Exclusive: Shawn Milke of Alesana responds to the Pennywise account of the bands’ altercation

August 11, 2010 by Tim Karan

Exclusive: Shawn Milke of Alesana responds to the Pennywise account of the bands’ altercation

UPDATE 2:31 p.m. 8/11
Alesana frontman Shawn Milke has released a statement exclusively to Altpress in response to our interview with Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge. The two bands were involved in an altercation on Alesana's RV Sunday night following Warped Tour in Denver.

Milke told us, "We would like to thank Fletcher of Pennywise for publicly apologizing for the incident that took place earlier this week. We have been and will always be fans of Pennywise, and we look forward to touring Australia with those dudes. I guess next time we will just hang a sign on our door that says, 'This is not the bus of the Reverend Peyton.' Mistakes happen. For Alesana and Pennywise, this is already water under the bridge, and we urge you all to please do the same. Touring is about music and friendship, but unfortunately sometimes these things happen. We look forward to that beer, Fletcher."

You can follow the chain of events leading to this point below. 


UPDATE 6:37 p.m. 8/10
In an exclusive interview with Altpress, Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge told his side of the story surrounding the events after Warped Tour Sunday night in Denver. Dragge and Pennywise bassist Randy Bradbury were involved in an altercation with members of Alesana and their tour manager on Alesana's RV. Dragge says the incident stemmed from a misunderstanding and had nothing to do personally with Alesana. After a confrontation that lasted about one minute, Denver police subdued Dragge with a taser and arrested the guitarist on assault charges. He spent the night in jail but was released around 5 p.m. Monday when Alesana dropped the charges. Read excerpts form our interview below. 

What happened?
Dragge: We were coming back from a bar across the way from the Warped buses in Denver after the show had ended. We saw what we thought was the RV of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. We'd been hanging out with those guys and since it was our last night on the tour, we wanted to drop by and say goodbye. They were driving a very distinctive RV, and I thought it was the only one on the tour. Apparently Alesana have the exact same van. We walked in and nobody was there, so we sat down thinking somebody’s gonna pop up or something. That’s around when [Alesana's] tour manager came onboard and said, “What are you guys doing here? Who are you? You need to get out of our vehicle.” He was totally in the right. It was a situation where we thought we were in one place, and the tour manager for Alesana didn’t recognize us. Of course, if the roles were reversed and we found people on our bus, we’d tell them to leave, too.

How did the confrontation begin?
Their tour manager said we had to go, and I think I said, “I’m gonna make a sandwich real quick.” That's typical, smart-ass drunken Fletcher behavior. He went outside to get some of his team members to get us off the RV. This isn't a bus; we're talking about a pretty small area. All of a sudden, there’s me and Randy and six other guys in this kitchen area, and I think someone grabbed Randy's arm saying, “Let me escort you off the bus.” It wasn't violent. But everybody had been drinking and push came to shove. It’s kind of a blur, but it turned into a little bit of a melee. For us, we felt a little bit trapped in there because there was only one way out and there were people in the door way and people coming at us. We were in the wrong. We were in the wrong place and [Alesana] came to get us off their territory. It turned into a situation where we felt like we were outnumbered, even though we’re obviously older and bigger than those guys. It turned into self-defense mode. It went on for a little bit, and everybody took a couple bumps. In the middle of it, I think their TM realized who we were and that we just didn't know where we were. Then it became about getting Randy off the RV. That’s when the cops rolled in and took control of the situation, or I guess, me, with the taser. All I saw was more people coming up the stairs who I thought were gonna do some more damange, and they wound up being officers of the law. They blasted me with the taser about five times, but I used to be an electrician, so I’m used to it. [Laughs.] We weren't looking for a fight. We were just looking for the Rev.

A lot of message board arguments surround the fact that some fans aren't particularly fans of Alesana's music or aren't fans of Pennywise. Nothing about this had anything to do with music, right?
Right. We had never met those guys before this. I actually had watched their set a few times on the tour. This wasn't premeditated and it wasn't about another band or their style of music. We support any band who believes in what they're doing. They're not a punk band. They do what they do, and that's what Warped Tour's all about. We're actually going on tour with them in Australia soon. This shouldn't at all be about people liking or not liking Alesana or their type of music. They were completely in the right. It's just that with Warped Tour, there are so many people crammed in such a small space for six weeks. That's part of the fun of it. But in the morning, you dust yourself off and start another day. We have nothing against those guys and we're thankful they dropped the charges. I'm sure we'll end up on tour, having a beer with them and laughing about it.

ORIGINAL POST 4:02 p.m. 8/9
Two members of Pennywise allegedly attacked members of Alesana on their bus last night following Warped Tour in Denver. The Pennywise members also tore apart the interior of Alesana's bus. Although nobody was hurt in the incident, Denver Police responded to the scene and restrained the culprits.

Alesana frontman Shawn Milke exclusively provided this statement to Altpress: "Just to clear the air of any rumors, last night upon returning to our bus after a night out with friends, both our band and our tour manager were attacked blindly by by two very drunk members of Pennywise. Alesana is a non-violent band and always has been.  We do not encourage or willingly participate in any violent activities.  The two guys entered our bus and, without any instigating on our part, began punching us and trashing our bus.  We are eternally sorry that this event took place and had it not been for the Denver police showing up and restraining our assailants, the night could have been tragic.  Luckily, no one in our camp was injured."

The show was Pennywise's final on this year's Warped Tour. We'll keep you posted as more details become available.

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