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The Acacia Strain Vocalist Spoke About Dayton Mass Shooting at Last Night’s Show

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I can only imagine what the past 36 hours have been like for members of The Acacia Strain, whose hoodie was worn by the mass shooter in Dayton, OH when he mowed down 36 people (killing nine) at a bar. The association prompted a conservative broadcast journalist in Ohio to scapegoat The Acacia Strain and metal in general for violence. Thankfully that opinion seems to be a fringe one, but it’s still upsetting to see it at all some 40 years after the satanic panic of the ’80s and 20 years after the Columbine massacre. It’s lazy, plain and simple.

Acacia Strain vocalist Vincent Bennett responded yesterday morning on Twitter condemning the attacks and vowing to help the families of the victims. With the events still heavy on his mind, he also addressed the audience from the stage at the band’s show last night, August 4th, in Milwaukee, WI, saying:

“Before we start, I want to kind of say something about the things that have been happening in the past couple of days. Kinda bullshit. Anybody who knows this band knows we don’t condone anything even close to the things that have been happening in El Paso – the things that have been happening in Dayton. It’s disgusting, it’s sad and all I do this for is so you have a safe place to be. So you can have a good fucking time, so you can get your energy out, so you can leave smiling. All I ever wanted to do was make music. All I ever wanted to do was make people happy. So please, just have a good fucking time tonight. Throw everything else out the window. Smile. Make a new friend. Just have fun. Please.”

You can watch video of Bennett’s address below. Sending strength to members of the band through this difficult ordeal, as well, of course, to the families and friends of all the victims who were senselessly slaughtered by a young man with mental illness and easy access to military-grade weapons.

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