Orange Goblin Drummer Chris Turner’s U.S. Visa Delayed, Tour Fill-In Announced
Orange Goblin drummer Chris Turner, who has been a member of the band for 25 years, will not be accompanying his bandmates on their upcoming U.S. tour, set to begin next week. In his place will be Chad Walls, who has previously drummed live with Paul Di’Anno and Misery.
In a statement posted yesterday to social media, Orange Goblin explained that despite the band’s retention of “one of the top companies” to file all paperwork in plenty of time, and despite Turner having been granted U.S. visas six times in the past and the lack of any obvious red flags (criminal record, travel to a blacklisted country, etc.), he was inexplicably asked by the U.S. government to jump through additional hoops that delayed the process beyond the tour’s planned start date.
Here is the band’s full statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that we have to report that our drummer, and an integral member of the band for 25 years, Chris Turner will not be boarding the plane tomorrow to play the upcoming US tour dates.
“Despite starting our visa application process over 3 months ago, despite having one of the top companies put our petition in, despite the endless red tape and hoops we had to jump through we were only given a last minute embassy appointment. At that appointment Chris was told that he would have to provide extra information for ‘Administrative Processing’, this despite having had 6 US working visas previously, as well as a US social security number.
“This ‘extra info’ required was 15 years international travel history (every single Orange Goblin show outside the UK plus every single personal and family holiday Chris has taken), 15 years address history, 15 years employment history, all the names and birthdays of his entire family, every phone number and email address he’s used in the last 15 years and all his social media info. Bear in mind Chris has no criminal record (even had a clean driving licence for over 30 years), He is not a member of or affilaited with any political group or organisation and he hasn’t travelled to a blacklisted country.
“Chris managed to get all this information emailed over to them within 4 hours of the embassy appointment. Despite this, despite the hard work of our US agent, despite the hard work on Chris’s behalf from our US legal team, despite having a US Senators office supporting his case and contacting the embassy directly, despite all this he still hasn’t had a visa issued and will be unable to travel to the USA, no information has been forthcoming. In fact, as it stands he hasn’t even had his passport returned to him (possibly by next Thursday). He still then wont have a visa and may not ever get a visa.
“According to our legal team they’ve seen an increasing amount of these extra info requests since the current administration took over and it’s becoming harder and harder (and more expensive) for touring artists to visit and work in the USA. In this case specifically they can find absolutely no reason why this info was requested of Chris, why the process is taking so long and why there is zero information forthcoming from the embassy/immigration. In their opinion, Chris has just been singled out for reasons or by individuals unknown.
“Not only is this a shitty situation for Chris but it’s a terrible one for the band, we’ve already incurred $15-20k costs (visas, flights, accomodation, crew, merch, backline hire etc.) and for the band not to do these shows would bankrupt us – Orange Goblin would cease to exist. Consequently Ben, Martyn and Joe will still be travelling, and have fortunately found a substitute drummer (Mr. Chad Walls) who is learning the set in a few days and will spend all day Monday in a Manhattan rehearsal studio going over the songs ahead of the first show in NYC on Tuesday. It’s not ideal, it’s actually far from ideal for everyone involved but suffice it to say we are all working flat out to make these shows happen.
“If you were planning to see Orange Goblin in the USA we need your support now more than ever, come to the shows, show your support to the band, show your support to the substitute drummer, show your support to Chris, buy some merch, drink some beer, and never let the bastards grind ya down….
Find the band’s upcoming tour dates below. Just don’t let frontman Ben Ward give you a high five unless you enjoy trips to the hospital.
27 Aug – Gramercy Theatre, New York
29 Aug – Thalia Hall, Chicago
30 Aug – Muddy Roots Fest, Cookeville
31 Aug – Gas Monkey, Dallas
01 Sep – Come & Get It Live, Austin
02 Sep – Regent Theatre, Los Angeles