Satyricon pulls out of US tour

Black metallers Satyricon are forced to pull out of an upcoming US tour with Morbid Angel. Drummer Frost has had his work and residency permit revoked due to a sentence for violence given to him thirteen years ago.

Satyricon 2002

For acclaimed and respected Norwegian black metallers Satyricon, a lot is at stake these days. The band was scheduled to support Morbid Angel on an upcoming US tour to coincide with the release of Satyricon’s latest album “Volcano” on April 6. A major setback came in the form of a revoked work and residence permit due to drummer Kjetil “Frost” Haraldstad’s thirteen year old and obsolete sentence for violence. Cancelled live-shows will deal a heavy blow to the extensive marketing and sales campaign for the respected musical extremists.

Says Satyricon vocalist, guitarist and composer Sigurd Wongraven to Norwegian daily VG: “I’ve been working on the launch of the album and our tour since June last year. We were to reap the fruits from ten years of hard work, but all of our US co-operation partners are now very worried that months of planning have been wasted. There’s a lot at stake here and things are indeed looking bleak.”

More than 20 000 units of “Volcano” have been shipped to distributors and record stores all over the US. The US version of the album is released on Colombia Records imprint EatURmusic on April 6. The planned album release and tour involves a number of parties including management Velvet Hammer, agent agency The Agency Group, promo specialists Adrenalin PR, merchandise manufacturers Bandmerch, BJF Tour Management, distributors Sony Red and promotion agency Streetwise.

Satyricon and its crew was initially cleared for entry to the US by the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (INS) but a work and residency permit application was turned down by the Scandinavian branch of the Department of Homeland Security. It was only drummer Kjetil “Frost” Haraldstad’s application that was turned down by the Department of Homeland Security – the rest of the band was granted work and residency permits.

In less than three weeks, Satyricon are supposed to join genre veterans Morbid Angel on their US tour. Says Wongraven on the application process: “Our initial response was that the US Embassy in Oslo was positive and had recommended that the application be granted after an interview with Frost. With our application we had enclosed a number of contracts and letters documenting that Satyricon were to work with named partners on the American music scene. We want to do things in a decent, honest and formal way. We’re not a hobby-band on a vacation trip!”

Satyricon had been allocated substantial funds as tour support from the band’s US label, and air-time on radio as well as TV commercial spots on the Fuse channel had been secured. Satyricon are also scheduled to appear at MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball to present their acclaimed “Fuel for Hatred” video (which is produced by “of-Madonna-fame” Jonas Åkerlund).

Naturally, Wongraven is deeply disappointed: “We’re being punished too hard – the punishment is way out of proportions in relation to Frost’s initial minor offence. The application rejection is not only a blow to the band; it’s also a setback for all involved parties from record labels to local promoters.”

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