It’s obvious that Kevin Lyman was frustrated about the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest when he gave an interview to the Detroit Free Press. Having successfully booked the Warped Tour for years, the normally calm and collected co-founder of Mayhem, in it’s eighth year, said that this year’s lineup was lackluster because the headlining bands were asking for too much money, and the metal got “gray, bald and fat.” That he said that in the middle of the tour instead of the end was fighting words for everyone on the tour, especially the bald guitarist of Slayer, whose singer has gray hair. In a Metal Insider interview, Kerry King went off on the tour, criticizing Lyman the shows bookers, and essentially, all the smaller bands. The festival, already suffering from low ticket sales, limped on, and was declared dead by co-founder John Reese several days after the last show.
Perhaps it was a matter of time. There are only so many acts that can headline a touring festival, and many of the bands playing were two and three time veterans of Mayhem. It’s a real concern that there aren’t that many headline-worthy arena-filling bands out there, and many that can would rather go out on their own, as there’s more money to be made. This does leave a hole for touring summer metal festivals that can play arenas. Slipknot had no problem doing that earlier this year, however, and maybe Knotfest could become a touring festival instead of a destination event. Time will tell, but Mayhem, when it was at it’s best, had a good thing going.
Mental illness can seemingly come from out of nowhere, and the obsessive perfection of being a musician can manifest itself in other ways. Deathcore band After the Burial were recording their fifth album when founding guitarist Jutin Lowe went on a bizarre paranoid rant on Facebook stating he was leaving the band. The band responded the following day, expressing their concern and asking people to refrain from commentary. Lowe was home with his family and receiving treatment the following month, when he went missing. Three days later, his body was found near a river, and it’s presumed that he jumped from a bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin. Lowe was 32. He’d been receiving treatment, but apparently that wasn’t enough. If there’s anything good to come of Lowe’s death, it’s that perhaps it shines a spotlight on those with mental illness and their families, removes the stigma, and spurs them to seek help.
One of the most shocking and tragic events, not just within the rock community but for the entire world, was the terrorist attack that took place in Paris this past November 13th, where the extremist group known as ISIS orchestrated a series of attacks in several points of the French capital, including the armed attack at Le Bataclan, a theater where an Eagle of Death Metal show was taking place and claimed a death toll of 89 people.
The impact of this events affected many, from bands cancelling their tours across Europe, to one of the largest music promoters changing their security protocols to ensure the safety of their concerts. This started a global debate regarding terrorism and while some expressed their ignorant opinion on the matter, others sympathized with the tragedy and did what they could to pitch in to those affected.
Among the victims of this heinous acts, are the Eagles of Death Metal members who suffered the lost of their merch manager and have to live with the emotional burden of witnessing and being part of an event that affected many around the world. It’s inevitable to notice the emotional stress the band suffered during their heart-wrenching interview where they detailed their experience at the theater. While this may discourage many to go back where something this appalling happened, Eagles of Death Metal sworn to go back to Europe and finish their tour, including their show in Paris and the plans are now a reality as the band announced the dates for their European return next year, which we highly recommend to attend if you have a chance to do it.