DEICIDE guitarist Ralph Santolla (ex-SEBASTIAN BACH, DEATH) has submitted the following Korean tour report exclusively to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"We want to thank everybody that helped us out on the trip to the Busan Rock Festival, especially Kevin from Dope Records, and our translator, 'Korean Glen'.
"We left Tampa at 9 a.m. on Thursday [August 4], and by the time we got to the hotel in Busan, it was after midnight Friday night. Everybody was pretty wrecked.
"South Korea is a fantastic country, unless you're a squid, then it's really a dangerous place to live.
"We played Busan on Saturday night. The bus we rode to the gig in was a karaoke bus, and Glen [Benton] sang some Tom Jones on the way to the gig to get us all in the right frame of mind. They said there were 35,000 people there, and it looked like it. We played our usual set, with five cameras filming and loads of pyro. It was like being in KISS, but with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Glen thanked all the U.S. soldiers that were there, which was really cool.
"Right before we went onstage, the South Korean immigration showed up to see if we had the right permits and to check our passports. They took one of our crew, Rick Maccani, back to the hotel in a police car with lights flashing, to retrieve our passports. We were able to play Busan, but it turned out that the Busan promoter didn't get us the visa for the show in Seoul, so we couldn't play that gig. POWERMAN 5000 didn't get to play the Busan gig for the same reason.
"Since we weren't playing Seoul on Monday, everybody except me and Jack [Owen, DEICIDE/ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist] decided to go home. We figured we already had rooms in Seoul, so we stayed the two extra days.
"On Monday, they took the two of us north to a mountain obsevatory where we could look across the river at North Korea. It was pretty depressing to see how these people lived in a police state 1,000 yards away.
"One of the journalists that were with us had the new CHILDREN OF BODOM, so we checked it out and it's killer. I'm glad to see that all the guitar lessons I gave Alexi [Laiho] on the ICED EARTH tour are starting to pay off. After that, we went to a gig in Seoul for a band we met at Busan called DOMAIN. The opening band was Korean, and they had the highest singer I've ever heard. They also had a guitarist with dyed blonde hair and a white Randy Rhoads guitar, I think his name was Arexsie.
"Anyway, I got drunk and agreed to go onstage and play a song I didn't know, and it was not a great moment in rock history.
"We're looking forward to going back next year, so thanks to everybody that supported us over there."