Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe wrote a lengthy statement defending his band’s decision to cancel their European tour following terror threats on the continent. The outspoken singer explains in the post to his Randonesia Tumblr that the group had carried on with the tour even after learning of the deadly attack on Eagles of Death Metal’s Paris show, playing dates in England and Germany, before news of “a specific occurrence” that Blythe does not explain in detail prompted the band head home. Although he did not specify the event, he later mentioned that guns could have gone off in his venue.
“I don’t feel like constantly wondering what the security climate in the next country we are scheduled to play in is, playing terror alert hopscotch through Europe right now just to play a few fucking heavy-metal concerts,” he wrote. “I’m glad I’m home. I feel like I made the right decision, and that’s all that matters to me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” At another point, he wrote, “I’m not going to play around with my life or the lives of others if I feel there is a dangerous situation I could potentially stop from occurring by simply saying, ‘The show is over.'”
Over the course of his 3,545-word missive, Blythe explained the course of events that led to the decision. The band played in New York City within a month of 9/11, he wrote, and ran through a list of other dangerous situations in which Lamb of God played: a state of martial law in Bangkok, civil war in Ecuador, natural disasters around the world. He was in London when the ISIS-led attack on Paris’ Bataclan venue took place and felt sickened and heartbroken as he watched the events unfold. “I could clearly envision it happening as it went down,” he wrote. “I’d played that club several times before.”
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Lamb of God played the next night in London and then proceeded with gigs in Birmingham, England and Stuttgart, Germany. But when they arrived in Tilburg, Holland, their tour manager informed them of the specific event Blythe mentioned that made them rethink touring. “It made me immediately say, ‘Fuck this, I’m not going on that stage tonight,'” he wrote. “At that moment, [playing] no longer felt like the right thing to do anymore, not at all. … It felt foolish, it felt irresponsible, and it felt potentially very, very dangerous.”
Although Lamb of God opted not to continue, their tourmates in Children of Bodom and Sylosis chose to go on, beginning with a gig Sunday night in Switzerland, according to Blabbermouth. Blythe wished them and any other bands on tour in Europe well and hoped that they would return home safely.
Metal group Five Finger Death Punch recently canceled a gig in Milan when they received a tip that ISIS had been plotting an attack on the city. “We did our best in a very short amount of time to work with the local promoter and authorities to ensure that security would be adequate,” a statement from the band said on Facebook. “Unfortunately, we did not receive confirmation in time to satisfy our requirements and to ensure that our fans would be safe at the event. Therefore, we were forced to postpone the show to a later date.”
“I can deal with people disagreeing with me and my actions, no problem,” Blythe wrote at one point. “I could not deal with a news story that reads, ‘Hundreds die at Lamb of God concert; authorities say potential warning signs were ignored by band.’ … Better safe than on CNN.”
Lamb of God will resume touring again on December 5th with an appearance at Knotfest Mexico in Toluca, Mexico. After that, they will embark on a North American tour, beginning on January 15th, with Anthrax and Deafheaven.