Okay, everyone is familiar with The Rose Funeral “Uno Incident,” right? It’s still one of the most-discussed stories of the year, and probably the most press the band has ever gotten. But in case you need to play catch-up, you can do so here, here, and here.

Well, we haven’t really heard RF’s side of the story… until now. Those geniuses at Metal Injection got Johnny Orlando, Jr. to interview them about it at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, and that video has now been posted. And… personally, I have mixed feelings about their explanation. So go watch the interview (the entire thing is good, but the really juicy part starts roughly at the “-5:22” mark), then come back here and get my thoughts.

RF’s argument can essentially be summed up thusly: “We didn’t take a cheap shot, we didn’t attack them ’cause of the Uno game but because they threatened us and spit at us, and we didn’t know they were only seventeen because they had facial hair and were physically large.” So if we take them at their word – if it wasn’t a cheap shot and they really had no idea that they were beating up on kids – what this really comes down is this question: At what point is hitting someone self-defense?

We’ve gotten death threats here at MS. It can be upsetting, especially the first time it happens to you, but you learn fairly quickly that a) it’s not credible (I’m still alive, right?), and b) they’re pretty much always made by stupid kids somewhere between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. So I sympathize with RF getting e-mails about people having bullets waiting for them, especially when those threats are based purely on the fact that someone doesn’t like their music. I honestly do.

But I’m not sure that justifies their hitting someone.

There was no credible physical threat to the band. The kids in question clearly did not have a bullet waiting for the band, and the way the group describes it, with the shit-talkers trying to pass the buck for the e-mailed death threats, it seems as though the band was aware that there was no real danger. And someone spitting in your face is NOT  “like a death threat,” although I (obviously) understand why it would make you want to hit the spitter. So at the end of the day, you’re hitting somebody for words. In this case, incredibly empty words.

I’m not saying it’s okay to send a band death threats. It’s a crime, in fact, and if the band wanted, they could prosecute the e-mailer in question. Sending death threats is moronic, immature, and morally reprehensible, and if the kids really did it, well, fuck them. But it still doesn’t seem to justify physical violence.

And to briefly address the “We didn’t know they were seventeen because they were big and had facial hair” argument, well… of course seventeen years olds can be big and have facial hair. C’mon. That’s like telling a judge you didn’t know a girl was underage when you slept with her because she had big boobs. It’s not gonna hold up in court. If the seventeen year olds were really so huge, I understand feeling more threatened by them – I know some seventeen year olds who could kick my ass if they were really so inclined – but that still doesn’t mean you can attack them before they attack you. And if you went right up to them after the show and confronted them, then how big could they really have been? Not big enough to give you pause about getting into a physical altercation.

Finally, I’d like to specifically speak to drummer Dusty Boles’ assertion that “everybody who’s supposedly ‘talking’ on MetalSucks… is like five of the same people making different user names,” and guitarist Ryan Gardner’s complaint that MS commenters are claiming to be him. I just spent some time going through the comments on those stories (again, herehere, and here), and I don’t see anyone claiming to be Gardner, and I don’t see any IP addresses being used by multiple screen names. In other words, I think that’s just a bogus claim… or they have us confused with another website.

So that’s my take on the whole situation. I’m sure many of you will disagree with me. Let the debate continue in the comments section below.


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