SAGAN’S MEMORABLE MOMENTS 2016
2016 has been a tumultuous year when it comes to, well, everything. In the metal world, it has been all but quiet this year, and we have heard a decent amount of crazy shit happening in all sorts of circumstances. There are, however, a few things that happened that made me go WHOA, either in a positive or a negative way, and I wanted to share them, in case you wanted to relive these seconds of glory or shame.
5. Municipal Waste’s straight-to the-point Anti-Trump t-shirt. Tony Foresta & co. don’t exactly have their tongue in their pocket, and when Donald Trump became an all-too-real possibility when it came to US president elect, they graced the world with a shirt reminiscent of the famous Misfits “JFK” shirt – except gruesomer and awesomer. The shirt raised eyebrows amongst more conservative metalheads and the general public – but Municipal Waste has been making questionably offensive shirts and songs for years now, so why people took offense at this one in particular is anyone’s guess.
A fun fact about this shirt: On the morning following the US election - and Trump's victory - Municipal Waste had this shirt on sale for $9. While fully stocked in sizes S to XXXL in the morning, they were entirely sold out by 4PM.
4. Christians accuse Carach Angren of unleashing demons onto the Netherlands. It had been a while since we had heard of religious zealots taking offense at a metal show – and by a while I mean about 6 weeks. But for it to happen in country as generally liberal as the Netherlands, it came by surprise. The horror metal band Carach Angren announced a show on Christmas Eve in Amstelveen, and the Dutch Christian organisation ChristenUnie took high offense - accusing them of unleashing dark forces onto the city on the eve of the birth of baby Jesus. And that is very un-Christian of course.
(original video in Dutch w/ English subtitles)
Carach Angren were gentlemen about the whole incident, inviting ChristienUnie chair Henk Stoffels to come to the show, adding the promise of candy and a free CD, and thanking the organisation for helping them promote the show. Classic.
3. Tim Lambesis sues jail medical staff over male breasts.
Oh boy, if I believed in karma… So as Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying (and the wonderful Austrian Death Machine) serves a 6-year jail sentence for trying to have his wife literally murdered, he announced in July that he was suing the facility he is incarcerated at. The medical team failed, according to his claim, to provide him with the Anastrozole he used to combat the effects of withdrawals from anabolic steroids (which he “had been self-administering [in] large doses [...] long term” to aid his body-building) thus causing him to develop gynecomastia – aka “bitch tits”.
Tim Lambesis requested damages totaling an exorbitant $35M+ for “trauma suffered indefinitely” as well as to compensate the monetary loss that his man breasts would cause to his career. As opposed to, you know, the monetary loss to his career that is caused by the story of him trying to hire someone to fucking murder his wife coming to light, with all the consequences that entails. That’s rich.
PS - For those wondering, the court dismissed Lambesis’s claim for punitive damages. The claim for medical negligence from the nurse who failed to log his prescription at the time however was granted further consideration.
2. Karl Sanders handles Christian zealot during altercation with Belphegor in Russia. A lot of countries are unfriendly to extreme metal bands, and one of those countries is Russia. This year, a tour took Nile along with Belphegor and Melechesh across Europe, and eventually, into Russia (minus Melechesh, who did not make it into the country). And upon landing in St. Petersburg, Belphegor were treated to a welcoming committee of one very large, very pissed off, ill-informed, and rather terrifying Christian fundamentalist; Anatoly Artyukh, a local politician and chair of a national Orthodox Christian organisation.
(full video - skip to 5:00 for the altercation with band members)
After taunting a fan who had flown in for the show and trying to get him to admit to illegal activity, the religious zealot saw Belphegor walk in and started verbally assaulting them, right away trying to get Helmuth Lehner to lose his patience and get physically violent with him. Hel remained relatively calm - but mainly, Karl Sanders, all of Karl Sanders, decided he would stand between him and the insane bible-thumper, effectively shielding Hel and preventing the situation from escalating. He even tried to swing a punch at Hel, but Sanders interjected “It ain’t gonna happen”, and even offered to take him on himself, which I assume was just too much man for Artyukh to risk. Karl Sanders handled this kook like a boss, and I have utter respect for that.
1. Robb Flynn eloquently destroys Phil Anselmo's racist behavior. It had to happen eventually, but in 2016, someone did it. Without starting a political discussion, let me say this much: most of us have seen or heard Phil Anselmo do or say slightly or extremely racist shit over the past 20 years. And to be honest, it passes as southern bro talk a lot, it passes as angry drunk talk a lot, but it is, in any case, unacceptable. At this year’s DimeBash, his especially BLATANT display of racism rubbed Robb Flynn, the frontman of Machine Head, the wrong way for the last time. So much, that he decided to make a 10-minute video calling out Phil Anselmo.
Phil issued a sort of apology after the fact (and also after he posted something about being unapologetic of the whole incident and subsequently deleting it), but in all honesty, it was about as fake as his original excuse for walking up on stage sieg heiling and shouting "White Power!" But what irks me even more than Phil Anselmo's "apology" is the fact that not only did a lot of the metal community not rally behind Flynn and applaud him for speaking out despite knowing the backlash he would endure, but people revolted, complained, tried to pin it on "thin-skinned" individuals and SJW, they even sent him DEATH THREATS. All for telling their Precious to start acting like a decent human being. Unbelievable. Anything I could have said in this portion, Robb Flynn said in this. He speaks nothing but words of wisdom in this video, and it was probably my favourite response to any event this year, despite the utterly fucked up reason why it came to be.