|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Hardcore punk, punk rock, metalcore|
|Labels||Good Life, Uprising Records, Trustkill|
|Associated acts||Fall Out Boy, Arma Angelus, Killtheslavemaster, The Kill Pill, The Damned Things|
|Past members||Andy Hurley
The band was known for calling audience members "crackers" and for espousing radical beliefs influenced by black nationalism, third worldism and other anti-colonial ideologies (and for some members, eventually, Islam). Their lyrical content revolved around issues of privilege, Western dominance of the Third World and inequalities in globalization, sexuality in America, corporate dominance of economic and public life, veganism and the straight edge lifestyle. The name Racetraitor was in reference to using one's social and economic privilege to create a more egalitarian world. The idea was to take the pejorative term "race traitor" used by white American racists and claim it as a positive self-chosen label. The band's message also held that "race" was an artificial and constructed human category. They released an album called Burn the Idol of the White Messiah on Uprising Records and then a split EP called Make Them Talk on Trustkill with their friends in the Indianapolis band Burn It Down.
Early Racetraitor music could be characterized as power violence, featuring an abundance of noise and blast beats. Songs often timed less than a minute, which gave their early shows the quality of containing more spoken word than music. Eventually, their 90's hardcore, extreme metal and metalcore influences came to the foreground and Racetraitor's songs became longer and more defined.
Drummer Andy Hurley became a member of Fall Out Boy alongside occasional Racetraitor fill-in bass player Pete Wentz. Hurley also played drums in several other projects, including Killtheslavemaster and Project Rocket, and was briefly reunited with singer Mani Mostofi in a band called The Kill Pill, who released one record on Uprising before disbanding. Hurley was also a guest drummer on the "Jihad" EP released by the briefly reformed Vegan Reich.
Dan Binaei went on to form Arma Angelus with Pete Wentz and Jay Jancetic (Holy Roman Empire). For a short time it also included Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) on bass, and eventually Andy Hurley on drums. Binaei currently has put together a new experimental rock project entitled Tiger Spirit consisting of previous members of Suicide File, Sweet Cobra, and Nude Celebs.
Bass player Brent Decker continued his activism in the US and abroad before returning to Chicago. Currently Decker works at the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention and plays in a band called Tiger Spirit.
After the Kill Pill, Mostofi went on to complete an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He continued his activism in the anti-war and Palestinian rights movements and traveled to the Middle East extensively. More recently, Mostofi earned a JD at Fordham Law School in New York with an emphasis in international law and works as a human rights researcher and advocate.
Eric Bartholomae, who played bass and guitar, spent roughly four years doing animal and eco activism in Chicago following the breakup of the band. In the fall of 2008, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has since put together a new musical project called Willoughby.
Racetraitor in the press
Racetraitor has been mentioned in the books Burning Fight: The Nineties Hardcore Revolution in Ethics, Politics, Spirit, and Sound by Brian Peterson (ISBN 978-1889703022), Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics by Gabriel Kuhn (ISBN 978-1-60486-051-1)and New Wave of American Heavy Metal by Garry Sharpe-Young (ISBN 978-0958268400).