Let’s just start with this fucking EPIC and POIGNANT quote direct from the events page:
“Singapore is one of Australia’s closest neighbors, despite this the flow of hardcore to and from is largely one way with Australian bands hitting SE Asia but SE Asian bands almost never hitting Australia.
We decided we’d buck this trend and reverse the roles.
As such we are proud to announce this October will see Singapore’s finest, Straight Forward, cross the gap and sample Australia’s shores.”
THIS is what I think many MANY Asian bands/promoters/labels have been dying to see for many MANY years. Like many bands around Asia, we are always the ones putting on shows for touring American or European bands. I’ve been doing it in Hong Kong for the past 16 years like many other brethren of mine in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, China, and Thailand. All of us put money, time, effort, and a LOT of heart into putting on shows for touring bands with zero concern that we’re going to lose money 99% of the time. In my 16 years of promoting shows here the amount of shows that I’ve made money from gets whittled down to an awesome TWO shows (Guess which band out of all the phenomenal and hugely influential bands I’ve put on have I actually made money from? I’ve done shows for my heroes Sick of it All and other bands like Terror, Comeback Kid, Misery Signals, Have Heart, Shai Hulud, First Blood, etc…none of whom were able to turn a profit. Not their fault AT ALL! But the one band that always brings in the crowd, and thus cash, in Hong Kong has been Parkway Drive – both times. Go figure. Great guys who both times have admitted to me that they have no idea why they’re able to do this everywhere they go.).
But at some point these promoters who play in bands themselves are certainly going to start asking – at which point do I need to start calling it quits and pass this risk-taking adventure onto someone else? The stages I’ve noticed are usually:
I am caught in between that second and third bullet point right now. As a married husband, sole breadwinner, father of a 3 year old, it’s really her future that I’m throwing into putting on shows for touring bands.
The reason I state all of this is because when I saw that post above released by an Australian record label called Death’s Grip I literally yelled out loud “FUCKING FINALLY!” Finally there is someone out in Australia, Europe or the US who is interested in giving BACK to us Asian promoters/bands. Their point is clear as day and we couldn’t agree more, it should ALWAYS be a two way street but in my experience, it has NEVER been that way. I put on shows for bands here, they go back home and that relationship is done. Not a mention about us or anyone else from out here in Asia. No mention of whether they can set up a tour for us out there to return the favor.
I always wonder – is it because their experience out here sucked? Maybe the bands they’ve played with (including ourselves) were just plain terrible? But I’ve had the immense pleasure of touring through Asian MANY times and through this website continue to prove to the world that Asian bands are INSANELY incredible with the daily posts about new releases by brand new bands and our veterans. So – I know that neither of those points above are true. We certainly have our fair share of shady promoters, but we have STAND UP promoters as well who WILL pay guarantees, set up hospitality that makes a touring band’s life more comfortable, and then have a well-stacked bill of superb local acts.
So the question continues to be…when will bands return home and remember all the effort and heart that went into putting on THEIR band’s show here? All the time that gets taken away from family and jobs in order to promote a show, deliver tickets, pick up tickets, pay for meals, stress about number of attendees, lose sleep worrying about flights and details of the show, make sure the band is happy with their stay, etc – all of this would be easier to digest and accept if promoters/bands knew that by doing all this, they were setting up themselves or other local bands up with an amazing opportunity to go overseas.
So…my message to Australia’s Death’s Grip Records:
More info about the tour: