In two posts on his Facebook page, Godflesh mastermind Justin K. Broadrick spoke about the band’s U.S. tour. which was scheduled to kick off this week, being postponed until next year. In short, the U.S. immigration service stopped responding to the band’s requests to process their visas. Broadrick also addressed those that are blaming the band for the tour being postponed. Here’s what he posted on Friday:
Unfortunately we have to now officially announce that the GODFLESH mini tour of the US is now postponed, the rescheduled dates will be announced shortly, the dates will now be in April 2014, we cannot yet confirm if tickets can be retained for the new dates, but we have information that this is in the process, the venues are the same besides one show, this will be confirmed over the next few days, we also hope to have exactly the same roster of supports – Prurient, Nails, and House Of Low Culture.
The reason for all this is once again visa issues; as is often the case with UK and European artists wishing to work/perform in the US, it is a laborious process, and it was stalled by the US immigration office, the USCIS, that reviews and processes these visas.
Clearly, and before the accusations come in, and I have already been made aware of several kneejerk reactions to this news, we, as a band, are not at the helm of this process – we have an reputable and professional agency in the US that worked this tour, and an US based legal team who work on achieving the visas, in tandem with our agency, all done within an extended timeframe which allows for any such problems, the issue here is quite simply that the USCIS stopped responding entirely to our legal team, regardless of how much our team relentlessly taxed the body for the petition/visa response, no response was forthcoming, irrespective of all efforts; the process had ground to a halt – they would not respond to us at all anymore, we had reports that the US govt. closedown was the final nail, but this is unconfirmed. So, once again, we are now going through the process, with even more time at our legal teams disposal to go through this all again and hope for the best.
Please, understand this – it’s bureaucracy to blame here, not the band or it’s agent / legal team, we all wish for the band to perform, otherwise why indeed would we even bother to invest time, energy and money into establishing this tour? Nor is it related to the ridiculous suggestion/assumption of my not wanting to tour; I do not wish to do large extended tours, I already am, and have been doing small tours, this was a small tour; Godflesh did a small tour of Europe earlier this year, and we, and I, have performed consistently throughout the world this year, I, as both jesu, Godflesh and JK Flesh have performed twice in Moscow in the last six weeks, for example, besides countless other performances in many countries globally. So, please do not be ignorant and narrow minded about this situation, and understand that we obviously want to perform, and will perform. We will announce the new dates within the next few days, the tour will be followed by the new GODFLESH album in May 2014. Thank You.
Once Ticketmaster announced that they would honor tickets that had been sold for the previous shows, Broadrick wrote about the rescheduled dates, which will be in April, and how his attempt to perform in the U.S. for the first time as Godflesh 23 years ago might have played into their current situation.
Re: GODFLESH US tour postponement and refunds, etc – We have seen this from Ticketmaster “We just learned that your upcoming event has been postponed: Godflesh, Irving Plaza Saturday, October 19th with the doors opening at 9PM New date: To Be Announced! Your original tickets are still good and will be honored once the new date is announced.
Need a refund? We’ll refund your order, if requested, including fees…..” So, we hope that this info will give everyone some idea of how the ticket refunds, etc will pan out, but please do remember that Godflesh as a band do not have anything at all related to the process of refunds, etc, this is all down to the organisation you bought your tickets from – for example, Ticketmaster, etc. The new dates will be announced within 24 hours; they are almost exactly the same cities and venues, only the venue in SF has changed. The dates will begin in Philadelphia on 11th April, and end in Austin on April 24th. We may even have another date or two on the West Coast besides Seattle, Portland, LA and SF.
Again, very, very sorry for those who have lost out here, financially and besides, just know that we have too, considerably, this tour would have supported my family and I for some time, I now do not have that income. Thank you to those who understand and empathise, ultimately we’re all in this together.
I am sorry for those that still feel the need to blame the band, and/or anyone working for the band, we clearly understand how this can be angering, of course, though it’s still quite bizarre, yet not at all surprising, that one would wish to blame the band they claim to support, more so than their own governments red tape and protocol, also, this level of ignorance, stubbornness, and immediate lack of the capacity to be understanding outside of oneself and one’s own needs/indulgence, coupled with the obvious inability to hold discourse without resorting to lashing out verbally (and possibly even physically in a very ‘real’ context), before reasonably engaging one’s brain, is actually one of the many issues I and Godflesh, and jesu to some extent, have been dealing with lyrically for many years, it’s often still quite disheartening to find, time and time again, that SOME people buying (maybe) our music have traits that are genuinely offensive to us. Just remember, Godflesh is not ‘tough guy’ music, is not for empty macho posturing and flexing, we oppose these acts of banality, and perhaps not even coincidentally, internet posturing is just an extension of this, and arguably more insipid since it’s so easy to hide behind one’s keyboard and pour vitriol onto anything one wishes to, it’s simply pathetic, real life is so much better, really, try it some time.
And, for those who still claim to see a trillion bands from over here in Europe coming into the US in their droves without visa issues, and seem to have an inability to understand why we are not, coupled with the fact that we have had our visas stalled on an number of occasions in the past (besides Godflesh with the ‘Hymns’ tour, where I split the band up just before the tour, which oddly still seems to anger some – no GC Green? Is that Godflesh? No, it is not Godflesh), maybe some are not aware of this, or possibly would not want to be aware of this since it may somewhat put some things into perspective, but we wouldn’t want that would we? No, just blame the band.
Godflesh was invited to play the US in 1990; two shows in the Boston area, we had only just signed with Earache Records, they told us we could go to the US, guitar, bass and drum machine in hand, and literally say we’re staying with friends, and play these shows, that nothing else was required, we, being very young and naive about this (I was just 20 years old), agreed that we should just do this, Earache claimed it would be fine, having themselves very little experience in dealing with sending bands to the US. Stupid, yes, in hindsight, of course. Upon our arrival we were taken separately into ‘interrogation’ rooms, found to be a ‘threat’ and promptly placed, almost physically (security / police escorted us onto the actual flight itself), and deported back to the UK, we were told this would not affect our future visits to the US. Well, it has ALWAYS affected us, we cannot come as a tourist to the US, only on work visas, we are quizzed extensively every time on this issue, and it contributes to stalling our visas, and there is simply not a thing we can do about this, nothing, all possible avenues have been exhausted, and why would they not be?
So, we always have to allow more time to achieve work visas for the USA, BUT, bands can only apply once all the shows / dates are set in stone and confirmed, or you cannot apply for the visa, and, these dates / shows can never be solidified too early because this industry just does not work like that, this can be hard for some to comprehend, but when this is one’s life, believe me, you comprehend it, this may help some gain a little perspective as to how these issues arise and how these things go wrong, but go ahead blame the band, please, it’s the easy way out, but if that makes one feel better, so be it, ignorance is bliss; makes one feel better, and ‘right’, I mean it surely just couldn’t be the responsibility of the USCIS and US government could it?!!!
Some have asked why I feel the need at all to validate and qualify our position on this – because we wish for people to be understanding, to see outside of their selves a little. But that’s it, we are done explaining, so be it, if you are still so angered, do not come and see the band, do not buy the records, hate us, if that makes you feel good.
Thank you for listening, and if possible, like most of you, understanding, rescheduled dates soon….