Everything that happened in metal last week

Two years ago, Soundwave festival promoter Arash ‘AJ’ Maddah was named the most powerful person in the Australian music industry. With the three-day, three-city event now cancelled with barely a month’s notice, this week his company is in administration with debts of $28 million, and $1.9 million of punters’ money apparently missing. Maddah took to Twitter to announce: “I am devastated to have to announce the cancellation of Soundwave 2016 due to poor ticket sales. I am very sorry. I tried my best. Thank you to all the fans, bands and people who supported the event for the last 12 years. I wish we could have ended it on a better note.” He went on to blame the festival’s failure on “the internet hate squad and the trolls. Congratulations guys. Only thing is, you are now fast running out of targets.” However, a leaked creditor’s report has surfaced alleging “a lack of internal control processes to monitor costs” and mistakes in accounting. In addition, 52 bands are still owed money from Soundwave 2015, including headliners Slipknot.

Maddah directed fans to seek refunds from the point of purchase, but ticket agency Eventopia insist Soundwave is “responsible for all ticketing funds that were advanced, and is directly liable to all ticket purchasers for issuing customer refunds” and has sent a letter to Maddah demanding he return the money. The Soundwave Facebook page has since been taken down, while three days after cancellation the most recent news on the festival’s official website was the addition of Walls Of Jericho to the 2016 bill.

On Friday, however, Maddah’s friend and Devil You Know drummer John Sankey unveiled plans for the Legion Festival, which he hopes will tempt many of the Soundwave bands over to Australia in the New Year. He intends it to be financed entirely via crowdfunding, with profits to be split among bands. More on this as, when and if it happens…

Also facing financial trouble this week is poor old Vince Neil. The Mötley Crüe frontman should be preparing to put his feet up and take it easy after the Final Date of Crüe’s Final Tour on New Year’s Eve. Instead of that, the frontman is now being sued over his involvement in a failed American football team. Investor Sohrob Farudi is taking action against Neil’s company RockStar Sports Group, for defrauding him of half a million dollars’ worth of investment in the defunct Las Vegas Outlaws – who only played one season before being hanging up their helmets in August. Farudi alleges Neil and two others falsely claimed to own the Jacksonville Sharks franchise, and that they paid $3 million upfront to launch the Outlaws. Two weeks after his investment, the Arena Football League declared the franchise hadn’t fully paid its membership fees and that its first payment to the League had bounced. There’s no comment yet from Neil, but he’s a bit tied up at the moment; presumably from New Year’s Day he’ll have plenty of time to catch up…

Meanwhile, in rather happier financial news, Eagles Of Death Metal’s campaign of solidarity with the victims of the Paris Bataclan concert massacre has officially launched. Artists including Florence And The Machine, Ed Harcourt, Kings Of Leon, Jimmy Eat World and Imagine Dragons have all covered the EODM song I Love You All The Time, and the results are now up for purchase on the band’s website – where any artist is free to submit their own version for charity download. All royalties and proceeds go to The Sweet Stuff Foundation, who will be distributing it among the families and victims of the atrocity. The band also announced they will be returning to Paris as part of their rescheduled European tour in February – and that all those who survived the Bataclan tragedy will get in for free.

Says EODM main man Jesse Hughes: “The people of Paris have always been incredible to us, and our feeling of love towards this beautiful city and its people has been reinforced a million times over this past month. Hearing the stories of the survivors, the injured and those who have lost loved ones has been overwhelming. Not returning to finish our set was never an option. We look forward to coming back in February and continuing our mission to bring rock ‘n’ roll to the world.”

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.