nothing and Nick Bassett of Whirr and Nothing take the roles of temporary hosts. The band takes a sardonic approach to hosting the web show, poking fun at bands and fans alike. They are both wearing their own bands merch. All sarcasm aside, there were both racist and sexist statements made.

In this particular episode of the web series, a person from South America asks why RFC Records bands don’t come play there, Bassett responds with:

“We’re already rich, so we don’t need to come to shitty South America…Either way, my life’s tight in America and your’s probably sucks in South America.”

Beyond that, Palermo jokes about his stay in prison for stabbing a person outside of a show and refers to Anthony Fantano as a ‘big pussy’.

At one point, the members of Whirr created a tumblr page dedicated to hating on their own fans, as was highlighted in a Noisey interview from last year. The first three questions and responses from that interview are as follows:

Whirr also ended an interview with the San Antonio Current by stating:

“No, we are a punk band. Really, we’re just a bunch of dudes. That’s it, Whirr is a dude band.”

They clearly find humor in issues such as cyber bullying as stated in the following Twitter post.

In regards to the post about “inventing fog,” Whirr played a set last summer that ultimately had to evacuated because of an extremely overbearing fog machine that the band refused to stop using. When a contact from that venue texted them about the issue they posted the conversation to their Facebook wall and mocked the entire situation.

As if you needed any more reasons to not back this band, here are some additional Facebook posts I found as I quickly looked over their Facebook page.

In this Facebook post, the band videos two random people at a show behind a one-way mirror. They poke fun at them for no reason and call them “two pussies.”

Above are more direct examples of pejorative and derogatory language, as well as over-the-top examples of arrogance.

This week, Whirr hit a new low point. They posted many Tweets about the pivotal transgender punk band G.L.O.S.S. Below are just some of the transphobic Tweets by Whirr, that created a firestorm of events.

Although it’s no longer visible, the image that is linked to the Tweet “This is G.L.O.S.S.” is an offensively placed photo of the Buffalo Bill character from Silence of the Lambs. The transgender community certainly does not deserve this hate.

The members of Whirr have not only made fun of women but they’ve also taken stabs at disabled people, depressed, suicidal people, and transgender individuals. These communities aren’t given voices of their own; they are spoken over by privileged assholes with a platform.

The behaviors that the white men in Whirr regularly present are reinforcing a stereotype that we see across the entertainment industry. A study done by the University of Southern California spells it out with a staggering statistic. Of the top 100 films from 2014, there were no transgender speaking roles. None at all.

As of today, Whirr made a statement on Twitter. Notice the lack of any real empathy or apologetic tone. They even have the nerve to make a claim that some of what went on was perceived as “arguably funny” to them.

Fortunately, all of this is behavior is being addressed by many reputable bands.

And here are statements released by both Run For Cover Records and Graveface Records:

G.L.O.S.S. will continue to revolutionize the punk genre and aren’t letting Whirr phase them. The lyrics to their track ‘Lined Lips and Spiked Bats’ likely paints an accurate depiction of their opinions of Whirr.

“Straight America you won’t ruin me!

Sick American Dream combating the crap,

Bad girls have each other’s backs.

Lined lips, spiked bats

Gotta take femininity back!”

Support G.L.O.S.S. and bands like them by buying some of their merch or by downloading their demo for whatever you can pay.

Lastly, do yourself a favor by checking out one of the best GoFundMe campaigns ever to exist, and send these transphobic pissbabies to the sun.