”With this statement we wish to clear the situation and compelling facts which led us to cancel our last two shows in the Russian tour last week, in Tambov and Ryazan respectively.
After the show in Krasnodar on Wed 11th April our backstage was seized by local immigrant officials which led to a series of events for the next 12 hours: first they confiscated our passports, then interrogated us via our tour manager for several hours and then they declared we are ”illegal workers” in the country cos we had only tourist visas yet were performing in a ”commercial purpose”. And because the fine could be paid to them only at a bank, they decided to put us in ”home arrest” in a local jail until the banks opened in the morning. Yes, in an authentic South-Russian urine-smelling no-lights drunk tank. There was no sleep that night, you can guess. Luckily they cleared the cell from the low-life scum they had imprisoned previously…
Afterwards it seems that we actually had really the worst of luck in this case, cos an event this serious hasn’t happened before as far as our tour manager was concerned. Also many bands from Finland and other countries have played and toured in Russia with only tourist visas and everything’s been alright. Seems that the Krasnodar local immigrant office just wanted to clean their public badges with this operation.
We wish to send our apologies to the fans in Tambov and Ryazan for the cancellations but it was really the only reasonable thing to do. We didn’t want to risk spending another sleepless night in jail for ”repeating our serious crime” in another town. Our freedom and personal privacy is not for trade, not even for the best concert experience we could imagine. And we surely had great experiences at the shows we played in Russia – the warm welcome, insane passion and enthusiastic attitude of the local metal fans was really impressive, more than we could ever imagine for being such an underground band anyway. In that matter it feels even more fucked up to cancel shows – which we rarely do – cos we had really cool expectations for the final two shows in Tambov and Ryazan.
We also wish to send our deepest greetings to our tour manager Maniak ”Koniak” Rocky for taking care of us in times of strife and trouble, understanding the dead-end situation we were forced in and helping us out in every way possible during our trip.
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Axegressor / Jussi, Seba, Atte & Aki