Reprinted with permission from The Daily
Lamb and Lynx Gaede, the dimpled tween rockers whose Nazi-themed pop band, Prussian Blue, sparked an exuberant media firestorm several years back have grown up — and had a change of heart.
"I'm not a white nationalist anymore," Lamb told The Daily in an exclusive interview, the twins' first in five years. "My sister and I are pretty liberal now."
"Personally, I love diversity," Lynx seconded. "I'm stoked that we have so many different cultures. I think it's amazing and it makes me proud of humanity every day that we have so many different places and people."
Now 19, they both still speak in a disarmingly girlish singsong. Their message, however, was not always so sweet. In 2006, the sisters, who formed the band at the suggestion of White Nationalist leader William Pierce, drew international notoriety with songs like "Hate for Hate: Lamb Near the Lane," a dreamy folksong cowritten by Lamb and the late David Lane, a member of the violent terrorist splinter cell The Order, who was then serving 190 years in prison for his involvement in the murder of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg in 1984 (he and Lamb were pen pals).
Prussian Blue was never a presence on the pop charts and only played small venues. But for a brief time in the mid-2000s, Lamb and Lynx were seemingly everywhere — "the new face of hate," as one news program put it. They appeared on "Primetime Live" and in a number of other media oulets, including GQ (where I profiled them in 2006).
Their story even inspired a stage musical, White Noise, which began as a low-budget, off-off-Broadway production before finding a major backer in Whoopi Goldberg and earning some decent reviews in Chicago earlier this year. A Broadway production is reportedly in the planning stages.
The twisted appeal, of course, was the incongruity of seeing a racist, anti-Semitic polemic — complete with smiley-face Hitler T-shirts and onstage Sieg Heil-ing — articulated by these cherubic little girls.
Now, the Gaede twins say they have changed their views and attribute their earlier political pronouncements to youthful naivete. "My sister and I were home-schooled," Lynx pointed out. "We were these country bumpkins. We spent most of our days up on the hill playing with our goats."
Lamb agreed. "I was just spouting a lot of knowledge that I had no idea what I was saying," she said.
The twins' mother, April Gaede, who has been a prominent member of racist fringe groups like the National Alliance and the National Vanguard, brought up her daughters with the ethos of white nationalism — a mix of racial pride, anti-immigrant hostility, Holocaust denial and resistance to the encroachment of "muds," i.e., Jews and nonwhites.
But after enrolling in public school and moving to Montana — a predominantly white state, albeit one with a decidedly hippie-ish vibe — Lamb and Lynx decided they simply no longer believed what they'd been taught.
Their transformation first became evident to Prussian Blue's fans during the band's 2006 European tour, a double bill with the Swedish white-power warbler Saga. Along with their familiar repertoire of Skrewdriver covers, racist folktunes glorifying Rudolf Hess and other Aryan "heroes," and perky bubble-gum ballads about boys and middle school, the girls threw the audience a curve ball — a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."
"Mama, put my guns in the ground," they sang to a smattering of boos from the crowd of Scandinavian skinheads and other far-right music aficionados. "I can't use them anymore."
They knew it was an unorthodox choice. "Oh, our mom warned us," Lamb recalled. "She said, ‘You know, some people aren't going to like this — Bob Dylan was a Jew.'"
But the girls, who were then 13 going on 14, were in a rebellious frame of mind. "We just decided to go for it," Lamb continued. "I mean, if people don't like the song, don't f**king go to the show. Don't listen to my music. Don't buy my CDs." As they toured Germany, Denmark and Czechoslovakia, they played the tune at every stop. Then they came home and had a heart-to-heart talk about the band's future.
"‘Are you done, Lynx?'" Lamb asked her twin.
"Yeah, I'm done," came the reply.
Lamb and Lynx have spent most of the past five years "lying low and trying to live a normal life," as Lamb put it, turning aside numerous media requests. Besides which, they know that their change of heart will not not please some members of the movement that once anointed them its standard bearers. "I've had people call me a race traitor before," Lynx said. "It's definitely something they're going to have to get over," she added defiantly.
"There are dangerous people in White Nationalism that don't give a f***," Lamb added, "and they would do awful things to people who they think betrayed the movement. We're stepping on eggshells."
The girls are still on good terms with their mother, who they say has been surprisingly supportive of their philosophical evolution. "She said she taught us to question things and that she's glad we don't just accept everything she says," Lynx said.
Suffering from a number of medical issues, Lynx lives at home in northwest Montana with her mother, her stepfather and her half-sister, Dresden. Lamb, who works as a hotel chambermaid, lives a short drive away, but she often stops by with a bag of dirty laundry.
Nevertheless, both daughters openly question April's "fixation," as Lynx called it, on the fate of the white race, as well as her encouragement of their bizarre musical career. "I'm glad we were in the band," Lynx said, "but I think we should have been pushed toward something a little more mainstream and easier for us to handle than being front-men for a belief system that we didn't even completely understand at that time. We were little kids."
Asked whether she wished she'd done anything differently, April Gaede told The Daily, "I thought it would just be a little fun thing to do. I didn't expect it to get as big as it did. If the girls feel regretful about it, I guess I would have to as well."
But April, who is working to create an "intentional" white community in their area, called Pioneer Little Europe, also suspects her daughters' liberal turn may be a passing phase. "They're 19," she said. "I think when they have children of their own, they'll come to the same conclusions I have."
Perhaps they will, but for now the girls are eager to put the entire experience behind them. Serving as internationally vilified poster children for the Aryan race was a lot of responsibility, especially for two pimply adolescents with mouths full of braces. "When you're a preteen, you're already insecure," Lynx pointed out, "and we were subjected to more of that because of the situation we were put in. It's scary when you're young and you have a bunch of people hating you."
The media barrage took the family by surprise. They were deluged with hate mail — some of it, ironically, from people professing equality and brotherhood. But the fan mail could be just as disconcerting. "There was a lot of predatory energy from those guys that was really hard for my sister and me to take," Lynx recalled, "and as we got older, developing and becoming women, we realized this might get a little more intense."
But both girls say the hardest part of the whole experience was dealing with the media, which they believe routinely misrepresented them and sensationalized their beliefs. Their time in the limelight subjected them to extraordinary stress, and appears to have contributed to severe health problems for both sisters. Lynx was diagnosed with cancer during her freshman year of high school and doctors removed a large tumor from her shoulder. Then she developed a rare condition called CVS, cyclic vomiting syndrome.
Lamb has struggled as well. She suffers from scoliosis and chronic back pain, as well as lack of appetite and intense emotional stress. During several of our conversations, she burst into tears as she agonized about how to balance her love for her mother with her desire to let the world know that the girls have moved on.
Approximately a year ago, Lamb and Lynx stumbled on a new treatment that they say has done wonders for many of these ailments.
"I have to say, marijuana saved my life," Lynx told me. "I would probably be dead if I didn't have it." She discovered pot while recovering from her cancer treatments. She'd been prescribed morphine and OxyContin, which she quit cold turkey. One day when she was having a bout of nausea, a friend offered her a toke. She was reluctant at first. The girls' biological father had been "a druggie" when they were young, Lynx said.
But the drug worked wonders, and soon Lynx became one of the first five minors to get a medical marijuana card in Montana. Now Lamb has one, too.
Pot has also helped the twins rekindle the creative impulses they once channeled into their music. They've both taken up painting — astrological themes, mostly — and Lynx restores furniture. They hope to enroll in college, and intend to dedicate themselves to making medical marijuana legal in all 50 states.
Meanwhile, they'll keep growing up. Impressive as their transformation has been, for instance, their views on World War II still bear traces of the Holocaust denial ideology they were taught as children. For instance, asked whether the Holocaust happened, Lynx replied, "I think certain things happened. I think a lot of the stories got misconstrued. I mean, yeah, Hitler wasn't the best, but Stalin wasn't, Churchill wasn't. I disagree with everybody at that time."
Lamb concurred. "I just think everyone needs to frickin' get over it," she said. "That's what I think."
Indeed, they'd both rather talk about ways to help the world in the present than rehash what seems to both of them like ancient history. They've been exposed to enough negative energy to last a lifetime, and they've had enough.
"We just want to come from a place of love and light," Lamb said. "I think we're meant to do something more — we're healers. We just want to exert the most love and positivity we can."