Sebastian Bach Kicks Stormzone Off UK Tour: Band’s Story In Full
First Published 18 June 2012
Stormzone have delivered a lengthy Facebook post detailing their experience on the road with Sebastian Bach last week.
The band were midway into the drive from Glasgow to London when they received a call that Bach wanted them off the tour.
Here’s Stormzone’s story in full…
“Hi everyone, now that we’re home and the dust has settled we’d like to thank absolutely everyone for their words of support and encouragement over the last couple of days. They made a 20 hour round trip via bus and boat to London much easier to endure and although it would probably just be best to ‘let it lie’ we think those who took the time to wish us well deserve an insight into a day on the road which may or may not shed some light onto yesterday’s developments.
“Tuesday night was fantastic, a Belfast show in front of friends and the benefit of having a great soundman giving us everything at the venue’s disposal to help our delivery and a lighting guy generous with his effects. Both, of course, were already familiar with Stormzone so we had an advantage there. Our cramped stage conditions were no cause for concern, we were after all just the support band and grateful for any opportunity to play to a guaranteed packed house. So Tuesday was incident-free, even to the extent of being given our full agreed performance fee by the Limelight organisation.
“We asked them if they’d met Sebastian and the reply was: ‘He’s a cock!’… we then said, ok, so you have met him then? to which the response was: ‘No, his crew told us’! After the show we spoke briefly to the only member of Sebastian Bach’s band interested in any contact with us and he (bass player Jason Christopher) congratulated us on our performance and told us he really liked us. After the show we filled in the couple of hours before heading to get the boat to Scotland by talking to a lot of people in the bar. It was just a brilliant night and no indication as to what lay ahead next day.
“We made our way to the boat. By this time it was 3.30am and during the sailing we bumped into Sebastian who was making the same journey. We were clearly still buzzing from the show, and expected him to to express his own satisfaction with it, but he didn’t share our enthusiasm, complained about the monitors, discovered we had nothing to smoke and made off mid-sentence. Nothing wrong there, it was early hours of morning and it’s really only people from our place who can seem to smile through tiredness, but of course we were excited about doing two more UK shows.
“We arrived at our Glasgow hotel at 9.00am and they very kindly alowed us an early check-in, so we managed to get some sleep before leaving for Glasgow’s Garage venue at 4.00pm. Nothing about our initial arrival hinted that there should be any cause for concern.
“The Garage crew helped us in with our backline and we entered the venue to see that, as expected, Sebastian’s backline and drums had already been set up. However they had not yet begun to soundcheck. So we sat around for a while, built our gear on the floor ready to be able to get it onstage once the main band had completed all they had to do and we waited, and waited. So after an hour or so we decided to put our bags backstage in our allocated dressing room, which was when the first alarm bell rang.
“The Garage staff apologetically told us that we no longer had a dressing room as the Sebastian Bach tour manager wanted a room for himself and his laptop, so we could either get changed in our van or in the hallway area outside where our room was being occupied. We were kinda miffed but not too annoyed, we’ve changed in worse places.
“The venue provided us with some water and beers, but of course the fridge was in the dressing room, but it’s still better warm than nothing! The doors of the venue were due to open at 7.00pm with us hitting the stage at 7.30 for a 40 minute set. At 6.30, two hours after our arrival, Seb’s band had still not soundchecked.
“Again we know we’re only the support band so we sat patiently and absolutely silently waiting for the arrival of the young guitarist who was apparently holding things up. Jason Christopher treated us to some Maiden tunes on bass, almost apologetically, knowing something wasn’t quite right.
“The guitarist wandered in around 6.40 and they began to make some noise, eventually apparently satisfied, without Sebastian Bach’s participation, at 6.50 that everything was in order. They left the stage and we immediately went into action knowing we had only ten minutes to set up and soundcheck before the doors were to open.
“Instructions were issued that absolutely nothing currently onstage was to be touched. Fine, we understand our place! The stage was even more narrow than the Limelight’s the previous night so there was no way Davy could have put his drums in front of theirs so we made the decision to squeeze him into the only space available on the very right hand side of the stage. Again that’s not an unusual thing and many support bands have to do it. It meant though that Andrew’s cab and amp would have to be right beside Davy, so our sticksman was going to require a lot of drums in the monitor as Andrew’s gear was going to be deafening him.
“To edge away from Davy a little Andrew went to move a monitor beside the drums that was on it’s side and not plugged in. Seb’s stage manager immediately shouted at him to leave it alone. Andrew explained that it was unplugged and therefore useless, but apparently it had to stay there because Sebastian needed it to set his bottle of water on top of it! Ok, fair enough, let’s leave that and get on with it.
“The in-house soundman approached us, a really great guy, but something seemed to be making him a little uneasy about talking to us. We then discovered that, under instructions from Sebastian Bach’s tour management, we were to get one monitor, one vocal microphone each and only one microphone for Davy’s entire drums, a cheap little thing (the mic, not Davy’s kit, lol) which was to be unceremoniously thrust into his bass drum and that was basically the sum total of what was going to be heard out front.
“We were to get nothing of our instruments through our monitors, just vocals, so Davy was going to be blind to us at the far end of the stage and playing on instinct as he would hear absolutely nothing of the backline! Please bear in mind that although realisation was beginning to dawn on us that we were being given one up the arse we just kept our heads down and tried to make the best of what we had to work with as, by this time, the doors were two minutes from opening!
“We did make a quick enquiry to one of the stage hands as to whether this was because everything was lastminute.com, to which the astounding response was ‘Sebastian Bach’s organisation said this was what you got last night, and what you’re to be given tonight!!!’
“At that stage we knew we were getting shafted but still had to plough on. Davy Bates knows how to be a gentleman and said nothing, but it was beginning to get a little emotional for us seeing a wonderful guy and drummer being stuck in a corner with one mic on his kit to fill a packed venue with sound. This is a guy who was a major influence on a young Lars Ulrich ffs.
“Steve Moore quickly stepped in and donated his vocal microphone which the soundman quickly added to Davy’s snare. It made a difference and we jammed through half a song and left the stage quickly as the first wave of the audience was coming through the door. Twenty minutes to get changed in the alleyway, a huddle and a combined determination to go out there and deliver a Stormzone set with added intent and absolute commitment to ignoring what was potentially to be a piss-poor sound and do our best!
“The soundman and monitor guy seemed to rise to the challenges they both were faced with (both drafted in at 2.00pm when the original experienced in-house engineer mysteriously went absent), and with them having only our best interests at heart (at this stage Seb’s team had no more influence over proceedings) they made us sound as best as they could.
“We played as if our lives depended on it and the Glasgow audience showed their appreciation for us in a similar way to the response we received in Belfast the previous night. We left the stage and we were met by Seb’s bass player Jason who shook each of our hands in congratulations almost looking relieved that we’d come out of things not only unscathed, but victorious! Now it was time to get dried off, get our gear off-stage and into the van, grab one of our (warm) beers, do an interview with the very excellent planetmosh.com, watch Seb then get back to the hotel for some sleep before the next day’s long journey to London.
“We got paid, HALF of the agreed fee, still no moaning or bitching, we were just too damn happy to have still played well under the given conditions. We went to a great noodles bar for some food, ate and were then ready for departure. Some of the guys left the restaurant first to get into the van ready for the off, a couple of us were finishing off our meals when the Seb Bach tour bus appeared and parked in front of the only exit from the back of the venue.
“One of our guys had had enough by this stage and had some heated words with one of Seb’s crew about moving the bus a little to allow us to leave. A scuffle took place but to all intents and purposes is was supposedly handbags at dawn, quickly and easily resolved, apologies given and handshakes made with a gentleman’s agreement that everything had been settled.
“The tour bus was moved and just before we were about to leave we did our usual round of thank-yous to anyone involved with Seb in the vicinity which included their tour manager. He shook our hands and stated categorically that the next night in London we would have absolutely everything we needed to make us sound as best possible, more microphones and monitors would be at our disposal and we left feeling very happy with ourselves and looking forward to playing again Thursday night.
“We were up at 7.00am next day and began the journey from Glasgow to London. That’s when it all went wrong! We were a huge majority of the way there when a call came through from Sebastian’s touring agency informing us that he wanted us off the tour! We were given the tour manager’s phone number and asked to resolve it ourselves, but upon contacting the guy, the same guy who the night before had promised us London would be far better than Glasgow, told us ‘sorry guys, nothing I can do, Sebastian wants you off the tour’ and hung up!
“He had just enough time to inform us that Sebastian didn’t think we were ‘appreciative enough of everything they had given us in Glasgow’! An occupied dressing room, one drum microphone, a two minute soundcheck, no monitors, and half our fee, and in actual fact we were still totally thankful! People who know us know that we’re not the kind of guys to be in any way unappreciative of anything! Granted we probably didn’t help our cause by one of us taking the bait during the tour bus incident, and that probably gave Sebastian the ammunition he needed to make his decision, but even that was apparently nothing, it had been resolved and moved on from with what turned out to eventually be a mis-placed promise of better things for us in London.
“One thing that is definitely unacceptable is the fact that the order was given that morning to axe us from the bill and yet we didn’t get a call to that effect until we were a stone’s throw from our destination much later that afternoon. If we had been told while still in Glasgow we could have made our way straight to Stranraer which is only a couple of hours away from where we were that morning and maybe we’d have been home yesterday afternoon. Instead we had to make our way all the way back up through England to make an 11.30pm sailing which meant we were home in the early hours of Friday.
“So there you go, the tale of 24 hours, the shortened version, lol. No future dates with Sebastian Bach! We’d just like to end this by thanking you all again for your concern and support, it’s not the end of the world by any means and as someone pointed out, it’s quickly gonna become yesterday’s news.
“We’re fortunate that for Stormzone incidents like this are few and far between, we’ve toured with many a legend over the last few years and always been treated with respect. This is a one-off and we’ve certainly lived through it to fight another day.
“One last thing and a huge thank you to our very own Steve Wright who tirelessly works, drives and councils us, mate, we are fortunate to have you! See you all very soon.”