Australian progressive rock outfit Closure In Moscow have been removed from the lineup of this year's Soundwave Music Festival--which kicks off this weekend and plays in major cities throughout Australia. This year's bill includes AFI, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, the Get Up Kids, All Time Low, A Day To Remember and more.
The controversy allegedly stemmed from a phone call yesterday between a member of the band and festival organizer A.J. Maddah. In a post on the Soundwave message board titled, "SW2010 Waves A Not-So-Fond Farewell To Closure In Moscow," Maddah says that he only put the band on the bill as a favor to CIM's manager and that they were set to receive "10 times what they are worth" only to be "demanding and rude people."
"It is amazing how the one band you book on the festival only as a favour to their manager; whom you are paying 10 times what they are worth as a gesture of goodwill; and you bill way above their station, turn out to be the only demanding and rude people amongst a star-studded line up.
Here are some tips for other local bands hoping to keep a spot on a national festival:
1.Having a band member call the festival admin manager 2 days out from the festival with a new list of demands and being aggressive, rude and yelling at her only works if you are holding hostages.
2. Don't demand that festival vehicles and drivers pick band members up from their homes and then drop them off after the festival. Specially if you live on an island off the Gold Coast!
3. Don't demand that the festival should book and pay for your accommodation on top of the $25,000 you're being paid to pay for your own lodgings."
In response, Closure In Moscow--who are signed to Equal Vision--took to their MySpace blog and posted their side of the story. Calling Maddah's claims "outrageous," the band say they did have a phone conversation with the festival organizer, but only to get details on travel arrangements and other aspects of the show that hadn't yet been made clear to them.
A portion of Closure In Moscow's statement reads:
"Judging by the behavior so far, I'm certain we'll be painted as some ungrateful punks. The truth is we were very honored to have been included in the festival. We were blown away when we found out we'd be playing Main Stage. We are well aware that AJ was doing a favor to our manager but nobody asked him to put us on the main stage and nobody asked him to offer us as much as he did which he's now complaining about. He's the one that offered us the money. We expected much less and were again very grateful when we got the offer. We demanded nothing through this process and have been thankful each step of the way. He's the one that offered us these great opportunities and then took them all away. Anyone that knows us will tell you that we aren't the type of band this man has suggested we are."
In an attempt to make up for the canceled performance dates, Closure In Moscow are planning to play several free shows "for those that went to Soundwave hoping to see us play."
Check out the band's entire statement below and let us know: Who do you think is right?
Closure In Moscow's statement:
"We have been absolutely devastated since being told that we couldn't perform at Soundwave this year. We've heard it's because we acted like "a bunch of rude ungrateful cunts" as AJ articulated ever so warmly in an email to us.
We'd like to take a moment and address briefly the outrageous claims by Mr. Maddah. With only days before the beginning of the festival, we still didn't have any information. They were booking our flights as part of our deal and we still hadn't received any flight details or tour details. We were also under the impression that they'd be paying for our hotels the same that they do for all of the other Soundwave artists. Finding out that we were responsible for that ourselves was perfectly fine. Nobody even challenged it. We simply said okay and moved on. They were also providing ground transportation. Seeing as how we live in Australia and are already in Brisbane rehearsing for the tour, it seems a logical question to want to know if we should meet them somewhere central or if they'd be picking us up where we currently were. We were told they could pick us up and that was the end of that conversation. If they had a problem with any of those things they should have spoken up. We didn't demand or even request anything. We simply asked them questions for things that were still unanswered. Nobody raised their voice or even got upset. Minutes after hanging up what we felt was a normal routine conversation, we get a call from AJ. Keep in mind this is the first time that we are speaking to AJ about ANYTHING. After listening to a mouthful of profanity and being belittled, he ended his sentence with "you're off the festival" and then hung up on us without the slightest opportunity for discussion. You can imagine our shock. It's impossible to entertain the thought that we offended someone so deeply by asking logistical touring questions.
Obviously we were and still are confused over what happened. Had we been in the wrong, we would have promptly apologized. But we are not in the wrong in this matter. Mr. Maddah is clearly in the wrong and we won't beg forgiveness for something we didn't do.
Judging by the behavior so far, I'm certain we'll be painted as some ungrateful punks. The truth is we were very honored to have been included in the festival. We were blown away when we found out we'd be playing Main Stage. We are well aware that AJ was doing a favor to our manager but nobody asked him to put us on the main stage and nobody asked him to offer us as much as he did which he's now complaining about. He's the one that offered us the money. We expected much less and were again very grateful when we got the offer. We demanded nothing through this process and have been thankful each step of the way. He's the one that offered us these great opportunities and then took them all away. Anyone that knows us will tell you that we aren't the type of band this man has suggested we are.
All we ever wanted from day one is to play our music for people. It's truly a shame that our fate on this tour has been decided by the whims of one man's lofty imagination. We aren't about to let this dictate our future though. We will be making plans immediately to play a handful of FREE shows for those that went to Soundwave hoping to see us play. While it isn't our choice not to play, it isn't yours either. We will do everything we can to make this right for those that wanted to see us play. We'll also be making plans to do a full headline tour before leaving for Warped Tour this year.
We're grateful to have so many supportive friends and fans that know how absolutely childish and absurd this is. It's sad that this type of behavior exists and is tolerated in an industry designed to promote positivity, creativity and artistic expression through music. Let's not allow one person's negativity keep us from remembering that music is meant to be a catalyst for good; to uplift and encourage. If there's ever a time to remember that, it's now."