Wowsers. Where to even begin? To say the last few weeks in heavy music have been tumultuous would be a dramatic understatement.
The cancellation of Soundwave 2016 has sent shockwaves throughout the world, with Australian fans and international bands all taking to social media to vent their frustrations. While I saw this coming from a million miles away (see previous issues of Forte for proof!), many clearly did not. Festival founder and social butterfly figurehead AJ Maddah is busy pointing fingers at everybody but himself for the spectacular failure of Soundwave to go ahead. Last time I checked, it was the fault of ’90s alt rockers Rage Against The Machine for some reason or other.
Metalcore heroes Bullet For My Valentine took to Twitter to tell fans they had never actually confirmed their appearance at the festival, while grunge punk goddesses L7 were the first band to publicly jump ship when it looked like things were going pear-shaped. L7 and NOFX were the only real attempt to lure a bit of a punk element to the notoriously metal-heavy affair, so the guys pulling out was a sign of bad things to come.
It was also revealed that two of the three venues were not even booked for the days advertised. How a kerfuffle of this magnitude even happens is beyond me. At this stage, ticket holders may not even get a refund on their tickets. Weak sauce.
So where does this leave Aussie audiences? With the demise of Soundwave, the BIG DAY OUT, Future Music Festival, Vans Warped Tour and Good Vibrations in recent years, we have nothing left in the way of major national touring festivals.
In slightly more promising news, it looks like we’re getting closer and closer to an official announcement from the Guns N’ Roses camp about the newly reformed band’s 2016 world tour. A cryptic trailer for the tour has been shown prior to screenings of the new Star Wars movie, featuring grainy black and white footage of a sea of music fans pumping their fists in the air while the opening strains of ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ can be heard amongst screams of excitement. The band members, however, are not shown. Exciting stuff! Slash and Duff returning to the fold is nothing short of a miracle, so here’s hoping it sticks and we eventually get some new music in the future! If only Axl would get on board with the proposed return of original drummer Steven Adler. Oh well. Can’t have everything, I guess!
It sucks to have to end things this issue on a sad note, but Lemmy Kilmister of punk/metal pioneers Motorhead (and before that, Hawkwind) passed away on the 28th of December after a very short, but aggressive, battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. The band will release more information to the public in weeks to come.
Written by Christopher Cruz