As Testament returns from our first trip to Indonesia, a country we’ve looked forward to visiting for many years, it is with deep disappointment that our performance didn’t turn out as planned. While our experience in this great land had been nothing but wonderful from the time our first plane first touched down – from the warm hospitality of our fans, local staff and others to whom we are grateful, to being honored by the mayor and the press shortly before appearing in front of 50,000 fans at Kukar Rockin’ Fest 2014, things went awry only at the moment we were scheduled to hit the stage.
That’s when the support act directly before us began their set. Normally this would not be a big issue – rock’n’roll shows don’t always run on time as everyone knows – but in this case, there was a serious problem: we had a flight to catch in just a few hours. The flight was from Balikpapan Airport, several hours from Tengarrong (the location of the concert) which required several hours driving over rugged terrain. Making matters worse, several pieces of luggage had never arrived and these needed to picked up in Jakarta before we could board our connecting flights. Missing our connecting flights in Jarkata would have caused the entire band and crew to miss our further connecting flights home (after nearly a month on tour) followed by a trip to Mexico City’s Hell And Heaven Fest within three days of arrival back to the US.
So in order to play our full set and be sure we made this flight, an attempt was made to play our set on time, with the support act following us. The local stage managers, while well intentioned, did not seem to grasp the urgency of the situation as the support act (Power Metal) continued to play and we watched our set time disappearing. When our singer, Chuck Billy, came out and attempted to address the support band and audience, he was not understood. Regretfully, this led to a minor confrontation with the support act who only stopped playing once their gear was finally turned off by our crew (for which they responded by dousing water on one of our own amplifiers). While this situation was interpreted as the headliner being disrespectful to the local band, that was not the intention.
Not helping these miscommunications was the language barrier for which no one can be blamed – our concern wasn’t understood and nobody in our entourage speaks Indonesian. We were also short of our full crew, some of whom hadn’t been available when this show was added to our tour at the last minute. Regardless, the result was a crowd that was visibly unhappy during our set and for that we accept responsibility.
To our Kukar Rockin’ Fest audience: we deeply apologize for any hurt that was caused. While we would have appreciated the support act being more accommodating, we nonetheless apologize to them as well and meant no disrespect. In hindsight, it might have been a better decision to just let them continue and cut much of our own set. But in the heat of the moment, a judgment call was made that backfired. We regret this turn of events, which does not represent what Testament is all about, nor what we’d travelled all that way for.
Testament deeply appreciates the fans of Indonesia and hopes they find it within their hearts to understand what has happened and forgive. We truly hope to return to this region one day amidst deeper understanding and better circumstances.
Translated in Indonesian:
Sekembalinya Testament dari perjalanan pertama ke Indonesia, sebuah negara yang sudah lama kami ingin kunjungi, ada kekecewaan yang mendalam bahwa pertunjukan kami tidak berjalan sebagaimana diharapkan. Pengalaman kami di negeri besar ini dari awal mendarat begitu positif – mulai dari hangatnya keramahan fans kami, staf lokal dan orang-orang lain, yang sangat kami hargai, sambutan hormat dari walikota dan wartawan sejenak sebelum tampil di depan 50.000 fans di Kukar Rockin’ Fest 2014, beberapa hal mulai kacau hanya saat kami dijadwalkan untuk tampil.
Itu terjadi saat band pendukung, yang tampil sebelum kami, memulai set mereka. Dalam kondisi normal, ini bukan masalah besar – pertunjukan rock’n'roll tidak selalu berjalan tepat waktu sebagaimana orang tahu – tetapi kali ini ada masalah serius: kami harus mengejar pesawat dari bandara Balikpapan, yang jaraknya beberapa jam perjalanan dari lokasi konsert di Tenggarong, melalui medan berat. Lebih parahnya lagi, beberapa potong bagasi belum tiba, dan ini harus dijemput di Jakarta sebelum kami bisa naik pesawat penghubung. Kalau kami ketinggalan penerbangan penghubung di Jakarta, seluruh band dan kru akan ketinggalan penerbangan penghubung selanjutnya untuk pulang setelah hampir sebulan tur, yang akan diikuti tiga hari di Amerika Serikat, lalu perjalanan ke Hell and Heaven Fest di Mexico City.
Dengan niat memainkan set konser lengkap dan memastikan kami dapat penerbangan berikutnya, kami berupaya mulai main tepat waktu, dan dilanjutkan oleh band pendukung. Manajer panggung lokal yang berniat baik kelihatannya tidak mengerti bahwa ini urusan mendesak, sementara band pendukung (Power Metal) terus bermain dan kami hanya memandangi alokasi waktu set kami sendiri terus berkurang. Ketika penyanyi kami, Chuck Billy, berusaha meraih perhatian Power Metal dan penonton, ia tidak dimengerti. Sayangnya ini menyebabkan konfrontasi kecil dengan band pendukung, yang baru berhenti bermain ketika peralatan mereka dimatikan oleh awak kami (yang mereka tanggapi dengan menyiram air ke salah satu amplifier kami).
Situasi ini ditafsirkan sebagai band headliner yang tidak menghormati band lokal, ini sama sekali bukan niat kami.
Masalah komunikasi ini makin diperparah oleh jurang bahasa, dan ini bukan salah siapa-siapa – kekhawatiran kami tidak dipahami dan dalam rombongan kami tidak ada yang bisa bahasa Indonesia. Kru kami tidak komplet, beberapa dari mereka tidak dapat hadir, mengingat pertunjukan ini dimasukkan dalam jadwal tur pada detik terakhir. Apapun itu, hasilnya adalah penonton yang jelas-jelas tidak menikmati set kami, dan untuk itu kami mengambil tanggung jawab.
Untuk penonton Kukar Rockin’ Fest: kami meminta maaf sedalam-dalamnya untuk sakit hati yang disebabkan. Memang, kami akan bisa menghargai band pendukung yang lebih akomodatif, tapi tetap kami minta maaf, juga pada mereka dan ingin mereka tahu, tidak ada maksud bertindak tidak hormat. Setelah dipikir-pikir, mungkin seharusnya kami membiarkan mereka melanjutkan set mereka, dan memotong sebagian besar dari set kami sendiri. Namun dalam situasi yang panas, kami membuat penilaian dan bertindak, yang lalu menjadi bumerang. Kami menyesali kejadian ini, yang tidak mewakili identitas Testament, atau tujuan kami melakukan perjalanan sepanjang ini.
Testament sangat menghargai penggemar di Indonesia dan berharap mereka dapat, di hati yang terdalam, mengerti posisi kami dan memberi maaf. Kami sangat berharap untuk suatu hari dapat kembali ke wilayah ini di tengah-tengah pemahaman yang lebih dalam dan keadaan yang lebih baik.
For Immediate Release
February 25, 2014
Introducing Breaking Bands LLC: Renowned Industry Veterans Join Forces in New Management Venture
Uniting the Expertise of Adrenaline PR CEO Maria Ferrero, MegaForce Records and Crazed Management Founders Jon and Marsha Zazula, and TESTAMENT Vocalist Chuck Billy
Breaking Bands LLC may be a new name on the management block, but is made up of renowned industry veterans— making the experience anything but new.
Founded by the powerhouse team of Adrenaline PR CEO Maria Ferrero, former MegaForce Records and Crazed Management owners Jon and Marsha Zazula, and Testament vocalist and co-manager Chuck Billy— these individuals have joined forces to merge their experience and bring some new, unknown bands to the forefront, as well as develop and guide the continuing careers of some of today’s most well-established artists. Combined, Chuck, Maria, Jon, and Marsha bring decades of experience to the table, from their individual beginnings at the very introduction of the heavy metal genre in the 1980’s.
Breaking Bands LLC is currently representing legendary Bay Area thrash metal band Exodus, as well as Texas heavy metal newcomers Shattered Sun and California alt pop artist Forrest Day. Breaking Bands LLC is presently accepting new submissions for prospective management clients.
To truly understand the prowess of Breaking Bands LLC, one needs to know the eminent status of the parties involved.
Chuck Billy is best known as the accomplished lead singer of legendary Billboard-charting thrash metal band Testament, one of the five original thrash metal bands to exist in the world. Testament has sold millions of albums worldwide, and boast a total of eleven studio albums, four live albums, five compilation albums, and six singles altogether. Their most recent album, Dark Roots of Earth, reached number 12 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. In 2010, Chuck Billy was recognized in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture”, which was on display through January 2, 2011.
“After being friends and doing business for almost 30 years, we all decided that it was time to create a team that has lived and breathed the music business with all its ups and downs, adds Chuck Billy. “I feel that with all the knowledge that we’ve gained, it would be nice to work with bands and help improve and guide them in the right direction to a long and successful career. I feel this is a natural progression in my life along with focusing on my band Testament for 28+ years.”
Maria Ferrero began at MegaForce Records and Crazed Management in 1982 as the label’s first publicist and A&R representative, eventually working at labels TVT, E-magine Entertainment, and Metropolis Records, before founding her own successful boutique PR, branding, and marketing firm, Adrenaline PR. Maria Ferrero and her publicity team have represented an array of projects such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Motörhead, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, Testament, Dethklok, Hank3, KMFDM, Tech N9ne, Machine Head, ETID, Miss May I, Louder Than Hell (book), Repo The Genetic Opera (film) and many more.
“Making a difference on the projects we are working is what it’s all about for me, personally. I would not want to take on this business venture with anyone else. I trust my partners. We’re proven,” states Maria Ferrero.
Jon and Marsha Zazula founded MegaForce Records in 1982, first signing Metallica, and then going on to sign Anthrax, Testament, Overkill and more of the era’s biggest and best bands. They also founded Crazed Management in 1982 and managed Anthrax for the first 11 years of their career, Metallica for two years, Ministry, and TAD, among others.
“Between all of us, there is over 100 years of experience and 30 years of mutual trust and respect,” states Jon Zazula. “It is a great feeling for Marsha and I to work alongside with Chuck and Maria. It feels like the dream team.”
Stay tuned for more great things coming from Breaking Bands LLC soon! To learn more about Breaking Bands LLC, visit www.breakingbandsllc.com.