The Faceless’ disappearance from their Australia and New Zealand dates now has a third side to the story, this one from the band’s Michael Keene. While the promoter, Soundworks, struck first, calling the band “completely unprofessional” for backing out of the tour and then the band’s manager responded, stating that he’d booked the band four separate flights and that he dropped them until they could get their shit together. In a lengthy response, Keene stated that the band’s equipment was stolen, and while the band was there, their sound was specific enough that they just couldn’t jump in and play with rented equipment. While defending Marshall, he also accused Soundworks of personally attacking the band and management. Here’s his statement:
“Since Soundworks has decided to throw not only The Faceless, but our manager under the bus, let’s talk a bit about what really happened and why we’re not in Australia right now. Just days before we were to leave to our first date in Jakarta, Indonesia, I found out that all of our equipment had been stolen. This alone was a blow devastating enough to have to cancel, but we spent all the money we had on buying new equipment and putting our live rig back together so we could play these shows.
Everyone got into town with 2 days to rehearse because that’s when all the gear we needed had arrived and I could start assembling it. As soon as we set up, we realized that there were MASSIVE issues with the system and unfortunately because of the nature of our music, we can’t exactly just “wing it” on any old gear and make it work.
We have saxophone solos and orchestral arrangements for Christ’s sake. Not to mention over 15 different guitar tones used in the set and we are currently touring without a bass player while he finishes his last semester of music school. We’re not a band that can hop on some Marshalls and make it work. It’s a lot more dynamic and involved than that.
At this point, we knew we were going to miss Jakarta, but I went to 3 specialists to get our system repaired and our rig running. Everything seemed to be fixed, so we boarded a flight to Perth and we were on our way to the first date in Australia after an unfortunate hiccup, but on our way nonetheless. After boarding the plane, we sat on the tarmac for over 5 hours before being told our flight was canceled due to a mechanical error and we’d be put on a flight the following night. At this point, Soundworks is now furious over something that we had literally absolutely no control over.
The next day, we get to the airport and try to explain to them that we no longer needed to be in Perth and rather needed to be in Adelaide since we’d now missed the Perth show, so they tried to work with us, but the only connecting flight they had for us, put us into Adelaide so late that we would have missed the Adelaide show as well. So again, we are screwed and out of options. At this point, our manager E.J. Shannon, who was FAR from “incompetent” or “unprofessional” in any of this called Brad Wesson of Soundworks to explain the situation.
We were all ready to purchase new tickets, spend even more money and get to the following show, which at that point was putting us in a situation where we were losing money, but absolutely willing to do it to save face with our fans and not disappoint them. This is where the REAL unprofessionalism begins. Brad Wesson of soundworks starts taking personal low blows at our manager, our band and me personally. Someone I’ve toured for 5 times and I thought was a friend.
For instance, when our manager, EJ, explained to him that he would be buying us new tickets, EJ mentioned that this had tapped out the band financially and that the band, yes a bunch of full grown men, would have to ask to borrow the money from our parents, to which Brad mockingly replied something to the effect of “oh the big boys have to get a loan from mommy?” And that is not even CLOSE to the worst things he said or the lowest attacks he took. Again, someone I thought was my friend. At one point he also called our manager and yelled at him and then called him a cunt and hung up the phone.
Brad from soundworks also accused us of lying to him and claimed that we were missing flights out of irresponsibility rather than the sequence of events I’ve outlined here, like flight cancellations (which I’d be more than happy to obtain proof from Qantas airlines that the events occurred the way I am saying they did), lost gear and technical problems in our system.
At this point, after hearing the things he said, the personal attacks and accusations he was making and the way he was treating us and EJ, I was having a hard time even getting the rest of the band members to agree to do shows for a person who would utterly disrespect us and our manager to such a degree. However, we were ready and willing to buy new tickets and make it to the next show, but SOUNDWORKS closed the door on that opportunity and essentially kicked us off the tour.
Let me just reiterate that we would be in Australia right now playing shows for you if it weren’t for Brad Wesson‘s unprofessionalism and ultimately not only removing us from the remaining shows for things completely beyond our control, but also sabotaging our New Zealand dates which he had some hand in setting up, but is not the promoter of.
I am still trying to contact the New Zealand promoter directly because we’d like to fulfill our agreement to perform on our New Zealand dates. Last night I had also gone as far as to try to find a bar that would have us for a free afterparty show in Melbourne after the TBDM show just to prove to our fans that we were not only ready and willing to fulfill the remaining dates, but that we will go as far as to buy 4 more tickets to Australia and play for free for you if Soundworks wants to be this childish and disrespect us like this.
Furthermore, we’d like to apologize to our fans in the cities in which either the technical difficulties and theft or airline issues made us miss shows that we frantically did everything in our power to try to make happen for you. We’d also like to apologize to our long time friends in The Black Dahlia Murder. Believe me when I say that we wish we could be there for you.
I would feel inclined to apologize to Soundworks for the extenuating circumstances which prohibited us from making the first few shows, but after the way they’ve treated us, I can’t say I feel inclined. As for the remaining shows, you can thank Soundworks for us not being there at this point and as I’ve already stated I’m still trying to work around them and get The Faceless in whatever remaining cities are possible. We’ll see what can be worked out.
And to our fans in Spain, we will see you very soon and look forward to playing, just as we looked forward to playing Australia.