Nothing titillates the Icelandic bondage and dominance-themed band Hatari more than a glaring contradiction.
On stage, the group, whose name means “Hater”, present a fascist-inspired dystopia of blood-splattered whippings. In person, they are softly spoken and occasionally cheerfully optimistic.They have slammed Eurovision in Israel – which is the subject of boycott calls over the country’s treatment of Palestinians – as being “built on a lie”, calling it propaganda and a whitewash, yet they have agreed to represent their country in Tel Aviv this week, expressing genuine love for the competition’s message of unity and diversity.
While the group’s founding purpose was to overthrow capitalism, they own a for-profit company selling T-shirts and merchandise and brashly advertise their own carbonated water at any opportunity, promising it is “the purest water left on Earth”.
“Of course, dismantling capitalism is an expensive affair,” says one half of the band’s main duo, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson, in monotone sarcasm.
The world’s longest-running televised song competition boasts a proud history of pop ballads light on meaning and heavy on fun and glitz, making it a wonder that a black leather, highly sexualised group who revel in pain have made it to Eurovision with a song entitled Hate Will Prevail.