Alright so honestly I’ve been so wrapped up in my own metal plans that I’ve totally spaced about working on the dose! I’m just so beyond excited that I get to go see SLAYER at Mayhem Fest this summer! Along with Anthrax, Slipknot, Motorhead, Whitechapel AND MORE! I cannot wait.
So to kick things off while we’re on the topic of Mayhem Fest– the cool people over at Metal Injection are hooking some lucky people up with free tickets (who doesn’t like free tickets!?) to the show of their choice. All you gotta do is go HERE. And comment under which show you want to go to and just tell them why you think you deserve to go.
In local news:
Family Tree just brought us Alaskans a totally killer concert a few weeks ago- Suicide Silence. If you didn’t attend you really missed out! They played an awesome set and the crowd was moving the whole time. Now they’re preparing for another awesome show that will go down later this year. That’s right I’m talking about CHIMAIRA. They will be up here this October tearing the scene up for two dates. On the 12th (that’s a Friday) at 8 pm we have the 21+ show at Koots (of course). Local bands opening for them are City In Ashes and Wichita Shadows. The following day we have the all-ages show (on the 13th). This will be held at Club Millennium with doors at 7:30. The openers for the all-ages show are Sicarius and Veritas so prepare to get rowdy. Tickets for these shows are 20 bucks in advance and 25 at the door. Tickets are available for purchase on June 1st at Koots, Mammoth Music, and online at groovetickets.com. So go mow somebody’s lawn for 20 bucks so you can go see Chimaira here in Anchorage!
Also in Anchorage Metal Scene we have a sad ending coming up. And that’s right I’m talking about the Downstairs’ last show. The ever traditional INZOMBIA! And they’re bringing up Trash Talk for it!! This is all going down on the 25th this month so I better see EVERYONE who has ever been to the Downstairs and has the memories that I have there in the pit.
So right now all the metal news babble seems to be focused on the Black Sabbath reunion drama. And the fact that Bill Ward is officially not joining them. If you aren’t aware it is now at soap opera status drama. Last week Ward released this official statement. Beware it is quite lengthy.
Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,
I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.
It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality.
To express my thoughts about you, the Sabbath fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets.”
The man’s son is a young drummer. He’s going to see Sabbath, and he wants to see Bill Ward play drums. Upon hearing this news, I felt horrible. I couldn’t help feeling some resentment towards the failure to reach an agreement, the failure to remember where we came from, the failure to be as brothers, as we once were. To be clear, I’m not blaming the other guys or finding any faults with them. I would think it can’t be easy for them either, but this situation is just really sad. It’s sad that it’s come to this. “This” will surely leave a mark and be unwelcome to the memory. Hopefully “this” will heal and pass in time.
My heart sank when Jimmy told me about this young boy. I know this boy is going to be disappointed, and I don’t know how to amend it, other than to put my arms around the boy and tell him I love him. Sabbath fans have a voice and a face, to me you’re human, you have families and despair. You have ferocity and emotions and graciousness, and at this moment as far as I’m concerned you are also that young boy in England. I don’t know how to amend my part in these failings other than to put my arms around you and say I love you and let you know I’m very, very sorry.
Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. I know in my heart I couldn’t have done these concerts by agreeing the terms suggested. I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I’m doing it.
Earlier in April 2012, I’d been asked to participate “minimally” in the Download festival. I believe I’d been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath. I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs.
I found out about the Birmingham gig on Monday, April 30 through the Internet ad. I was taken aback somewhat by the date, and the fact it was Birmingham. Knowing the “signable” contract negotiations were at best in shreds, I was upset by the idea that the band was going to play Birmingham and play it assumedly without me. I had no prior knowledge of the date and location, and I felt totally excluded. We contacted the representative for Black Sabbath to see if something could be worked out. In the meantime my drum crew and I, along with our US endorsers, finished all the necessary planning for a swift departure to the UK. There wasn’t a whole lot to complete; we’d all been on standby more or less since mid-January 2012. The remaining work in the UK was confirmed done by our European and UK endorsers and we were good to go by Friday, May 4 2012. There were two stress points: firstly, getting an agreement in place, and secondly, getting to England in a timely manner. Jetlag time was taken into account as well as drum practice, a drum practice room in the heart of Birmingham, accommodation, and travel arrangements were all in place to meet with any band rehearsals that may have transpired before the Birmingham show. So far everything that had been arranged was on my dime, but we didn’t move ahead without a realistic confirmation.
Communications between the representative and my lawyer continued through the weekend of May 5 finalizing on Wednesday, May 9. The offer we received on May 9 was, “come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes.” I was tempted. Playing for free would not have been a problem for me, but “seeing how the first show goes” left an element of risk which could have affected Download. My ideal thought was to play in full the Birmingham show, in full Download, and in full Lollapalooza.
I had notified the representative that May 10 was my cutoff day in order to have good lead-in time for England. On the night of May 9 I asked for a brief letter to be sent to the representative asking to find out if we were at an end. On the morning of Thursday, May 10, I received a reply in the affirmative. After consulting with my advisors and crew a decision was made to let go and stop.
I can’t prioritize the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. I can’t do that. All of you are important. It’s all the gigs or none at all. I can’t come to Birmingham and “see what happens” knowing there is a risk of not being able to play Download or Lollapalooza. Again, for me, it’s all or nothing. I had to say “no” to Birmingham on the principle of wanting to play all the shows. Saying no to Birmingham is very difficult for me. My family grew up in Birmingham. Black Sabbath grew up in Birmingham. It’s still my hometown and I resent having to arrive at such a difficult choice.
Although the statement was made that, “the door is always open” for me, as explained above, walking through that door is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many complicated issues and unseen and unspoken agendas on hand. I can assure you, my criteria for a “signable” contract is based in mindful principles, respectability, and acknowledgement of my history within the band.
I hold no malice or resentment towards the other band members. I love them; I’m tolerant of them; I’m frustrated with them, as they may be with me. My fight has never been with them. I’ll love them forever. In my opinion, nobody wins this time; the band doesn’t win; the fans for an original lineup don’t win. Nobody wins, nobody. Even the ones who thought they did.
I didn’t want to make this decision, but I have to be honest and transparent. This is the statement I didn’t want to write; it’s the last thing I wanted to do. But, I have written it, and now it can go into the universe.
Since Spring of 2011, I’ve waited patiently and hopefully for a signable contract, you know the rest. I stand for the boy in the U.K., for the coming drum student, for all the drummers, who write their parts out and get stiffed on the publishing, I stand with the Sabbath fans chanting “Bill Ward” and asking “why?” and I stand with Tony and Geezer and Ozzy.
On a final note, even though I’m at an end with the upcoming announced concerts, I will remain with an open mind and a position of willingness to negotiate “signable” terms with Sabbath’s representatives in the future.
With all my heart and strength, I love you,
I understand that maybe the contract sucked but it sounds like he is whining about it… Nevertheless this is a huge bummer because the world wanted a Sabbath Reunion.
For now it appears to be Ozzy’s drummer, Tommy Clufetos, will be filling in for Ward, as he did on their first gig this year as Sabbath. Who else might be on first for drumming we aren’t quite sure yet.
But don’t worry it’s not done yet. Geezer released a response to Ward’s public announcement and here it is.
I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the internet. It has been a very tough year for us as a band, having announced our reunion plans, only for Tony to be diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us no choice but to postpone the proposed Sabbath tour, and then for Bill to go public on his site about an un-signable contract. None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemo therapy, and radiotherapy. Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his “good” days, we’d meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just 3 of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we’d move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill. Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he’d been offered an un-signable contract. He hadn’t told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us let alone in public. We had the idea of keeping just one show in this year, hoping that Tony would be well enough for that show, and that things with Bill would be sorted. As you may expect, a one off show at Donnington Festival (Download) costs an absolute fortune to stage, involving over 50 people, transport, air fares, hotels, meals, agents, promoters, accountants, lawyers etc, so none of us, expected to make much money from it- it was a one off Sabbath show for the fans, before we go into recording the new album. Apparently, this wasn’t acceptable to Bill’s representatives, they wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he’d change his mind and at least make a guest appearance. We started rehearsals a few weeks ago with Tommy Cluefetos, the drummer who will be on the Ozzy and Friends Tour. Brilliant drummer and good bloke. It was decided we’d better do a warm up show, to break the ice since we haven’t played together live. The O2 Academy was available in Birmingham, where we were rehearsing, so we decided on that, and to make a donation to Help For Heroes Charity, since we’d be ironing out any glitches we may have. Then Bill put out a further statement saying he’d been ready to play the Birmingham show , but he was expected to have to do it “for free”- well, I think that’s basically how you raise money from gigs for charity – you play them “for free”.
All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything. I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason; it wasn’t meant to be this time. Bill’s made his decision, and I have to respect that. Hopefully this painful year will be worth the wait for the new Sabbath album and end in joy and happiness for all.
But don’t worry Bill responded (SEE! I TOLD YOU! SOAP OPERA STATUS)
Dear Sabbath Fans and Musicians,
I have read Geezer’s statement of May 19, 2012 titled “Heavy Heart.” Out of respect for the Birmingham gig, I wanted to wait 24 hours before releasing this statement. There are some points he brought up which I want to respond to.
1) I had indeed notified Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, well before my first public statement, that I was having contractual difficulties.
2) I came out into a public forum to be accountable to the fans primarily, and to say at a public level there’s a problem. The band members stopped talking and corresponding with me some time ago, with the exception of a nice letter from Tony on my birthday. Prior to that, Geezer and I were corresponding, but that stopped abruptly in late February after I emailed a specific question to him.
3) In my statement of May 15, I clearly stated I would play Birmingham for free. That was not a problem – charity or otherwise.
4) My Download fee was not an extravagant amount. Originally, when Download was part of a full tour, I had asked for a decent fee. More recently, as we were negotiating just Download/Birmingham and Lollapalooza, I told my attorney that I would accept the proposed small Download fee, but there were other parts of the offer that were unsatisfactory.
I will continue to be honest and respectful towards the band and our fans. I will also confront any untruths about me, and any fault finding missions aimed at me that come to my attention.
I hope the band and the fans had a good gig in Brum.
Stay safe/stay strong.
But the gig they’ve had went well! They had a pretty awesome setlist and there are some decent bootleg videos of it on youtube. Anyway I’m very sure that we will soon get the next episode of the Sabbath Reunion soon. Stay tuned.
Randy Blythe just announced he’s done tweeting for good. That means I should delete mine too because I’ll have no reason to get on twitter. This is a sad day for the twitter community. He was known for his 20 tweet rants… Here are his departing words:
Actually, I’ve changed my mind. After a few short hours of no twitter on my phone, I feel much better. Although I believe social networking can be used in a positive manner, I also believe it is for the most part a gigantic waste of time. Especially for me. It doesn’t hurt that it’s kinda addictive, & I certainly have that aspect of my personality.
So peace, I’m fucking outta here. If you see someone on Twitter or Facebook claiming to be me, don’t believe them, because I’ve never had Facebook and in about three minutes I won’t have Twitter. So it was nice to meet some of y’all. I wish you well. Now I’m gonna go read a good book.
Peace- D. Randall Blythe PS- #Randonesia will never die!
Well at least he will still be blogging! If you haven’t checked out his tublr he has his blog entitled “Randonesia”. It’s entertaining and full of his words of wisdom…and I believe his campaign for presidency.
Metal Injection also introduced me to these awesome lego characters.
They just released this Norwegian Black Metal Enthusiast character. I’d definitely let my kids play with this lego figure. Unfortunately the price is currently a bit steep at 15 bucks a lego character. They’ll probably be coming out with a church burning lego set to go with it. Check out some of these others that are a lot more questionable.
Here is the Rob Halford lego character-
Here we have the inked character-
Here is the S & M character-
And they call this one the “botany enthusiast”…. is that what they’re calling it these days?
That’s all I have for you at this moment in time! I better see everyone out this Friday at Inzombia! Take it easy but most importantly, keep it metal. \m/