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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Laura Snapes

Aphex Twin says anti-vax sentiments attached to song file are not his

Aphex Twin AKA Richard D James.
Aphex Twin AKA Richard D James in 2015. Photograph: Mick Hutson/REDFERNS

Aphex Twin has clarified his stance on vaccines after anti-vax sentiments and other conspiracy theories appeared in the ID3 tag of a song posted to SoundCloud.

A Reddit user found an ID3 tag on a song posted by the Cornish producer AKA Richard D James in 2014, reading “vaccines are poisonous, mercury, aluminum can+ autism, cancer” and also referencing 9/11, Hamas and chemtrails.

James commented on SoundCloud to explain that the message was fake after receiving messages about the text.

“I put random things in id3 tags sometimes but this one about vaccines has been changed. When you get known, people will try and bring you down, comes with the territory. I recommend trying to find common ground with your fellow humans, rather than dividing yourself into smaller and smaller groups.”

He added his thoughts on vaccines: “For what it’s worth is that I’m not against them in principle but you should look at them on a case by case basis, see what’s in them, do your research and decide if it’s right for you or your loved ones, it’s up to the individual whether you have them or not.”

The famously trickster-ish musician also said: “I should also add for future reference that if you want to know my thoughts on any topic I believe in everything and nothing simultaneously.”

The matter follows a 2020 comment on SoundCloud in which he appeared to write “‘You stupid tin foil hat wearing idiot’, said the person wearing a 2 month old soggy mask”.

Following criticism, he posted again: “I definitely don’t think Covid is a hoax, I’m just very worried about the erosion of civil and human rights and how we are to get them back.” He added: “I mean what if we the people are not happy about any other government policies? We now can’t have more than 6 people in a protest, what are we to do?”

In 2023 James released the EP Blackbox Life Recorder 21f / in a room7 F760, which was nominated for a Grammy. His last full-length album, Syro, was released in 2014.

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