Posted by Zach Shaw on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm
As cool as the Death To All Tour, featuring former members of Death and special guests paying tribute to the late Chuck Schuldiner, appeared to be this past summer, there were many problems that popped up along the way. First there was the matter of two dates getting postponed (and scrapped altogether). Then there’s the issue of VIP Merch orders, which many fans claim they’ve yet to receive. All of this has caused lots of tension between tour sponsor Sick Drummer Magazine and Eric Greif (former manager of Death and current president of Perseverance Holdings Ltd./ lawyer of Chuck’s intellectual property). And via two statements that came out yesterday, it’s safe to say that these problems are far from being resolved.
Last night, Sick Drummer addressed the matter via the following statement:
“We have seen everything online regarding the Death To All Tour and the negative light being shined upon us. There are always two sides to every story and we assure you that we did nothing more than tried to the best of our abilities to put on a great tour for all involved. The tour was (from what we understand) one of the best shows the majority of those who attended have ever seen, but unfortunately the tour just did not make as much money as originally projected.
As for the talk of VIP merch orders not being filled or money from merch orders being held, we never held that money at all, as it was collected by a third party and all the post-tour orders have shipped. We personally made replies on the DTA facebook regarding the post-tour merch orders and when they all shipped, but are no longer able to post on that page as we have been removed, even though we created it. Regarding the CD/LP for the VIP package holders, if our recordings are never able to be released, we have another exclusive item to make it up to all of you. The Atlanta and Dallas dates that were postponed were changed to cancelled so that general admission/VIP ticket holders could get their refunds if they wanted them, rather than wait for new dates. We always had the intent of making up those shows. If you have not received a VIP package refund for those dates, please send us a message and we will take care of you in short order.
We can assure you that everyone on the tour has received full or partial payment and we have entered into individual agreements to resolve all payments remaining. As far as Sweet Relief is concerned, they will receive the full amount that was originally pledged, based on the agreement we have in place with them. We are the only ones to walk away from this tour making nothing and that’s fine with us. We lost money on the tour and to imply otherwise is simply false. We have spent the last 4 years promoting music for next to nothing and know our true fans understand our dedication, loyalty and sacrifice. Seeing recent posts on Facebook pages and other websites that have garnered physical threats of violence against us is both shocking and sad. Were there mistakes made? Yes, there are mistakes made on most tours. Do tours fail on a regular basis? Yes. Was this a huge tour to put together? Yes. Do we deserve to have violent threats made against us? Absolutely not.
In the end we are still happy and honored to have been the ones to conceive, create and bring this tour to all the fans that were able to see it. We stand by all of our commitments/responsibilities and have never ventured from that ground.”
It didn’t take long for Greif to respond and throw more gasoline onto the fire. Though a full statement is expected shortly, the Death manager posted the following message along with Sick Drummer’s statement on Facebook last night:
“OK – I guess I shall now do a press release of my own on what actually happened with Sick Drummer Magazine and the DEATH TO ALL Tour (tomorrow). Stuff like the fact they never gave the charity Sweet Relief ONE PENNY, despite claiming that 20% of ticket sales & merch would go straight to Sweet Relief – they owe close to $30K and think a promise to pay somehow puts them in the clear! Or that they gave a bit of cash to the musicians and then handed them all bouncing checks in Orlando. Or that they never paid a nickel to us (the Schuldiners). Or that they haven’t given ten cents to the booking agency. Oh, and they owe the crew money, too. They refused to relinquish their ‘claim’ on the name DEATH TO ALL. How mega pathetic – and all in Chuck’s name. This has been an awful time. “
He then went on to clarify in a comment on the post that “I am not saying they are fraudsters. They are simply idiot businessmen of the highest order. Despite bringing in a crazy amount of money, they somehow owe everyone. It is horrid.” However, even though Greif definitely makes some damaging accusations against the magazine, he does state in another comment that “DEATH TO ALL shows were great and I think we shall be continuing DEATH TO ALL in the future…once we get past this shit.”
Hard to imagine how exactly Death To All would exactly be able to continue in the future. As cool as the concept was, and even with different sponsors, it’s fair to say that all of this business turmoil (now made very public) doesn’t leave one with high hopes for the tour’s return. Furthermore, it’s safe to say that things are only going to get uglier between Grief and Sick Drummer Magazine. We reached out to Sick Drummer (who is a partner in Metal Insider’s ad network) for comment, but hadn’t heard back yet. Regardless of what’s happening, the site is still worth checking out, and we’ve had no issues whatsoever with them. Greif hadn’t issued his statement at press time. Hopefully things will work out without too much more negativitiy and mud-slinging.