In This Life
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In This Life


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The best kept secret in music


"Intense Musical Ecstacy"

Perfect for a mid-week break off the madness of work, school, or whatever else that may be cluttering up your sense of spirituality, Montreal's own In This Life enchanted the fairly gathered crowd at Cafe Campus. The band filled the room with a warm ambiance as they delivered their style of melodic progressive tunes.

This band knows exactly how to captivate and interact with their audience. Vocalists Alexander Foster and Isabel Foster express every inch of their music with such sincere emotions that it is hard to resist being engulfed in their intense music ecstasy.

Their songs are well arranged with just the right touch of sequenced synth and ambiphonic sounds. Both guitarists worked in unison to bring a variety of melodic duets on their instruments, where in some other bands you would often find quite the opposite as guitarists try to overpower each other, drowning out the vocals and the melodies.

The band is also a longtime supporter of Amnesty International and the Human Rights movement. This probably explains the heart and honesty they put into their music. Emerging from a city like Montreal is not an easy task as we are saturated with bands of different styles. In This Life, have worked hard at creating a culture in their music as they have built quite a loyal following from all regions of Quebec.

Moving forward, the band understands the importance of constantly pushing their exposure as they keep active in planning to play a network of out of town gigs, always ready to reach a new audience.

For more on In This Life, be sure to visit their web site and most definitively keep an eye out for them for the rest of 2005.
- March 30th 2005 - Lex Stevens - Montreal Music Scene

"Motivated Music"

Today's music has become more than a creative end. For many artists, their work often becomes a vehicle for broader messages, be they political, charitable, or just about anything else. We've seen this trend grow especially through benefit tours and themed albums. On March 30, McGill students will demonstrate their devotion to charitable causes with a benefit concert for War Child Canada, entitled "Keep the Beat." This project has been in the making since last semester, when the Inter-Greek Letter Council resolved to host the largest charitable event in the Greek community's history.

"We have the ability to pool our resources-our enthusiasm, different talents, different connections, and love of philanthropy-together to create something that really makes an impact," says Jessica Jekkel, IGLC president and member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Since January, she, along with the whole Greek community, has been working hard to organize Keep the Beat, a night of music and awareness featuring artists In This Life, Kwek Movement, and Typecast, as well as Andrew Greene, who will speak about his War Child Canada experiences in Sierra Leone.

In contrast to much of what we hear about elitist attitudes in the music business-namely rumors that artists participate in such shows simply for exposure and image-all members of headliner In This Life have taken major roles in the planning process.

"In This Life was chosen because of their vision, exactly in like with our concept and War Child Canada's mission to create awareness for human rights and motivate others by using music as a vehicle," says Jekkel. The band, well known for its relentless support of Amnesty International, agrees.

"We're pretty picky when we play a benefit, because for us it's not a regular gig. We like to help the promoters; our involvement is much deeper," explains rhythm guitarist Jeff Beaulieu.

"We've never played for a charity benefit if we weren't to be involved," adds lead vocalist Alex Foster.

Five years of touring across Canada and three independent releases prove the members of In This Life to be determined, hard-working artists, and, in regards to their music and their philanthropic devotions, reminiscent of Bono's campaign to end world debt. But though they're quick to acknowledge U2's admirable work, their philosophy on music's influential power addresses both ends of the spectrum. "Music can challenge the status quo and lead an amazing, introspective revolution," says Foster. "Bands like U2 are using their musical gifts to promote human rights, and neo-Nazi groups are using music to attract young people-it's the same tool. We all choose where we stand, but music pushes you to reevaluate why you're standing there."

With all the admirable and important causes existing and in need of support, why War Child Canada? For Jekkel and the rest of the Greek community, all regularly involved in charity work and fundraising, motivation lay in the search for philanthropy with a wider scope.

"We have concentrated on a lot of local initiatives, such as Centraide, Dans la rue, and Sun Youth," she says. "The idea came to be because it has the power to attract many groups at McGill and around Montreal. Why not try to make an impact on the global community?"

Meanwhile, the members of In This Life were attracted because of their personal connection with social causes. Foster explains: "Stephen [Lamelin, on guitar] and I are former social workers. We first played music based on our desire to have an impact on our environment. What's the meaning of walking in the streets and screaming? [Through music], people come to be entertained and see their money support the cause-it's a win-win situation."

All involved-the IGLC executive and In This Life-have high hopes for Keep the Beat. The three bands (alternative, funk, and hip hop) will appeal to a diverse crowd, and Greene's information will make it hard for attendees not to be touched by the global resonance of War Child.

Says Jekkel, "The effect of the people coming together, motivated to learn about or end injustice, and the satisfaction of seeing action being taken is enough to make anyone take on a greater role in promoting peace and awareness. I'm glad I found a way to help a worthy cause by using music as the vehicle."

For Foster, being asked to play and be involved "was a real privilege." Diving into his emotions, he vividly articulates his position: "For me, one child holding an AK-47 on his father's political behalf is enough to stand in front of a microphone and try to have an impact. Sorry, Jagger-but it's not only rock and roll."

Keep the Beat will take the Café Campus stage on March 30 at 8pm. Tickets are $10, available at Café Campus, through, or by calling 790-1245. For more information on War Child Canada or In This Life, visit or
- March 22nd 2005 - Lise Treutler - The McGill Tribune


To see the advertisements, Rock N Rights is an event like any other. Two musical groups (Grimskunk, In This Life) will gather at Café Campus to blow people’s eardrums and share their message. As it is the case on similar occasions, money will be gathered and given to the organization Amnesty International. So, what’s new under the sun?

“We are doing this in response to the Schoolyard project, initiated by an American right extremist label who wish to distribute one million albums which include 20 rock groups to the North American youth,” says the founder of Rock N Rights, Alex Foster, “In fact, the right extremist movement are still very much active, equally in Canada as in the United States. They are currently more influential than ever before. “The gathering and promotion of hate rarely takes a break,” states Alex Foster, who knows about music, as he is the singer for the band In This Life, a group which is taking up more and more space on the independent Canadian scene. “They use the gathering aspect of music, they enter schoolyards, then, if the youths like what they hear, they go to their concert, buy their CD and other hateful material through the Internet. They cover a large area, offer an emotionally connected life, which answers the needs of all youths. Following this is a sad and inevitable life of violence and frustration. Rock N Rights answers to this. “We inform, sensitize and mobilize”.

“These days, the face of hate is more and more subtle. The new thinkers of right extremists hide behind organizations who take liberty of expression and profit by promoting ideas which are similar to outdated ultra-conservative and fascist concepts,” explains Alex Foster, “It’s freedom of speech. They have Internet sites and obnoxiously insert links to Amnesty International, while we hear these same individuals refuse all rights and privileges to immigrant Canadian citizens.”

Even though he was threatened by an American right extremist organization, and became a target of choice for fascist organizations around the world, particularly following the publication of an article in the weekly Hour, the founder of Rock N Rights will not cancel his concert, nor will he renounce the promotion of human rights. “It’s a battle which each individual must show leadership skills, beginning with education,” states Alex Foster, “You will not sit for several hours with your child to explain the dangers of right extremists, but you will teach him to be secure in who he is and to be open-minded to different cultures. By doing this, while growing older, he will not only reject fascist ideas, but will promote human values and will defend the richness of multiculturalism.”

Rock N Right will be held at Café Campus, December 11, 2004. Show starts at 7pm.
- December 11th 2004 - Martin Gignac - CHOQ FM

"Alex Foster : Voice Of A New Generation"


Alex Foster was a Neo-Nazi leader.

It has been 11 years since he left. These days, he is occupied with conferences, interviews, organizing shows, making a documentary on the right extremist movement, and the promotion of human rights, notably through his role as spokesperson for Amnesty International (something which is not recent), as well as with his baby: Rock N Rights.

As if it wasn’t enough, he is also the singer and leader of the rock band In This Life, who will be a part of the first Rock N Rights event, accompanied by Grimskunk, Broken Pictures, Mr Matt and Damned If We Don’t at Café Campus, next Saturday December 11th.

Passionate about history and political works such as Mein Kamph, Alex introduced himself into the Neo-Nazi movement because of a need for association, caused by loneliness and isolation of his younger years. He had moved 11 times in a 9 year period, his socialization and opportunity to build links had been quite difficult. At age 13, he met a guy who introduced him to an university group and who initiated him to discussion reunions. After having a debate about the Mein Kamph book with one of the leaders of the group, Alex was invited to come back the following week, leaving enough time to research and determine who was right. Fortunately for him, he was right, as the members of the group wouldn’t have hesitated to make him understand physically. It was this way, through a naïve and audacious discussion that Alex quickly ranked from a young mascot to a leader: «I was taking care of many things, I had my own monthly paper, was corresponding to everywhere in the world and quickly became one of the best recruiters of the organization (…). I was known, even by people not part of the right extremist organization, as someone who didn’t back down or let be pushed around. I became a member of Marxist-Lenist, anarchists and left-winged intellectuals in order to recruit as much people as possible. I really was a freak», Alex says.

It was the realization of the total desperation these young people lived which he had used to recruit which made him question everything. «These young people were ready for anything. (Like what?) Anything, really anything». At the same time, there was something about their look which in which he read; «you never told me it would lead to this; you lied to me».

Due to the continuous support of his father, who played a determining role in Alex’s awareness leading him to his deflection, the 2 years following his departure of the movement were very difficult for him. “As you’ve probably figured out, these are not the kind of people to whom you can simply say: «Thanks boys, good luck, see you around». Alex clarifies: «There were consequences regarding my departure, I had to meet with other leaders, explain my decision, where I was in the process, because for me to leave the movement was a high cost to pay. It was like my family, my brothers and sisters, the reason for living, the last 5 years of my social status. (…) The two years that followed were terrible. I had to learn to live with the actions which I had approved and cautioned. I had to go back to the basics. As crazy as it may seem, my most important fights where to determine who I really was, find my values and filter my opinions. It was difficult, two years of deep self-questioning, introspection, because well, you begin your experience in these organizations at age 13 and end up at 19, it’s not like, well I’m going back to restart my life- this is unfortunately impossible. Notably considering that the ages of 13 to 19 years are the most important years regarding development , values and aspirations».

It is the awakening of conscience which led him to study in social work and focus on individuals. He then got in contact with lots of people, some of them who led through discussions, awoke him to lucidity. «The strength we have against hate is in discussion». It is while explaining his motives that he became able to stand against threats he received in the last 10 years. In fact, following the recent publication of an article ( from Jamie O’Meara in the weekly paper The Hour on November 25, one of the leaders from a Neo-Nazi organization from Arkansas called him and strongly recommended that he shut up about the topic and that he cancel the Rock N Rights concert. Perfect example of the largeness of the extreme- right movement in North America and of the type of network contacts these people maintain. The Internet advent surely becomes, for these people, a priceless valuable tool, as mentioned by Alex: «I can be at home and discuss with people from all around the world, order items such as CD’s, patches, flags or hateful literature, no need to attend show places today. 10 years ago, you had to constantly look behind your back afraid to fight against an anti-racist gang or different multi-cultural communities…let’s say it breaks some people’s eagerness and the expansion of the movement, which is not the case anymore today».

The first Rock N Right event will take place this Saturday December 11th at Café Campus. Whether you’re interested by underground music, human rights promotion, Amnesty International, or for any reason, please come! Show starts at 7.
- December 7th 2004 - PUNK ME UP


Rock against fascism Local white supremacists may not be wearing their white-laced Doc Martens and bomber jackets in public as much as they used to, but they're still out there, says Alex Foster. The lead singer of the Montreal-based band In This Life and an outspoken critic of the white power movement says they've just traded their brutish image for something more polished and presentable.

"The new face of the extreme right is wearing a tie," the 29-year-old says. He's in a position to know. For several years Foster was a leading ideologue in the city's burgeoning white power movement, until he left it 10 years ago. He emerged later totally changed, dedicating his life to fighting the ideas he once held. This Saturday, Dec. 11, he'll be hosting the second Rock 'n' Rights show, where six bands, including his own, take to the stage on an anti-hate crusade, with all proceeds going to Amnesty International.

One of the topics Foster brings up is Project Schoolyard USA. The Minnesota-based white power music label Panzerfaust Records is distributing 100,000 CDs nationwide of "pro-White" music aimed at teens. After denouncing it, he says he received a threatening call on his cell phone from Minnesota, warning him to cease and desist. "If people in the U.S. are afraid of this, it shows we can have an impact," Foster says (coincidentally, Anthony Pierpont, Panzerfaust's co-owner, was arrested on Nov. 30 on drug-related charges).

Rock 'n' Rights, with Grim Skunk, In This Life and others, takes place this Saturday, Dec. 11, at Café Campus (57 Prince Arthur E.), $12 in advance, $15 at the door, 7 p.m. » Patrick Lejtenyi - December 9th 2005 - The Mirror - Patrick Lejtenyi

"An Ex Skinhead confesses"


Between the ages of 13 to 18, Alexander Foster was part of a dangerous extreme right organization and associated with a world rooted in violence, a sectarian world. Today, singer in a rock band associated with Amnesty International, Alexander warns youths of the dangers these radical groups represent. A disturbing voyage to the heart of a secret organization with worldwide ramifications.

"I made a lot of people suffer in my youth, but I was also someone who suffered, I was hurt inside. Because I was in the middle of painful self-reflection, enlisting young people eased my pain. I didn't encourage anyone to do anything but I promoted heinous ideas. The person I was at that time is dead. He was in the image of those who are looking for something and not finding the answers in the right place."

At 29, Alexander Foster, ex recruiter for a Neo Nazi organization, now better understands his course. It hasn't always been this way.


"When I was young my family moved 11 times in nine years. My father had a hard time finding work, and we were poor. Since I changed schools frequently it was hard for me to make friends.

I was made fun of because of my clothes and my parent's social situation". Consequently Alexander was frequently bullied by the tough guys in the neighborhood.

Reading became an escape and the history of the two World Wars a passion. Having lived in a world marked with violence, he had difficultly realizing the horror and extreme violence associated to the Nazi doctrine.


Following a meeting in a Montreal music store he was admitted into a skinhead extremist group.

"I was young and naïve. The people who were present were generally older than I was: they were in university or CEGEP students etc? It was an extremist group."

He saw the group every weekend. "They wanted to shake social structures, and a minority was prepared to kill for their ideas, but I never heard negative comments about blacks or Jews, and they didn't speak of a pure race."

The word”Nazi" was never said and we were not to speak of Hitler. Nevertheless many were dressed like skinheads, had shaven heads, wore Doc Martens, or looked like business man with their shaved heads. They said that their ideas were the solution to the social and economic situation of the moment, that a strong centralized power was required for strong nation?"

"Some," adds Alexander, "denied the Holocaust or spoke of a "Jewish plot", others said that immigrants should not be allowed to vote, etc?"

We were now dealing with a national socialist group taking their doctrine from Hitler's party. At this time, Alexander did not realize that he was in the midst of a potentially very dangerous movement. "For me, it was the trip of being in a gang to discuss and to be respected" he says. He ended up being a recruiter for the group.


To find his ’recruits’ he tried to determine which young people could be easily influenced,
and enrolled into the movement. "I wanted young intellectuals. It was easy for me to identify those who needed to be valued and listened to. I made them question their ideological beliefs and once that was done I introduced them to ideas inspired by Nazism. I changed their fundamental values. We brainwashed them using exclusion and hate, rejecting all who didn't follow our beliefs."

Over the years he spoke at skinhead concerts in Montreal. However, the violence that he saw in his group left him questioning himself. "While I was involved, I knew my friends were being stabbed, left for dead, beaten, and killed. I saw people beaten; kicked brutally in the face even attacked with beer cases."

The saddest thing was that these victims would come back week after week because we had taught them pride," he says. His life was in danger. Everyone wanted his skin. He received many death threats. "The antiracist skinheads wanted to get rid of me; even jealous members of my group wanted me out of the way. There were quite a few threats."

"During this time his father became a converted protestant and read the Bible. He talked to his son and told him "What you are doing is not right. You are not free?"


"One night, while in the metro I was reading the Bible my father lent me, and I got a flash. I told myself: Wow! Jesus revolutionized the world with love". He then went to a Neo Nazi gathering, where he was expected to give a speech. "I was on a stage when all of a sudden I was looking at 300 or 400 people reassembled. That night the singer of the performing group had a huge red flag with a Swastika splashed across it. I watched as the crowd was lulled into a trance and they tried to touch the flag as he moved it in
Their direction. They were mesmerized. That night reality hit me in the face.

I realized that I had intellectualized everything; that I had manipulated these youths. I was disgusted with myself and everything that surrounded the organization. I went to a church and cried. I was overwhelmed with guilt and told myself that I had taught them hatred. But these people needed love. Instead of showing them a world of love, I had gotten them involved in a world of hatred?"

Then, he met the woman who would become his wife. A woman very involved in the humanitarian activities of the Catholic Church. He completed a bachelor in social work and worked helping immigrants. Today, Alexander Foster sings in a group called "In this Life", a group associated with Amnesty International for the promotion of humanitarian values.

- 7 Jour

"Former neo-nazi goes head-to-bonehead"

The following is the first in a two-part series targeting the spread of neo-fascist ideologies in Montreal and abroad.

Their motto is "Panzerfaust: We don't just entertain racist kids... we create them."

The upstart, Minneapolis-based Panzerfaust Records is now the single largest promoter and distributor of hate music in North America, having usurped top spot in the lucrative white power music market from former reigning racists Resistance Records (started by three Toronto-area neo-fascists, and another story unto itself). Hate music - Oi!, hatecore, country, metal, National Socialist Black Metal, Nationalist Folk and so forth - is profitable not only in terms of the money generated, but as the single most effective recruitment tool for young people, an area in which Panzerfaust recently distinguished itself.

In September, Panzerfaust launched the unprecedented Project Schoolyard, a plan to initially produce 100,000 sampler CDs featuring bands like Bound For Glory, Brutal Attack and, the granddaddy of them all, the U.K.'s Skrewdriver, and give them away to kids for free. The final goal is one million CDs distributed in schools across North America. To put that in context, anywhere in the music industry that would be considered a major release. They also claim it's been a major success. The Panzerfaust website proudly announces that they're ready to embark on Phase Two of Project Schoolyard.

"Basically, Phase One was the first 20,000 copies," says Panzerfaust co-manager Byron Calvert (real name Bryant Cecchini, a former Resistance Records employee), whom I contacted. "We went through those in 12 days [out of an anticipated two months]. Now we are going through the next batch of 80,000 copies."

On Oct. 2, Hammerfest 2004, an annual white supremacist concert and regional record launch for Project Schoolyard, took place just outside Detroit. It was co-presented by the Hammerskin Nation - who the Anti-Defamation League calls "the most respected and feared" racist skinhead group in North America - and with whom Panzerfaust has an interdependent relationship.

Three Montrealers - Alex Foster, Jeff Beaulieu and Charles Verroneau - went down to Hammerfest to covertly observe the proceedings for an upcoming project, the nature of which can't be publicly disclosed at this point.
It wasn't long before the fearless, though far from fearsome, three (I can't get this Lord of the Rings, hobbit thing out of my head...) realized they'd bitten off more than they could chew. "It was really crazy to see all those guys - I think there were more than 500 people," says Foster, listing off participants from France, Poland, Germany and all across the U.S. and Canada. "It was out in the middle of nowhere, and you arrive and there are guys with shotguns at the gate."

Foster estimates the age range of rally attendees as slightly older, from 25 to 35 years old (interesting when you consider that, according to FBI statistics, 62 percent of racially motivated violence in the U.S. is committed by persons 24 and younger; scary when you consider that this is the age bracket that is primed to reproduce). "We saw quite a few families there, also with kids," says Foster. "It's like a big family party - only we didn't know anybody."
"At one point it was funny," begins Foster, pausing. "Well, now it's funny. One guy who was from Toronto came up to us and said, 'So, you're from Montreal? Hmmn, I haven't seen you in Montreal at anything.' Then he said, 'Who do you know, and how did you know about this event?' We thought, 'Oh shit...'"

"But for years, I've always had a tattoo, and it's pretty obvious that it's a neo-Nazi tattoo," explains Foster, rolling up his sleeve. Yep, I've seen lots of racist skinhead tattoos up close and uncomfortable, and there's really no mistaking this one: a Celtic cross with an arm depicted in Nazi salute, the words "Heil Victory" above and below. And it got them of the hook with their dangerously inquisitive new friend.

One thing I may have forgotten to mention earlier is that, for five years beginning as a teenager, Alex Foster ranked among the leadership of Montreal's racist skinhead community. We'll get to that.

But first, later that night, a very drunk Polish skinhead walked up to the group of three, "and asked us if we were faggots, and punched Jeff in the face," recounts Foster. Skinheads from Connecticut intervened on their behalf, says Jeff, adding, "But you can't be afraid in those kinds of places because they don't tolerate scared people. I really had to fight to keep my self-control." Says Foster, "When we were coming back to Montreal, Jeff had, like, a nervous breakdown..."

"I was crying in the car," he says candidly. "...because he'd been surrounded by hate and tension all day, people flashing their weapons, bands screaming hatred." I can see how that might be a bit stressful.

"Anyway, coming back, with Jeff having his breakdown and me having flashbacks about everything I did and saw from those years [as a neo-Nazi], the first thing that came to me was the thought that I need to have hope that they can change."

Foster is a first-rate example of change. As a teen, the now almost 30-year-old musician and Amnesty International spokesperson remembers being drawn to the promise of neo-Nazism, "trying to find some family, trying to find some love, trying to be accepted. And then I lost five years of my life."

In a short span of time he went "from mascot to leader, running a monthly neo-Nazi publication, La voix nationale," and credits getting out of the movement to "talking a lot with people who love me." He remembers a pivotal moment: "I was at a concert at the former Jailhouse Rock with two or three neo-Nazi bands. I was one of the organizers, in maybe '94. And I was watching all these guys that I'd convinced to join jumping, trying to touch the [swastika] flag. It was crazy."

"People were so into it that we were able to do whatever we wanted to do with those kids. And that's where I really had to sit down and ask myself if I was really who I wanted to be... something stuck in my throat." Foster had to negotiate his way out of his "family for five years." He recalls being summoned to a meeting and told to keep quiet, "and because I'd been the good soldier for so long," they allowed him to leave on the condition of an oath of silence for two years. "We don't know you - you don't exist," he was told.

While Foster still considers himself "a moving target," his experience puts him in a unique position to understand the full impact of a Project Schoolyard. "I'm not saying we need to kill neo-Nazi's. I see them more as kids that are lost, and the price to leave is bigger than that which they have to pay to stay there. I really believe we can make a difference."

On the last night of Hammerfest, Foster says he spoke with the president of Panzerfaust, skinhead Anthony Pierpont. "He said that he had interviews with Rolling Stone and Newsweek and he's really busy with everything. So we figured we needed to create some sort of response to all that, so we started Rock 'N Rights separate from our other project."

Rock 'N Rights, to be held at Café Campus, Dec. 11, is "a whole night of music and entertainment to promote human rights, and all the profits will be given to Amnesty International," finishes Foster.

Featured on the bill in the upstairs room will be über-popular rockers Grimskunk and Foster's own band, In This Life, while downstairs at Petit Campus it will be Broken Pictures, Mr. Matt and Quebec City's Damned If You Don't. Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $12/15. And beware of baldies bearing free CDs. - November 25th 2004 - HOUR - Jamie O'Meara

"Journey to the End of the Night"

Journey to the End of the Night

The band is called In This Life, the leader, Alex Foster, shares his time between the mic of this Montreal band, and the stands where he promotes human rights. A big change for this singer who, in another life, was an ace at recruiting for a Canadian Neo-Nazi organization…

Alexander Foster is gifted. Born in a poor middle class family prone to moving, eleven times in nine years, he found peace in reading, mostly in history books. In the beginning of his teenage years he read Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, this being the first step of a long journey towards the Neo-Nazi circles. “What attracted me in the beginning were the debates. Poor and puny, I was isolated because of numerous moves, my point of view was of interest to these people”, explains Alex Foster during an hour and a half fascinating interview. Due to his youth, the man, who now campaigns for human rights, rapidly became the mascot of a Neo-Nazi organization. But they noticed his wits, and they used it to their advantage. He soon became an efficient recruiter. His method was simple: he aimed those who were like him. “I approached the losers, those who did not fit in. I listened to them, and made them feel important,” he says.

White Power

Strangely, Alexander Foster’s Neo-Nazi adventure took place in almost broad daylight. On the student radio, he played white power bands. He also founded a history club, which was called Les Revisionnistes… “I was a grade A student, high performance in class. They forgave a lot of things.” In short, Alex Foster’s future at the heart of a Neo-Nazi movement was to be brilliant. Even if, for him, the Neo-Nazi movement was mostly a political statement. Although, when the frenzy was over, “it became more and more difficult to defend the vulnerable”, he says. The debates, which attracted him in the beginning, became more and more violent, the movement had toughened. “Teenagers I had enrolled were getting beaten up. They came to ask for counts.” This violence was part of Alex Foster’s daily life: “From secondary 2 to secondary 5, there was not a day that passed when I did not question if I would be able to make it back home.”


The pressure was becoming too strong, the need to rethink his life, too urgent: Alex Foster decides to hold back. During his break, he does what he always does, he thinks, “I kept a diary in which I wrote my doubts, my frailty. I also wanted to bring credibility back to the movement, which had been tainted by acts of violence. I wanted the Neo-Nazi movement to be like the Sein Frein, the political arm of IRA, with a conservative message, but not extremist.” This new rethought version of the movement did not please the authorities that were there at the time, so they asked him to retire with one condition: “That I would not speak to anyone for two years”.


Sometimes life has hard times planned for us. Alex Foster found himself, in the beginning of his twenties, more isolated then he used to be before he joined the movement as a teenager. “It was even worse!” Explains the singer, “Everything was worse. I was broken inside. I was cut off from my social environment, and I felt like I had lived someone else’s life.” Fortunately for him, life had something else in store. This one was better, even though it happened after an almost traumatic experience: Alex had gone to Haiti, to do some volunteer work, the singer found himself surrounded by black people determined to crush some white guys. He gets out of this situation with the help of a Haitian volunteer. But still the seed was planted. “I understood two things, what it was like to be part of a racial minority, and that we could directly intervene to makes things change”, remembers Alex Foster.

Get our youth informed

It is through music, the predilection tool used for propaganda by Neo-Nazi movements, that Alex Foster decided to intervene.

His state of mind becomes words for songs. He formed a band, and another, then finally In This Life. But Foster does not write political lyrics. “I have three”, he says. So he contacts Amnesty International in order to organize his first information concert. Then begins a collaboration that still lasts today, and that goes beyond the music. Alex uses his past to inform the Quebec youth attracted by Neo-Nazi ideology. “At first I hesitated”, he confesses, talking about his collaboration with Amnesty International, “I did not know if I wanted to relive my past. Did I really want to be the old Nazi for another thirty years?” The answer is of course, even as Alex tries to bring balance between his past and his present, a product which is his music, a very interesting conventional rock. “I do not want to use my story to promote my band, even if I know it’s sort of what I am doing”, says the signer with a small grin. After all these years spent in the darkness, Alex Foster is happy to have finished his journey to the end of the night. “I want to be positive, to stand for something, to stand for human rights. That is what we will be doing during the concert”, he says in conclusion.

- December 11th 2005 - Patrick Gauthier - Le Journal De Montreal



Now fully repented, Alexander Foster tells us of his five years in a group of skinheads.

Alexander Foster joined a skinhead movement at the age of 15 only to get out about five years later. he says he was upgraded; youth recruitment, publishing of newspapers, etc. A little story about a dive in the Extreme Right.

First of all, Alexander Foster likes to know whom he's dealing with. Even though now, at the age of 27, only a few years separate him from his racist activities. Native to the Montreal region, he insisted on meeting us in the capital for the interview. Forget the telephone. But once on the spot, he opened up.

Everything began with poverty, an intense feeling of exclusion. Followed by an ever growing isolation, filled by a passion for history fed by readings on the Second World War. Especially the period that preceded it.

As a fan of "underground" music, he quickly met the "right" people who were ready to debate with him, take him under their wing and give him a sphere where he felt he belonged. "They", we will never know who, brought him in bars, "the king's palace where you take a break." We must say that he had already read Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Alexander Foster had just found a new "tribe" in which he felt important. RECRUITING

From then on, he tells us, his knowledge allowed him to play an important role. Recruiting other teens for example? "Yes, in abundance. [?] We must identify youths who are angry, who are furious, and who are ready to do anything to feel alive and accepted. [?] The need for association and fellowship is so important in this period of your life that it becomes rather easy."

Then, you just need to make sure the recruits are well surrounded. "In these kinds of movements, you're always called to act rather than think." Thus, to convince themselves they're on the right track as well as to maintain the passion of the troops, the leaders develop arguments that justify an opinion that goes against the flow. "It's a form of evangelism." "You always maintain them in a climate where they must react. You don't tell them how to think, you tell them what to think", he explains. Those people become instruments? it seems pretty detached, but that's how it is."

Towards the end, Alexander Foster says he was on a committee of six or seven members. The group published a newspaper and participated in the organization of events. A structure that allowed them to obtain funds from national and North American organizations, he says. "Money? It comes from individuals, I would say notables, whom, under the cover of anonymity, will adhere to this [?] it's a very select world, a world that's excessively

Alexander Foster says that he recommended an attitude of reserve. That in becoming invisible, the cause would be better served because its members could join institutions and try to communicate their point of view. However, he does not put his head in the sand. He knows, for example, that many would fight following a Neo Nazi show. "You have to give them some of it. [?] That's how you succeed in keeping them interested and coming back for more."


How did he get out of it? Thanks to his parents. practicing Protestants. “My dad told me something once that always stayed with me, `You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. What I see in you, is that you aren't free`."

Then, at a show, he observed the teens he had recruited. The singer was waving a flag with the swastika symbol on it. "They were jumping to touch it. They were completely "gone". It scared him, because he was recognizing himself in them.

A new introspection. Alexander Foster then used his resources to publish a paper that incited the questioning of the ideals defended by the movement. He distributed it at a Neo Nazi gathering? and was very ill welcomed. "They threatened me and shook me. [?] You can't know and recognize people and say:" I've matured, I've thought, I don't adhere to this anymore" he explains. The peacefulness and safety of this family taken as hostage
against your silence for the next few years.

The reversal was hard." I had nightmares for many years about things that I hadn't necessarily done myself, but, for which I had given my approval."

After two years of questioning, he left for Haiti to work with a protestant co-operation; Today Alexander Foster seems at peace with himself. He has worked a few years as a social worker and founded the engaged rock band The Riddlers. Through his songs, he tries to bring awareness to youth and works with Amnesty International. And, as if he wanted to redeem himself once and for all, he's projecting the production of The Digital Hate documentary, in which his experience will be used as background to tell us of the extreme right, it's presence in political spheres and how Internet has broken down hate's frontiers.

Baptiste Ricard- Châtelain (; Le soleil de Québec
(Daily newspaper); Saturday, January 11th 2003. - Le Soleil January 2003

"Nazi to Amnesty"

A former racist uses his band to counter what he once believed...

Alex Foster has come a long way and through a lot of pain to be where he is now. At 29, the singer of local alt-rock group In This Life is a spokesman for Amnesty International and a dedicated anti-racist - a far cry from 10 years ago, when he was chief ideologue, recruiter and propagandist for an extreme right-wing hate group.

Recruited young ("I read Mein Kampf at 13"), he says he quickly shot up through the ranks, thanks largely to his organizational and speaking ability. What drew him to the extreme fringes of youth subculture, however, is typical: a need for belonging, for respect and for love - which he didn't have at home, growing up poor with an alcoholic father."The subculture validated me," he says. "Everyone else I was hanging around with was older, in CÉGEP or university. We'd have debates, and whenever I disagreed with someone I'd come back next week to discuss it further. I was kind of adopted, not as a group mascot but because they saw I had potential.

I was intellectual but had a lot of audacity for someone my age."Within a couple of years, Foster had become a mainstay on Montreal's extreme right scene, which, by the late '80s and early '90s, was swelling. Recruitment - Foster's specialty - was up, especially with teenagers, and running street fights with anti-racist groups were common. He, however, says he shied away from violence. What started to change his mind was the increasing probability of death - of himself, his friends or their enemies. "People in my group were seriously discussing killing Alain Dufour (leader of the Ligue anti-fasciste de Montréal), eliminating any kind of more moderate position. I always preferred to debate ideas, but it was getting too serious.

I started asking, ‘How many people are we going to have to kill?'"He left soon after. The final stroke came at a concert he was supposed to speak at, when the band's singer started waving a swastika and Foster saw hundreds of kids, many of whom he recruited, reaching out to touch it. After that, he says, he left for good and had a complete breakdown. His departure did not go over well with his fellow racists.

He was accused of treachery and was summoned to a closed meeting with the leaders of his group. He feared for his life. "I knew everything about the organization, what they talked about, how they recruited. They told me they would let me go, but didn't want to hear from me for two years. And I respected that." These days, Foster is still trying to live down his past. He's married, is working on a documentary and regularly speaks publicly against racism.

He still has skinheads show up to his concerts though, to intimidate him and "remind me that they haven't forgotten me." He hasn't been attacked yet, but figures that someday, he will be. "It's sad, but it's a fact of life."In This Life play the Rock & Rights concert on Saturday, Apr. 10, at Petit Campus (57 Prince Arthur E.) at 8pm. $8 in advance, $10 at the door
April 8th, 2004 - April 8th 2004 - MIRROR - Patrick Lejtenyi


"Is it love Is it misery" EP March 1999
"Burning Days, Flaming memories" EP January 2001
"Quiet day for Sunshine Breathers"EP October 2003


"Love Is A Promise Whispering Goodbye" - April 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy



“In This Life’s nervous guitars and gripping melodies are buffed by their smooth harmonies and introspective lyrics. Proud spokespersons for Amnesty International and supporters of Artists Against Racism, In This Life deliver crisp sounds with a social conscience.”

After a little more than five years spent as the folk rock group The Riddlers, with whom they launched 2 albums, lived the Nashville American adventure, and toured as much in Canada as in the United States, Foster decided to disband the group in the spring of 2003.

In fact, as difficult as this decision was to make, considering all the work which had been done to establish The Riddlers on the American folk scene, the members of the group nevertheless decided to turn the page on one of the most extraordinary times of their lives.

“We had gone as far as we could go. We had lived The Riddlers adventure right until the end, we took a lot of risks, and we were audacious. We got close to the ultimate American record deal quite a few times. For a multitude of reasons it didn’t happen, but the overwhelming battles we won was a learning tool for us. We had nothing at the beginning, only dreams, and they brought us as far as we had wanted them to bring us, we are proud of this time, we had no regrets.” – Alex Foster’s comments following his decision to disband The Riddlers.

After several months of rest, writing and working in the studio, the previously known The Riddlers came back full force during the fall of the same year, founding the alternative rock band In This Life and launching the album Quiet Day For Sunshine Breathers.

“We remembered the feeling of being back on stage and it was really incredible. The simple fact that we didn’t have to carry the weight of The Riddlers made all the difference, it was a new beginning. We had much more experience, but a renewed freshness and innocence, the fans loved it. We put those five years behind us and moved on. Actually, that’s a little of the reason why we wanted to release an album for our comeback, even if we would never release that same album today. In This Life’s musical identity is clearly more defined and mature than it was at that moment.” – Alex Foster’s comments following the band’s comeback as In This Life.

Following the creation of In This Life was a veritable promotional marathon for Alex Foster, passing through the United States, The United Kingdom and Canada, areas where Foster established the relational foundations necessary for the band’s growth.

“I must admit that it was a little ambitious. I didn’t have any promotional tools or fancy press kits, as we had had with The Riddlers. Let’s say that I didn’t have a lot to offer at that moment. An album which I didn’t particularly like, pretty pictures of the band, but a strong desire to go even further than I had with The Riddlers. To my surprise, the reactions were great, which then allowed us to establish incredible business relationships in the hottest areas of the music industry. All of that in record time.” - Alex Foster on his numerous business trips for the band.

2004 begins with force for In This Life. While the members of the group work on new material, they are invited to participate at the prestigious Canadian Music Week 2004 held in Toronto, and refused a record deal with an American Indie label. Furthermore, a big name in cinematic production approached Foster to make a documentary on his life, including his past as a Neo Nazi leader, his present role as a spokesperson for Amnesty International and his music.

“What a way to start a new band. It was crazy up until December 2004. Concerts, business trips, meetings, paperwork, it’s a pretty good sign when you wake up in the morning and realize a whole year has passed. I guess the big difference is due to the fact that we now know what we want. It helps; we’re walking ahead with confidence. This way, the next steps will be oriented more towards the direction we always wanted to go.” – Alex Foster on his career approach.

Working on a new record scheduled for release in 2005, being the center of an important upcoming Independent movie, and strong from a solid experience in the music business, the members of In This Life resolve to go towards a future which appears to be a promising adventure filled with challenge and great opportunities.

“It will please them one day”
Ludwig Van Beethoven