Randy Blythe Explains Why Lamb of God Canceled European Tour After Paris Attacks
Dozens of bands canceled shows or their entire European tours after the attacks in Paris two Fridays ago. While it’s easy from where we sit to proclaim that canceling tours is letting the terrorists win, it’s an understandable move given how high the stakes are; some have decided it just isn’t worth putting lives at risk.
Lamb of God were one such band; after a specific, direct threat resulted in the cancelation of one show in Tilburg, the band just decided “the hell with it” and went home. And this being the Internet — and metalheads being especially prickly — the band came under fire for allegedly giving up too easily. Destruction frontman Schmier even appeared to blast the band publicly, although he didn’t mention them by name.
So, at the request of Lamb of God’s management, Randy Blythe — who always has an incredibly eloquent way with the written word — has taken to his Randonesia Tumblr blog to offer a lengthy explanation as to why the band decided to cancel the whole tour.
The tl;dr version: the band had every intention of continuing on (and had already been doing so) until a specific, direct terrorist threat caused the cancelation in Tilburg. After that moment it no longer felt right to jeopardize the band, crew and their thousands of fans. Here’s an excerpt:
Because aside from some grumpy fans’s feelings, no one got hurt that night. To my knowledge, everyone made it home ok. Sure, if we had done the show, maybe nothing would have happened anyway. Maybe it would have been a great gig, as all our gigs at that club have been before. Maybe cancelling the gig was all for nothing.
But maybe not. And if things had gone badly, afterwards while I sat talking to the cops (because in all probability, once guns started going off, I would have made it out the nearby back exit while the fans and maybe some of my crew got stuck inside and gunned downed or blown to bits like those poor people in Paris), I would have said to myself “You got some specific information. You knew there was something potentially sketchy. You didn’t feel right about this. Why didn’t you just cancel the show, you stupid, selfish, idiot?”
When I said I was done, did I know that some fans would be bummed out about our cancelling the tour? Yes. Did I realize that this was going to cost us a lot of money? Yes. Did I know that some people would be incapable of understanding why we were going home and complain about it? Yes. Did I care? Hell no. And I still don’t- in fact, looking at news about the current situation in Europe, I feel better and better about leaving before something else happened, either at our show or anywhere else over there. I don’t feel like constantly wondering what the security climate in the next country we are scheduled to play in is, playing terror alert hopscotch through Europe right now just to play a few fucking heavy metal concerts- I’m glad I’m home. I feel like I made the right decision, and that’s all that matters to me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks.
Check out Blythe’s detailed explanation at Randonesia. At with everything he’s written, it’s worth reading in full.
Children of Bodom and Sylosis are continuing the tour without Lamb of God. Dates here.