Inevitably, the news continues to be dominated by the fallout from the terrorist atrocity at an Eagles Of Death Metal gig in Paris on Friday the 13th. Deftones and Foo Fighters were the first to cancel shows in France, but subsequently Marilyn Manson, Motörhead, Papa Roach, U2 and Five Finger Death Punch also put French concerts on hold – while Motionless In White cancelled their tour of the UK and Ireland. Most reasonably, on Wednesday Eagles Of Death Metal issued a statement announcing that the remainder of their European tour had been postponed. “While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France. Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.”
On Friday, after cancelling a show in Tilburg, Lamb Of God pulled their entire European tour, explaining in a band statement: “Due to concerns brought to our attention by the venue security team yesterday in Tilburg – and continued general concerns across Europe - we have decided against putting our fans, our crew and ourselves in this position night after night and will be cancelling the remainder of our performances in Europe. This is a decision we are making on behalf of the fans, our crew, and our band, as well as the well-being of everyone’s family, friends and loved ones at home. Stay safe, and we will see you very soon.”
The decision didn’t meet with unanimous understanding and sympathy, but in a post on his Randonesia blog, frontman Randy Blythe acknowledged the criticisms: “One typical and very widespread online reaction I saw – and was completely baffled by – was, ‘By not playing, they are letting ISIS win.’ People, do you have any idea of how colossally stupid this sounds? Please crawl out of the hive mind echo chamber for a second and try to use your own head for a change. These are rock bands trying to play a gig without being gunned down onstage, not Navy Seals assaulting a mountain stronghold in the Hindu Kush. You aren’t going to stop a bullet with a ripping guitar solo – Jimi fucking Hendrix couldn’t do that, even if he resurrected and came back to rock Europe one more time.”
Also as a result of the tragedy in Paris, the debut screening of new Eagles Of Death Metal documentary The Redemption Of The Devil has been cancelled. It was due to premiere this week at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, but the band felt the timing was inappropriate.
In these dark times it’s natural for the rock and metal scene to crave a sense of togetherness and unity against the forces of oppression. Shame, then, that the two current permutations on the true Venom line-up are continuing their snippy, passive-aggressive war of words. Venom – consisting of Cronos and two other blokes – have taken exception to the American tour dates of the three-piece known as Venom Inc – consisting of Mantas, Abaddon and Demolition Man. “Don’t be fooled by pale imitations,” said Venom guitarist Rage, while Cronos added “We know that there’s been some sites who’ve been putting our photographs and our Venom logo up for a whole load of dates that don’t have anything to do with us. Venom play one-off shows, and that’s the way we’ve always done it. And we like to have it as big and as best as we can. We don’t do little club tours – that’s never been the Venom way. We’re trying to contact some of these sites to say, ‘Look, you’re misrepresenting the band.’ We don’t know who this band is that you’re talking about, but we’re not coming to America to play 30 shows. Please get your shit together and sort it out.” We could say the same thing to Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon; realistically lads, any other line-up is a pale imitation.