News I Clicked On In 2014

By Tyler Gibson & Kelley O’Death

2014 was chock full of bands doing both wacky and downright awful shit, and I’d like to clickbait you into reliving some of those moments before we embark on another year of whatever. I probably forgot some shit, but we all have the attention spans of goldfish at this point anyway…

10) Delain Bassist Ruptures Testicle On Stage

The bassist for Dutch symphonic metal band Delain blew a nard on stage and when a streamer-cannon contraption hit Mr. Schimmelpenninck in the back of his testicle. He continued playing like a champ, feeling gradually worse until finally passing out. He was able to finish the show, but his scrotum was the size of a watermelon. In a gloriously graphic Facebook post, Schimmelpenninck explained, “I was taken to the nearest hospital where, after hours and hours of waiting, I was finally operated on around 8:30 in the morning. It appeared my left testicle had been ruptured, as well as some arteries. More than 500 ml of blood was removed from my scrotum and my testicle was stitched up. I stayed in hospital for the rest of day and night, and was discharged on Friday afternoon.” Moral of the story? Streamers are fucking stupid.

9) Joyce Manor Hates Stagediving, Divides Punk Community

At a show in Jacksonville, Fl., one Joyce Manor fan decided to do the unthinkable: stage dive. This prompted frontman Barry Johnson to stop mid song and berate the fan publicly. Video of the incident went viral the next day, and caused a great parting of the ideological seas. On one side were people who support safe spaces and stuck up for Johnson because it seems kinda uncool to jump on top of somebody smaller than you and possibly injure them. On the other side, people defended the sacred ritual of stage diving and concert violence started throwing around the words “pussy,” “faggot,” and “pussy faggot.” Most reasonable humans eventually agreed that the appropriateness of stage diving and hate speech is contextual. We should all use good judgment, respect public spaces, and look out for those who want to enjoy the show without our giant, entitled asses slamming against their faces.

8) Slayer Rescues Kitten, Doesn’t Sacrifice It To Dark Lord

After a nice steak dinner at St. Elmo’s Steak House, Slayer tour manager Jess Cortese saw a homeless man selling a freezing kitten for a dollar. Like any kindhearted soul associated with the most notoriously brutal metal band in the world would, Cortese bought the kitten and let it sleep in her bunk on the bus. The lucky kitten also got the Slayer VIP treatment and hung out backstage all day drinking Jäger and worshipping the devil (or possibly God if the little scamp was kicking it with frontman Tom Araya). The once frostbitten kitten now has a warm, happy home where it can scratch “Slayer” into the forearms of its owners for the rest of its life.

7) Pussy Riot Opens Sochi Olympics, Gets Whipped And Tear Gassed

After being released from prison in December, 2013, Pussy Riot took to the streets of Sochi on Feb. 19 for a guerilla performance. About 20 miles from the actual Olympics, underneath an official Olympic banner, they began performing, only to have the Cossacks run in and break up the show immediately. Employing typical power move shit, such as tear gas and whips, the Russian defenders of Nationalism ripped off the band’s masks and threw one of their guitars in the garbage. The ordeal only lasted a few minutes, and nobody was arrested, but later that day, the band held another impromptu concert at City Hall. Having been granted amnesty, Pussy Riot were able to perform without police intervention, meaning “Putin Will Teach You How To Love The Motherland!” was played in its entirety.

6) Joe Queer Supports Cops, Ben Weasel Is Still An Asshole

Usually, “punk rock” and “supporting violent cops” don’t sit down for tea together, but Queers frontman Joe Queer decided to confuse the fuck out of the entire world by posting this Facebook status about the Michael Brown shooting that occurred in Ferguson, Mo.: “A man of peace in a world of mayhem. We are all behind you Officer Wilson. Thank you for your service.” Unsurprisingly, many punks called bullshit on his sentiment, leading Ben Weasel to jump to his pal’s defense in true Ben Weasel fashion: calling people names. Joe Steinhardt of Don Giovanni Records penned an open letter imploring to the artists’ labels to disassociate from racist, sexist, and homophobic musicians, which inspired about as much productive dialogue as you would expect. The hubbub had barely blown over when Fat Mike found himself on the receiving end of a viral Internet scandal Weasel could relate to, so Old Uncle Ben lathered up for round two, gleefully shaming Fat Mike in an open letter of his own.

5) Fat Mike Kicks Dude In Face, Punk Community Remains Apathetic

Nothing caused less controversy on this list than Fat Mike knocking a fan to the ground and kicking him in the face. Mike had repeatedly told that night’s crowd that he had a sore neck, while enduring being pelted with various objects, so his violent reaction to a fan grabbing him during crowd favorite “Linoleum” made most of the community just shrug. The kick heard round the world was front-page news on Dying Scene almost instantly, soaking in clicks like a sponge on a dirty toilet, but most punx united in the singer’s favor. Not interested in the potential bad blood, NOFX later got in contact with the kid to offer him free tickets and a customized t-shirt commemorating the assault, as well as a tit-for-tat boot to Fat Mike’s shin. The two are now besties and Kik each other on the regs.

4) Scott Stapp Of Creed Goes Broke, Crazy

Hit Parade’s 65th greatest metal vocalist of all time, Scott Stapp, has fallen into a pit of confusion, depression, poverty, and general weirdness. After the dude lost custody of his children, and his wife left him, he posted a video to his Facebook page explaining his current situation, which involves living out of his truck and being incredibly broke. A direct quote from his ex-wife, Jaclyn Stapp, tells us that the singer “… was cruising neighborhood streets while shirtless on his motorcycle, claiming to be on a CIA-mission to ‘assassinate Obama,’” forcing the Secret Service to step in. Since then, audio from several different sources has surfaced of Stapp calling 911 about being chased by assassins, and calling his son’s school claiming the ISIS threat has something to do with his family. Mental health and addiction are not to be taken lightly, but when you’ve been such a douchebag publicly in the past, it’s hard to ignore this stuff. Hopefully Stapp gets the treatment he needs, and will be able to greet his fans(?) and family with arms wide open in the future.

3) Every Time I Die Guitarist Kicks Cellphone Out Of Fan’s Hand, Is Badass

During a recent show in Lawrence, Kan., a young fellow jumped on stage and did the unthinkable… Nope, not stage diving; that’s so 2013, grandpa! Rather, he took a selfie with singer Keith Buckley mid song! Or at least tried to. Mid-selfie, Keith’s guitarist brother Jordan stepped in like Odin killing an ice giant, and fucking karate kicked the cell phone out of the kid’s hand. The presence of cell phones hinders about 95% of live shows, so the video inspired an Arsenio Hall fist pump so hard it hurt the collective community’s shoulder. Jordan took to Twitter after the incident, offering no apologies: “Stage selfies = look at me look at me I didn’t get enough attention as a kid and can’t handle five people here getting more attention than me.” Fuck the kids, amirite? It does initiate a great discussion: whether or not cell phones are ruining live music. Instead of giving you our thoughts on the matter, we’ll leave it to Jon Diener of the Swellers.

2) Tim Lambesis Loses Faith, Finds Self In Prison

This story started in May of 2013. After being arrested for offering a hitman $20k to kill his wife, Megan Lambesis, and finding out that the “hitman” was actually an undercover cop, As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis pleaded “not guilty.” He was placed on house arrest after being released on two million dollar bail a few months later, and was ordered to wear a GPS unit. Skip ahead to Feb. 25, 2014. Lambesis changed his plea to “guilty,” and was sentenced to six years. After a few ambiguous Facebook posts about his religion, to many fans’ dismay, he came out as an atheist in June, claiming the rest of the band continued the Christian façade in order to sell records. He recalled “feeling awkward when fans ask[ed him] to pray with them,” and said that renouncing Christianity made it easy to have an affair. WWJD?

1) Band Spends Money Like Spoiled Rich Children, Cries That Making Independent Music Is Hard

Allegedly popular band Pomplamoose went on a 28 day tour, playing 24 shows in 23 cities, and racked up a total of $100k in ticket sales alone. Any independent touring musician will tell you that’s quite a chunk of change. Bully for them! What they did wrong was tell the whole fucking world about it in excruciating detail, breaking down their finances to the dollar. This caused the world to exclaim, “HOW DO YOU SPEND 18K ON FOOD AND LODGING FOR SIX PEOPLE IN ONE MONTH?” and “50K IN SALARIES AND PER DIEMS? HOLY FUCKWDPDRNWNSF…” They have a sponsorship from Lenovo, yet they still came out in the red, losing $11,819. The dude in the band, whom I don’t care enough about to look up his name, even owns a crowdfunding site, and some are speculating that the article was just a backwards attempt at promoting it. If you think that’s weak, the dude artfully counters that “some people think of brand deals as ‘selling out.’ My guess is that most of those people are hobby musicians, not making a living from their music, or they’re rich and famous musicians who don’t need the income.” No wonder independent musicians everywhere want to suffocate him with a piss-soaked pillow!

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