THE AGONIST bassist Chris Kells will be forced to sit out the band's upcoming U.S. tour with FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE after he was banned from entering the country for five years.
The Canadian musician revealed his predicament in a social media post earlier today, explaining that his absence from the trek was the "result of misguided information" given to him and the U.S. Customs And Border Protection at the time of his last entry to the U.S.
Kells wrote: "Friends, it comes with great disappointment and frustration to announce that I will not be on the [70000 Tons Of Metal] cruise, or the upcoming FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE tour this March with THE AGONIST.
"This comes as a result not of choice but because of US border regulations.
"As some of you already know I work in video production while being home from tour. The corporate video company I work for here in Montreal had me go to the states a couple of times to perform interviews and get video footage of the clients who we were working with.
"Unfortunately, the last time I went to cross into the USA, a CBP (border control) officer deemed me inadmissible and banned me from entering America for 5 years. This was a result of misguided information given to me, and the CBP, by my EMPLOYER, at the time of entry. This essentially led to me being cornered by officers, and forced to sign documents acknowledging my apparent misconduct. (This evidently has nothing to do with playing awesome music for people in our beautiful neighbour country) Sadly I have applied for a waiver from these ridiculous charges but have still been denied entry regardless.
"It has been an extremely aggravating year trying to get all this figured out with Immigration lawyers and has caused me great mental distress, as playing shows with my friends in THE AGONIST is one of my most cherished experiences of life. I am left at a loss and have no further options but to seek a temporary replacement for all US related shows!
"That being said, I would like to take the time to introduce you all to a great friend of mine, Pavlo Haikalis, who will be filling in for me. Pavlo has always been there on the sidelines for THE AGONIST. Helping out with gear, pre production process, building my custom PHG basses for me, and just all around being the great dude that he is. Please welcome him with open arms and horns up! I can't imagine anybody else to better kick ass for me in this trying time."
THE AGONIST's U.S. tour with FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE will kick off on March 16 in Dallas, Texas and will run through April 6 in Los Angeles, California.
THE AGONIST's latest album, "Orphans", was released in September via Rodeostar Records.