Sunn O))) Slam Aus Promoter In Tour Cancellation Fall Out

3 September 2012 | 11:13 am | Scott Fitzsimons

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Drone metal titans Sunn O))) have lashed out at Australian promoter Heathen Skulls and its head Robert MacManus as their planned October tour was officially cancelled yesterday.

In the announcement MacManus claimed that the logistical demands of the band meant that he 'wasn't suited' to promoting them, but the band's official statement alleges that he showed, “complete inconsideration towards the basic requirements of our agreement together; in regards to preproduction, planning and structure of business at a professionally unreliable level.”

Describing it as the first time the band have had to cancel a tour they claim that the band and their agent, “Have done all we can to make this agreement work, including giving three extensions on the proposed deadlines over the last four months. We arrive at the point of a third (final) missed deadline where the choice becomes related to dignity and self-respect toward ourselves as artists.”

They said that the negotiations had “eroded trust” between the band's camp and the promoter and that they “cannot proceed in this matter”.

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In his statement, MacManus claims that the full tour dates weren't announced due to poor ticket sales admitted that the band did not announce the tour at their end officially, which they claim was because the two parties never fully reached an agreement. “Robert MacManus/Heathen Skulls prematurely put tickets on sale without our agreement,” they allege.

Speaking to today MacManus said they had a “signed contract” but admitted that the deposit he owed was the sticking point. “[The deposit] was the crux of the argument for them,” he alleged. “I was a couple of weeks late on the deposit and they freaked out a bit and cancelled.”

He claims that he offered to pay Monday next week, but the band decided to pull the plug. “As the negotiations unfolded it became more and more complex and expensive,” he said.

Sunn O))) aren't the only ones to come out swinging at Heathen Skulls, Los Angeles artist and composer John Wiese – who toured Australia with Heathen last year – has called for a boycott of the promoter on his Facebook page.

He alleges that MacManus, “Invited Thrones and I to tour Australia and at the end paid us $22 per show. This tour was shortly after all my stuff was stolen (which I had explained to him about and that our guarantees were crucial), so I had to fill my credit card to do it, then came home with no money and a credit card full of debt. He tries to pretend he's clueless, but he's not. He's done this to many international artists. Don't support him, work with him, or go to his shows.”

MacManus claimed today that, “The deal I had with Thrones and Wiese was that I covered all their flights, international and domestic, and it was a profit share tour… and the end of the tour after costs there was only about $500 left, so I gave it all to them.”

Sunn O))) were, however, full of praise for the New Zealand promoter, Gareth Craze, who they describe as a “stand up guy and did his best to accommodate us on all levels.”

They added, “We have had two amazing tours of Australia in the past and were looking forward to going back for a third. We have never had the chance to travel to New Zealand to date, and it pains us to cancel those concerts, but alas the travel is tied together and we can not afford to do New Zealand alone at this time.”

The band do hope to reschedule the tour and MacManus has not ruled out a tour from support act Pelican.