“A2, Brute?” by The Original Doc

Many of us have seen or heard about the festival that was supposed be the The Definitive Event of Ann Arbor, A2 Fest, put together by Jeff Pitock of Breaking Point Entertainment.  From what I’ve heard from band and the pictures I’ve seen surfacing already, the show was a complete disaster. You could just chalk that up to Michigan’s horrendous economy if it weren’t for a few little details that I feel are worth mentioning.

Some of you may remember a certain article about a certain “promoter and booking agent,” John Kunz of Arrowhead Productions. The one who ripped off over $100,000 from one show alone, sank the Naughty Donkey festival himself by writing checks his ass couldn’t cash, has been sued multiple  times for not following through on contracts and agreements, and basically made an ass of himself to the entire music community.

Well, as some of you know, Mr. Pitock promised everyone involved that Kunz WOULD NOT be involved with this show after his actions at the Naughty Donkey went public. Well, everyone was lied to. Kunz was there “in charge” of everything.

Anyone who attended the festival agreed it was a flop. According to sources at the event, around five hundred people attended the event, including band members. Do that math. Roughly 250 people there were band members. On top of that, there were a metric shit ton of tickets given away for free, so I have no clue even as to how many people ACTUALLY paid to attend the event.  My guess would be not many.

Bands, including the national acts, had their sets cut short or cut entirely. Hed PE played three songs and were cut off. The same story with Taproot. Why were the sets cut short? Because the show was THREE HOURS behind schedule. How the hell does a “The Definitive Event of Ann Arbor” get THREE HOURS behind schedule?  

Jeff Pitock and John Kunz don’t know how to run a show any better than I know how to perform open heart surgery. Judging by their track records, I’d say that I have a better chance of getting the surgery down first.

I’ll tell you right now, not all of the bands got paid, including the headliners. Some of them did, although I’m not sure who. I’d assume it was Taproot, Mushroomhead and Hed PE.  Why didn’t the rest of the bands get paid? Because Kunz made off with a bulk of the money leaving the bands, staff, and pretty much everyone involved with their proverbial dicks in their hands.  They didn’t even get the free food and water they were promised unless they annoyed the shit out of the people “in charge,” and even then they had to approach them multiple times to get results.

Again, a band had to step in and save the day, and for that I commend you, Uncommon Road.

If The Naughty Donkey festival wasn’t a wakeup call to you bands, vendors, and fans, then I hope this is the wakeup call you need. These people and those like them are ruining our music community one show at a time and we just keep letting them do this. When will enough be enough and no one will work with these guys?

I trust that this article is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure more and more stories will surface after this is posted. Oh, and this one is being posted on the website so it’s impossible to get taken down, unlike Facebook who suddenly finds that telling the truth and trying to stop people from getting ripped off is offensive.

 

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“Ain’t that a Kick in the Kunz” (The Revised Edition) by Metal Doc Brown

So, many of you asked for the original copy of the “Ain’t That a Kick in the Kunz” article to spread. Unfortunately, that was lost when it was removed from Facebook.  However, I remember most of it and will sure as hell be adding the shit I saw in the comments from the thread. (Most popular and viral post ever, by the way. Over 12,000 people reached and over 100 shares and at least 300 comments. Thank you.)

Let me tell you a story or three. (Again)

Awhile back my band was invited to play a show with The Agonist and Orion Nine as the headliners. We were from three hours away and yet somehow still sold the most tickets. (Not bagging on the other bands, but this is a relevant point that will come up in a few.)

We show up to an empty venue. No fans there whatsoever. (Maybe 20 showed up total through-out the night. MAYBE) The headlining bands are already there, but in place of the promoter we talked to is one who was asked to “fill-in” last second because the original had “business to take care of.” (Turns out that business was a fishing trip. Responsibilities a little skewed, right?). Show is a colossal failure. Venue wants to shut the show down by cutting band’s sets short and I don’t fucking blame them. I’d have done the same damn thing. That place was hemorrhaging money by letting the show go on longer than it had to.  The promoter blamed the entire failure on the out of town band that “couldn’t draw anyone.” (While in conversation with me he apologized over and over and told us he’d get us on a better show with a TON of money involved.) Again, we sold the most tickets. Biting the hand that feeds you, dude.

Now, a month before this I had played another show for this promoter with Psychostick, Polkadot Cadaver and Downtown Brown.  Nine bands on the bill. Yes, you read that right, NINE fucking bands. Load in had to be at 3pm. That’s how many bands there fucking were. Everyone was pissed, especially the touring bands who had no clue that there were so many bands on the bill, as they hoped  to be able to leave the venue before midnight or so. (Last band didn’t START playing until 1 A.M.)

Now, I forgot to mention I’d been approached by this gentleman to work with his “company” booking bands on small tours and national shows. It sounded good up until the details were laid out. Basically, I book the bands on my own dime, if the show does well, I keep the little percentage, he gets the big percentage (I can’t remember for sure but I’d swear he said a 90-10 split in his favor, but I could be wrong.)  If the show fails, I’m shit out of luck and lost out all of my money invested and he walked away scott free. No me fucking gusta.  I washed my hands of the situation after only twelve hours. Never even talked to or worked with a band for him.

This man’s name is John Kunz of Arrowhead Productions/Starless Agency.

This is also the same man who put together the Riverboat show where bands such as Sevendust, Taproot, and many, many more got fucked over when John made off with the ticket money. (I have heard he also got his hands onto the band’s merch money somehow, I’ll verify that soon.) All in all over $100,000 of debt was put on someone else’s shoulders that night because of him skipping out.

This is the same man who was mysteriously not prosecuted after his partner was found to be embezzling money from a local business (Ben Shawa. Google him.)

This is the same man who screwed over an entertainment related company for over ten grand and less than twenty and lost to them in court. He stopped paying his settlement fees. (I can’t mention details for fear of interfering with the suit.)

This is the man who ripped off a ton of bands at the Naughty Donkey Festival in Orleans, MI. (Whether Igorian likes to admit it or not, Kunz booked most of these bands. He made promises on Igor’s behalf that he knew Igor couldn’t keep.) He also pocketed buy –ons by lying about who was on the show in the first place. (The said DIecast was playing, who made a post about it on their Facebook page, disavowing the Naughty Donkey and said they had never heard from them at all.)  Speaking of Naughty Donkey, my friend Bobby Burns from Primer 55, who was on this show, had THIS to say about Kunz:

“”Since when did they spell cunts with a K and a Z?””

This is the man who claimed to be in charge of A2 Fest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He pocketed hundreds from local bands when in fact he had only planned on buying a stage to place some bands at A2 and never did. Those bands are all out their money and are not playing the show. (As far as my knowledge goes.) Kunz is now completely uninvolved with A2 Fest according to the actual promoter, Jeff Pittock.

The first time I was writing this I received a voicemail from John just as I was finishing the article. It was much shorter than this one and had a quote from one of the bands that he worked with. I can’t find the exact quote now, but basically the band, A Fall To Break from Arizona, paid Kunz for buy-ons to three shows and all of them failed miserably. He kept making the  promises he made me. “The next one will be better.” This band drove from Arizona to Michigan to play the Naughty Donkey festival, promised that there would be over 4000 people. There were 62. I think the math was off on that one.

Anyways, the voicemail called me a “small time internet publisher with no pull” and that he “wasn’t scared and we could meet up face to face if we needed  or have a conference call.” Fuck your conference call, Kunz. Fuck you, fuck Arrowhead and fuck your mother for handing you cash KNOWING that your fat ass was ripping people off!

The next show will not be better, John. You have definitely pissed off the wrong people and now it’s coming back to bite you on the fat fucking ass. You thought the last article was mean and you had it removed, so I’m not holding back this time. See, I have more information now. Over 300 comments on the original definitely had some information for me to browse over to help me hate fuck your career into the ground like a pissed off honey-badger.

So John, let me make this even more clear this time: I am coming after you. I’m not fucking stopping until you are broke and penniless. I’m not going to be happy until you have absolutely nothing left. Oh, I’ve already talked to several people who are going to be getting their court papers ready. Better scam a band to get a suit, because you’re going to need it for court.  You’ve misrepresented yourself, you’ve committed fraud and embezzlement, and it ends now.  You’re not going to be living the dream, you’re going to be living in a fucking box, assuming you aren’t in prison. I guess prison cells are kind of like big metal boxes.  I’m organizing every single fucking person that YOU fucked over and they’re going to take turns fucking your wallet until the only options you have left is either suicide or homelessness.

Why? Because FUCK YOU, that’s why. You don’t come into my neighborhood fucking my friends over and gloating about it, thinking you’re the shit. You don’t go around fucking over the bands who work their asses off. You wouldn’t know hard work if it bit you on the ass.

I remember what the fill-in promoter said to the pissed off nationals from The Agonist show, “Welcome to a John Kunz show.”

Welcome to the Doc Brown show, motherfucker. Where I make the rules and your opinion doesn’t matter.  You’re done.

Get out. Stay out.

Bringing The Family Back: Metal Doc Brown Speaks

 

Okay, so you’re probably all wondering what the hell this is about, as I’m sure you’ve seen it floating around Facebook. Here is the info: 

Metal Doc Brown is going to be hitting the road for some upcoming weekend speaking events. We’re going to be speaking about our experiences in the metal community, how we feel we can unite everyone and stop the bullshit that has been going on, Q&A, sharing some personal anecdotes, and generally having a fucking great time. We’ll have a merch booth set up where you can come meet us and harass us as much as you’d like. We’ll also be doing giveaways, contests, and all kinds of other crazy shit. We’re going to have bands playing and possibly other guest speakers depending on the date. We promise you’ll have a fucking blast. Email us if you’d like to host an event!

Band of the Day- Kill Tomorrow

Last weekend I was a judge at the Heavyweights in Grand Rapids, which was hosted at the Intersection. (They were amazingly friendly and made me feel right at home)

I’d listened to Kill Tomorrow’s recordings on their Facebook page several times and wasn’t really that into it. It wasn’t bad but I just couldn’t jam it. Then I saw them live.

These dudes owned that fucking stage. They had amazing stage presence and played a great set. There are videos out there to prove it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X-PLNhiZw5k

They have made a fan of me and hopefully these dudes will be headed out my way more often to play the Lansing and Flint areas. They had quite a few fans from Muskegon out to support them and I’m betting money they could make quite a few out here.

“Let’s Cuddle and Talk About Our Feelings.” by Metal Doc Brown

We are a very strange and diverse group of individuals. Some of us are covered in tattoos, piercings, scarification, implants, etc. Some of us look are not. Some of us have some of those things, but not all.

I used some way too much right there, I’m well aware of it.

My point is that not all of us can have the same taste in appearances, just like not all of us can have the same taste in musical preference. Thrash, Death, Grind, Hardcore, Rock, Nu, etc.

I really don’t care what people think of the music that I like. I used to have a complex about people telling me that a band wasn’t cool. I’d feel uncool for liking them. These days, I really could not care less. I still love Slipknot. I will jam Limp Bizkit every now and then just to hear “Rollin.’” I love Maroon 5, NWA, The Offspring, Digital Underground, Job For A Cowboy, Coheed & Cambria, It Dies Today, Nodes of Ranvier, the list could go on and on.

I’m just saying that we all need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about our musical preferences.

Topic two: If you don’t know anything about metal or rock, don’t try to have a conversation and pretend that you’re a fucking genius. It makes you look stupid because those of us who DO know what we’re talking about just think you’re a jackass. If you want to know something, fucking ask, don’t blabber your mouth and try to talk out of your ass until you make everyone want to punch you in the face.

I get that not everyone can be a walking dictionary of metal, but the next time I hear someone complaining that Meshuggah is ripping off Periphery and Veil of Maya, I’m going to choke them to death with my bare hands. At least know your fucking roots, people.

Band of the Day- Flood The Desert by Metal Doc Brown

I saw a band perform a few weeks back that blew my mind.

I saw them again last night at the Heavyweights. They didn’t win, but with Second place, Flood The Desert has definitely turned some heads. The crowd even chanted their fucking name. A LOCAL band had people chanting their names.

Flood The Desert is, I imagine, what the illegitimate offspring of Mastodon and Rush would sound like. These dudes are insane. A three piece with the sound of a much larger band and way more interesting music than most local bands, these guys are original, innovative, and extremely entertaining.

I’d keep my eye on these guys if I were you, because they ARE going places.

 http://www.facebook.com/floodthedesertImage

“You’ve Probably Never Heard of It.” by Metal Doc Brown (Justin)

Let’s be honest, we’ve said a lot of shitty things here at MDB. You’ve all said some shitty things.

But you know what?

We don’t give a fuck. We’ve never sugar coated shit and we aren’t going to start anytime soon, so if we aren’t your flavor of Kool-Aid, keep shopping. I hear Jim Jones makes a killer batch of the stuff.

We aren’t bad people. Ask anyone who knows us, we really do care about the scene and try to make it to shows as often as we can. I just drove to Grand Rapids from Mt. Pleasant four separate times to judge the Heavyweights 2012 with no payment. I didn’t expect to paid, fuck, I didn’t want to get paid. I met a ton of cool-ass people and that’s worth it to me..I could have been trying to convince people to buy MDB shirts and make money off of them. You know what I was doing? I was plugging every band I could think of to everyone I talked to and tried to network, you know, what you guys should be doing but usually don’t do. Talking to people is THE BEST method of promotion you have and most of the time you’ll just stand around talking to each other about how you wish there were more people at your show

Bands, another thing I think you should look into, even though it sounds stupid: Business cards. Seriously, people hang on to those damn things and will file it away for a later date.  Plus, venues will know that you’re serious about your shit if you take the time to actually buy professional business cards. I’m not saying you WILL be serious if you buy them, I’m saying it will at least give you the appearance of seriousness. Yes, I did just advocate the use of business cards to try to fool people into booking you. Why?

Because it fucking works.

Article up.

Pants Down.

-Justin