They say to pick your battles. They say, just let it go. They say cut some slack cuz you don’t know the rest of the story. You don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes. And then you see this. Saturday night, I was treated to a great time with some new good friends. In fact they took me out to a bar to see a band I never even heard of til they brought up the name. Sure I heard the tune “Bodies” but it didn’t register as it really sounded like a metal version of “Whoomp There It Is!”. Sure it’s hooky and it’ll get pretty well anyone jumping around but I couldn’t loosen my attitude strings and get into the whole package after a few things I heard that night.
For one, my friends happen to be in a band called Sin Dealer. Very solid guys, with a very solid sound. These fuckers have been around the block and they know what’s going on. They know how to treat people. Even the geekiest little bastard standing there with a Sharpie and a tour poster is gonna get treated like a king when you approach a member of Sin Dealer. As it should be. Why shit on the little guy? There’s always someone littler. No matter where you’re at. But you also gotta remember there’s always someone bigger too. And there’s that thing called Karma whether you believe in it or not.
Sin Dealer happened to be opening for Drowning Pool. As I mentioned, if it wasn’t for Sin Dealer, I wouldn’t even have gone to a Drowning Pool show. That’s just the facts Jack. So when I check out my friends, squished onto the front of a stage that couldn’t hold Ronnie James Dio, let alone a dude the size of Sin Dealer’s lead singer, Eric Kuthe, I think.. what the fuck has happened here? Is the stage THAT small? Doesn’t look like it from where I’m standing. Then I see it. The ego riser. The 3000 pound, hunk o’ metal covering half the stage. And why? To set the drums on. For one band. If you ask me, why wouldn’t ya let everyone use the drums on the riser if you must block off half the stage? Or just leave the fuckin thing on the truck for a show with a bigger stage!?
Now this didn’t just happen at the Wreckroom in Toronto, it also happened the night before in London at the Embassy. I used to shoot the Embassy over 10 years ago and it hasn’t changed one bit. The stage is real fuckin small to begin with. Not only that, there’s THE POLE which sticks straight up the middle of the right side of the stage. NOT a good place for a pole, but I guess it’s a crucial spot for building support or something lame like that so ya CAN’T just pull out a chainsaw and hack the fucker off. So there’s Eric, jammed in between THE POLE and Sin Dealer’s drum kit, absolutely no room to move whatsoever, and he’s kinda pissed. I don’t blame him. I would be too. Especially when ya know what he knows.
May 17, 2008, in a blog written by Drowning Pool’s frontman, Ryan McCombs, he goes on about something he refers to as Short Dick Syndrome. McCombs went on about how Papa Roach and some other band, probably not worth mentioning, treated Drowning Pool by jamming them into a tiny little area the same size as what they themselves dished out to Sin Dealer. Oh the rant Mr. McCombs unleashed on these acts for being such assholes. “How could they do that to the fans?”, “Why handcuff the opening act?” He even went on about their crew being dicks to them. So what the fuck happened 4 months later that possessed them to pull the same shit on one of their opening acts? Isn’t that a little hypocritical? What? Did ya think Canadian’s don’t know how to read? We’re not stuck in igloos wearing toques and calling each other “hoser” eh. Well…not in the summer months anyway.
Drowning Pool was really gunning for Sin Dealer that night after Eric let them know during sound check, that he was not impressed with the space arrangements… again. So Drowning Pool decided they had to blow Sin Dealer off the stage. And how do you do that when your opening act has a bigger following AND stronger music? Handcuffs. Shit for lights. No space to move. And they did it. Tied down the opening act, pumped up the energy level with fuck knows what kinda help, and bopped around on stage for their whole set. With lotsa room to move, they APPEARED to be into the show more than anyone else that night. Another thing they did which was kinda bullshit and cheesy, was a half assed, version of a bit of Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell”. I didn’t hear a solo… I woulda liked to see THAT happen. Sin Dealer does a kick ass version of Pantera’s “A New Level” and often finishes the show with it as they did both nights with Drowning Pool.. solo and all… that’s how good it is. If you can END the show with it, it’s gotta be fuckin GOOD. So it just seemed like another “we can do it too”, grade 3 type of, “see you at the monkey bars after school” type of move. I dunno.
That being said, Drowning Pool’s crew was pretty good to me. The tour manager was surrealistically decent when I asked if I could shoot the show. He probably woulda said NO if he knew what I was gonna write but I can’t help myself. I’m fuckin Walter Cronkite man, I’m just telling it like it is…
Maybe I’m just getting old but it appears as though there’s a lesson to be learned here. If you don’t eat yer meat, ya can’t have any pudding… HOW can ya have any pudding if ya don’t eat yer meat??… No, that’s Pink Floyd’s lesson of the day… How about this: Don’t shit on the little guy. Cuz one day something real big is gonna shit on you. Drowning Pool should already know this with all they’ve been through in the past. All I know, is I probably would have enjoyed the show much more if Drowning Pool didn’t take a big hunk of hypocrite shit and wipe it in my friend’s faces.