Slipknot have taken aim at Aussie Soundwave festival saying bands got a raw deal

Corey Taylor of Slipknot performs at the 2015 Monster Energy Aftershock Festival at Gibson Ranch County Park on October 24, 2015 in Sacramento, California. Photo / Getty
Corey Taylor of Slipknot performs at the 2015 Monster Energy Aftershock Festival at Gibson Ranch County Park on October 24, 2015 in Sacramento, California. Photo / Getty

American heavy metal band Slipknot have taken aim at the defunct Aussie music festival Soundwave and promoter AJ Maddah saying its demise was "a long time coming" and that bands were "dicked over" due to the event's mismanagement.

But Maddah has fired back, saying Slipknot went home with "millions' while he lost everything.

Slipknot performs on stage at the Soundwave Music Festival at Sydney Olympic Park on 26th February 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo / Getty
Slipknot performs on stage at the Soundwave Music Festival at Sydney Olympic Park on 26th February 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo / Getty

When the dust had settled on the controversial, final 2015 event, it was clear that moving to a two-day festival had taken its toll.

Reportedly owing more than AU $10 million to the acts that performed, including $1.6m to Slipknot, according to documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, frontman Corey Taylor has spoken out against the demise of the festival for the first time.

"It was really weird," he says of the experience.

A general view of the stage and crowd as Slipknot perform at the Soundwave Music Festival at Sydney Olympic Park on 26th February 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo / Getty
A general view of the stage and crowd as Slipknot perform at the Soundwave Music Festival at Sydney Olympic Park on 26th February 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo / Getty

"When you're a band like Slipknot you work with certain companies like Live Nation and what not so you find a way to get reimbursed. For us, it was more about being in front of the audience and playing for the fans anyway - you lose some money it's not a big deal and you find a way to make it up somewhere else. I feel bad for the younger bands [for whom] that pay cheque is how they get to the next territory.

"That to me is the real tragedy of Soundwave and really that's what story is."

Taylor says the 2015 event was not the first time he noticed problems with the festival, saying that on a previous Soundwave visit in 2013 with his other band Stone Sour, he was "dicked over".

"It was one of the coolest festivals to be a part of and yet so many bands got dicked over," he explains.

Fans cheer during a concert by the American heavy metal band Slipknot at the Olimpiysky Arena. Photo / Getty
Fans cheer during a concert by the American heavy metal band Slipknot at the Olimpiysky Arena. Photo / Getty

"And this is coming from a guy who got doubly dicked over because when we were down there with Stone Sour we got dicked as well and that was years before the Slipknot debacle so this was kind of a long time coming, without getting into too many specifics.

"A lot of bands suffered because of the mismanagement and it's a bummer because, if it was handled right, that festival would still be going.

Portrait of American musician Jay Weinberg, drummer with heavy metal group Slipknot, photographed before a live performance at Alexandra Palace in London. Photo / Getty
Portrait of American musician Jay Weinberg, drummer with heavy metal group Slipknot, photographed before a live performance at Alexandra Palace in London. Photo / Getty

"It sucks doing business with those guys...but it was an absolute f*****g pleasure to play."

Soundwave promoter Arash "AJ" Maddah has responded saying he did all he could for the headline act and that he had "lost everything" since the festival's demise.

"It's disappointing (to hear that from Slipknot)," he says.

"They know we did our best for them at all times and over many successful tours. At the end of the day they still went home with millions of dollars from Soundwave and I lost everything."

But the outspoken promoter was quick to offer back-handed praise saying that the band is "great" before going on to say they are struggling to sell tickets for their upcoming Australian tour.

Slipknot performing live in Padova at the Gran Teatro Geox Arena. Photo / Getty
Slipknot performing live in Padova at the Gran Teatro Geox Arena. Photo / Getty

"I still think they're a great band...I wish them the best and I am proud to have contributed to their success in Australia for over 14 years," he says.

"It is sad that for the first time ever they can't sell tickets to their Australian tour. But I think that reflects more on the market than on the band. Selling half-price tickets, however, will have a very negative impact on their career here as next time everyone will wait for discount tickets. It also tends to piss off the most ardent fans who rush out and buy tickets on the first day of sales."

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With the demise of two of Australia's largest music festivals, Soundwave and Big Day Out, the Slipknot frontman says there is a strong possibility that the band will bring Knottfest (the band's own heavy music festival) down to Australia to fill the void.

"It's insane," he says of both festivals vanishing.

"We've talked about bringing Knottfest there and it could work in Australia because the two festivals we've been a part of are no longer around. There's a reason we've only done Knottfest shows in certain territories and it's because of respect. "

"We're not going to disrespect people who we've worked with in the past who gave us spots on their festivals - like in the UK there's already Download and Reading and Leeds that we've been able to play.

"There's no way we would try and move into their territory like that. In Australia there's a void open and there's no festivals where we would be stepping on toes - we could come in and maybe do one or two shows and see what happens."

Slipknot have been known to tour New Zealand as an extension of the Australian visits, coming to play Auckland's Westfest off the back of Soundwave in 2014.

However, New Zealand shows which were meant to follow the most recent Soundwave - including Disturbed and Bring Me the Horizon - had to be postponed when the festival was cancelled.

It's unclear whether Westfest will be able to continue in 2016 without Soundwave functioning across the ditch.

- news.com.au

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