Swedish black metallers DARK FUNERAL performed an all-instrumental set in Lima, Peru Sunday night (October 8) after the group's vocalist/bassist Emperor Magnus Caligula was taken ill. A near-riot followed the concert, with several irate fans destroying property around the concert venue as a way of registering their dissatisfaction over what they felt was a less than adequate performance. (Watch video footage of DARK FUNERAL fans engaging in post-concert vandalism: Video#1, Video#2.)
Guitarist Lord Ahriman has sent the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding the circumstances surrounding the band's appearance in Peru:
"Finally back home again after a killer tour in Latin America, except for the somewhat chaotic ending in Peru. I guess it's about time to set the record straight and explain what really happened there.
"After a killer show in Santiago (Chile), Caligula started to feel sick. And to tell you the truth, it's a real miracle that no one else in the band got sick during this tour. Travel-wise it was the hardest tour in our career. Late shows and very early flights every fucking day, which left us with not more than 1-2 hours sleep per night. Sure, that kind of schedule works a couple of days, or perhaps a week, but after 2+ weeks — one is pretty much a wreck. Despite this, we still managed to give 110% at every show, except for the last one in Peru, which of course sucks as much for us as for the fans.
"Anyway, shortly after the Santiago show, and during the flight over to Peru, Caligula started to feel really sick. And by the time we arrived at the airport in Peru he had high fever and had completely lost his voice. So the very first thing we did when we met up with the local promoter was to ask for a doctor, which was arranged very quickly. Our hope was of course that Caligula would get some medicine so he could at least get back his voice and be able to pull off that one last show. Unfortunately his condition was much worse than what we expected it to be. The doctor literally said that it was of biggest importance that he did not sing during the next 14 days. If he did, he would take a serious risk to get severe problems with his voice in the future. And if someone really believes that he wanted to take that chance and sing that night, you got to be really fucking stupid.
"At this point we told the Peruvian promoter that we would unfortunately be forced to cancel the show but that we were ready to do whatever we could from our side to at least give the fans something. I mean, we were, after all, in the country and everyone but Caligula was feeling OK, except for the fact that we were all very fucking tired. The Peruvian promoter said he would not accept any other solution other than that we played. He said if we didn't play, with or without Caligula, all hell would break loose. Well, as we all now know, it happened anyway. Normally, if one of us get sick on tour and can't perform — we cancel. But trust me, it will take a lot before we go as far as cancelling a show. After a long discussion between the band, the tour manager and the local promoter, who literally were begging us to play with or without Caligula, we decided that it would indeed be the best for everyone, including the fans, that we played after all, and that would have to be without Caligula, who at this point of time couldn't get a word out of his mouth.
"Before we went on stage that night I tried to get someone from the venue who spoke Spanish, to explain the situation to the crowd, but they said it would be for the best if the information came straight from the band, that the crowd would respect the band's own words more than if some local guy tried to explain things to them. Fair enough. My/our concern with this was that none of us speak Spanish. And also, we obviously had the feeling that the people would not understand when I/we spoke to them in English. We pointed out the importance of this several times, that we really wanted someone to explain the situation in Spanish, but every time we were told, 'Hey don't worry, people understand English very well over here. And they will for sure understand what you're saying.'
"How fucking wrong was that!?
"When we were on stage we all got the feeling that this riot was pre-planned. And that it would have occurred even if we played at full force WITH Caligula. And since I now know for a fact that this was not the first time a riot like this occurred when a European metal band plays Peru, we're all 110% convinced that the riot would have happened anyway.
"Now, afterwards, it's of course easy to say that the decision we took that night might not have been the wisest thing we've done. But anyone who knows us, know that we really did it for the fans, and of course after the local promoter's strong recommendation to do so. But apparently the Peruvian crowd didn't get it. The only other option would have been to cancel the show completely, but would that have made things better? Would it have stopped the riot from happening? Hell fucking no! So either way you put it, we did all what we could to save an already fucked up situation.
"We obviously did not travel all the way to Peru for fun. We were on tour and we were on tour to give our fans an unforgettable show. But in the end of the day we are humans and not machines, like some people obviously believe, and we can get sick just like anyone else.
"After the show most of our gear was confiscated by the police (guitars, bass, wireless systems, cymbals etc). And if we don't get it back in the very near future all of our upcoming shows is in jeopardy. We can obviously not afford to buy a whole new backline as anyone might understand. We are however doing everything in our power to have the gear returned to us ASAP.
"And for those Peruvians who are still crying out loud: We have been told that the local promotor is currently giving away free CDs to the crowd who attended the show, to show them his and our respect. We have also seen that someone from the organization have made a short statement about their arrangements for us, saying how well they had arranged everything, with a four-star hotel, killer food among many other things. Well, the truth is that the hotel we stayed at could not have had more than 1-2 stars if any. The rooms were small, without hot water, without proper electricity and on top of that we were served cold food that had been laying on a table a whole fucking day. And having DISMEMBER in mind, knowing how fucking sick they got by the Peruvian food when they played there, guess what? We didn't eat anything during our whole stay in Peru.
"Enough of fucking lies please.
"Other than that we would like to send out a massive hail to all you people who came out to the shows during this tour. You people were incredible! And you once again showed us that the Latin American metal scene is one of the very fucking best in the world! See you next time!!!
"A second statement, including one from our tour manager will follow shortly."