AMERICAN heavy metal band Slipknot have taken aim at the defunct Aussie music festival Soundwave and promoter AJ Maddah saying its demise was “a long time coming” and that bands were “d...ed over” due to the event’s mismanagement. But Maddah has fired back, saying Slipknot went home with “millions’ while he lost everything.
When the dust had settled on the controversial, final 2015 event, it was clear that moving to a two day festival had taken its toll.
Reportedly owing more than $10m to the acts that performed, including $1.6 million to Slipknot, according to documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, frontman Corey Taylor has spoken out against the demise of the festival for the first time.
“It was really weird,” he says of the experience.
“When you’re a band like Slipknot you work with certain companies like Live Nation and whatnot so you find a way to get reimbursed. For us it was more about being in front of the audience and playing for the fans anyway — you lose some money it’s not a big deal and you find a way to make it up somewhere else. I feel bad for the younger bands — who — that pay cheque is how they get to the next territory.
“That to me is the real tragedy of Soundwave and really that’s what story is.”
Taylor says the 2015 event was not the first time he noticed problems with the festival, saying that on a previous Soundwave visit in 2013 with his other band Stone Sour, he was “dicked over”.
“It was one of the coolest festivals to be a part of and yet so many bands got dicked over,” he explains.
“And this is coming from a guy who got doubly dicked over because when we were down there with Stone Sour we got dicked as well and that was years before the Slipknot debacle so this was kind of a long time coming, without getting into too many specifics.
“A lot of bands suffered because of the mismanagement and it’s a bummer because if it was handled right — that festival would still be going.
“It sucks doing business with those guys ... but it was an absolute f---ing pleasure to play.”
Soundwave promoter Arash “AJ” Maddah has responded saying he did all he could for the headline act and that he had “lost everything” since the festival’s demise.
“It’s disappointing (to hear that from Slipknot),” he says.
“They know we did our best for them at all times and over many successful tours. At the end of the day they still went home with millions of dollars from Soundwave and I lost everything.”
But the outspoken promoter was quick to offer backhanded praise saying that the band are “great” before going on to say they are struggling to sell tickets for its upcoming Australian tour.
“I still think they’re a great band ... I wish them the best and I am proud to have contributed to their success in Australia for over 14 years,” he says.
“It is sad that for the first time ever they can’t sell tickets to their Australian tour. But I think that reflects more on the market than on the band. Selling half-price tickets, however, will have a very negative impact on their career here as next time everyone will wait for discount tickets. It also tends to piss off the most ardent fans who rush out and buy tickets on the first day of sales.”
With the demise of two of Australia’s largest music festivals, Soundwave and Big Day Out, the Slipknot frontman says there is a strong possibility that the band will bring Knottfest (the band’s own heavy music festival) down to Australia to fill the void..
“It’s insane,’’ he says of both festivals vanishing.
“We’ve talked about bringing Knottfest there and it could work in Australia because the two festivals we’ve been a part of are no longer around. There’s a reason we’ve only done Knottfest shows in certain territories and it’s because of respect. We’re not going to disrespect people who we’ve worked with in the past who gave us spots on their festivals — like in the UK there’s already Download and Reading and Leeds that we’ve been able to play. There’s no way we would try and move into their territory like that. In Australia there’s a void open and there’s no festivals where we would be stepping on toes — we could come in and maybe do one or two shows and see what happens.”
Slipknot perform in Australia at the end of the of the month.
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, October 28; Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, October 29; Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, October 31.