Last week certainly was a great one for Australia’s Ne Obliviscaris. As you may remember, Australia’s Department of Immigration rejected Benjamin Baret’s application for a Distinguished Talent Visa because the French guitarist failed to meet certain standards (aka, wasn’t as popular as Iron Maiden or Metallica). We hadn’t heard much from the band since we spoke to Baret himself about the ordeal. However, Baret and the band revealed last week that after a long battle, the guitarist won his visa appeal and will return to Australia before the end of the year. Hooray!
Baret himself released the following statement about the good news:
“It has been a long hard road but we are finally there! After initially having my Distinguished Talent visa denied in 2010, and having gone through an epic appeal process in the past year, now, thanks to EVERYONE’S hard work, the decision has been overturned and I am coming back to Australia!
I would like to thank my bandmates for all their support and Tim in particular for being my visa representative in Australia while I have been in Europe the past 13 months. Thanks brothers. I also want to thank all the people who wrote letters of recommendation, signed the petition, shared links or anything that helped us. It means the world to me. Finally, thank you to the Australian Department of Immigration for allowing me to come back to live in Australia!
Now I can finally get back to the only thing I truly love: making good music with good people.”
The rest of Baret’s band members added the following in a joint statement:
“The last year has been incredibly difficult for this band. With Benjamin stuck in France for the past 13 months we haven’t felt like ourselves, as we’ve been missing a heart and soul member of what makes this band what it is. As a result there have definitely been times where many a dark thought has entered our heads about the future of Ne Obliviscaris. But with our victory at the Migration Review Tribunal and the subsequent approval of Benjamin’s visa, it’s like all our Christmas’ have come at once. Add to that the out of this world response to our new song released last Saturday, and finally things are starting to look positive in the world of Ne Obliviscaris!
From the moment Benjamin joined this band in 2008 we fell instantly in love with him as a person and as a musician, and so to have him on his way back to Australia is absolutely incredible.
A HUGE thank-you to everyone that in any way supported our battle to get Benjamin back to Australia. We couldn’t have done it without you! At the time we launched our appeal we heard a lot about how small our chances were of taking on the Australian Department of Immigration and winning, but we refused to accept defeat as Benjamin is just way too important to this band for us to go down without a fight. The endless support from our fans, who signed our petition in their thousands (from more than 60 countries across the world!) is a huge reason why we won this appeal and we will be forever grateful to every person that helped make this happen.”
As if that wasn’t enough good news for fans, the band has also posted a new song off of their forthcoming debut album Portal Of I on their Facebook page. Anyone who had doubts as to why we decided to award Baret and co-guitarist Matt Klavins the Metal Insider Best Unsigned International Guitarist(s) Award should go listen to “And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope” NOW. You can listen to the awesome song over at Ne Obliviscaris’ Facebook page or in the video above.