The promoter of BOLT THROWER's ill-fated Italian gig in Prato, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday (Jan. 18), has issued a statement refuting the band's claim that the gig was called off due to the club's "dangerous electricity problem." The following is MetalMillennium's official statement on the matter, translated from Italian by www.all-about-chaos.net:
"After unexpected [last-minute] requests (which were approved, anyway), after offensive words toward the Anomalia [club] and MetalMillennium staff, and after an attempt to sabotage the [club's] electrical system, the BOLT THROWER, MALEVOLENT CREATION, NIGHTRAGE and NECROPHAGIST gig in Prato on January 18 was cancelled.
"Now, we would like to explain what happened that day.
"Within ten minutes of his arrival at the venue, BOLT THROWER's sound engineer made the claim that there was no equalizer for the monitor. Without an equalizer, there would no soundcheck, he said. We checked with the manager, we looked through the contracts, the technical cards, the e-mails the venue received from the band... no mention was ever made of this equalizer, obviously. Despite this, we were told that, without the equalizer, the bands would have been forced to leave the venue. After an hour, we found the equalizer and installed it.
"At about 4:00 p.m., the soundcheck was suddenly stopped because of a 'really important' problem: we had to hang up BOLT THROWER's flag [banner]. Almost the entire MetalMillennium staff was hard at work hanging it, with the tour crew teasing us constantly.
"6:00 p.m.: The sound engineer made the claim that the audio system was unsatisfactory. Three hours before the show's scheduled start, he claimed that the same system used by bands like FINNTROLL, NAGLFAR, DEATH SS (without any problem) was not OK. When we asked him to try to reduce the volume and work with the equalizations (in other words, do his job), he didn't want to listen, and instead ordered for everything to be dismantled because the show was cancelled. A quick meeting was set up between the tour manager, Alex from Necrotorture, the owners of the venue and MetalMillennium: the offensive requests of the tour manager (to reduce the price of the ticket, from 13 to 9 euros, without any reduction in the band's fee) were accepted, since everybody wanted the concert to go ahead. In the meantime, the crew had already removed almost every cable and totally dismantled the drum set. At that point it almost became too late for everything to be set up again... Not to mention that the tour manager asked us for a trigger! He told us to contact some band in town, [since] every drummer must own a trigger (except BOLT THROWER's drummer).
"6.45 pm: The farce. The tour crew asked us if it's possibile to see the electrical system. Stefano, who has worked for 20 years as an electrician, showed them the entire electrical system... When we surprised a member of the crew trying to sabotage the electrical system by disengaging some electrical cables (with the electric current on, without any protection), the crew and the band told us that they were afraid to stay on stage since, they feared for their own safety. We tried to tell them they were not the first band to play the venue, that we had NEVER had any problems with the electrical system, and they made the last, insane request: if 'one of us' was to touch, at the same time, the guitar cable and the microphone without 'dying,' they wouldn't leave the venue and they would go ahead and play the show. Here we go: we made it (with the BOLT THROWER guys applauding us, with irony) but tired, offended, derided as we were... We told the bands that the show was cancelled.
"We add: when were asked to reduce the price of the ticket, we asked the tour manager to try to calm down the sound engineer and the bands... Not for us, not for the venues, but for the guys who were outside waiting for the concert, fans who came from such far-away places as France and Greece... The manager responded us that they didn’t give a shit about that.
"I remember an interview where [BOLT THROWER] talked about their punk roots... The same band that was outside the venue trying to give awful justifications to the fans waiting for the concert. So they took off from the venue while the fans were screaming, 'Go to open for U2, fucking rockstars!'
"We have been described as 'unprofessional' [by BOLT THROWER]. But this is not the 'professionalism' you would expect from a band with a 20-year career."
The original statement, in Italian, is available at this location.