Last week Godflesh's head honcho, Justin Broadrick, announced that the entire U.S. run of dates for the group's upcoming mini-tour have been cancelled due to problems the band encountered obtaining visas. In a Facebook status that was posted earlier today, Broadrick went into greater detail about the tour cancellation:
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.
Broadrick lays the blame squarely on the U.S. government , but he stops short of saying the current government shutdown is definitely the reason the band wasn't able to obtain work visas in time. But, let's be honest here, the shutdown in Washington is totally the reason you won't be able to see Godflesh live until next year. What other reason could there be for the Citizenship and Immigration Services to completely cut off contact with the band's lawyers? Godflesh aren't the only metal band to be screwed over by the government shutdown either. Earlier this month, Japan's Church of Misery had to postpone some dates on their tour because they couldn't secure work visas either.
This probably isn't going to change anything, but if you had tickets to see Godflesh or Church of Misery on their respective tours, you should definitely call some or all of your Congressional representatives and yell at them for ruining the country and, by extension, your plans to see heavy metal bands. If you want to call the clowns who directly caused this mess, here's a list of 32 Tea Party buffoons who are most responsible for the shutdown. If you're not the grassroots lobbying type, why not call and bombard them with Godflesh's "Christbait Rising" over and over and over again? At the very least, this will function as the cathartic experience you would have otherwise gotten at the Godflesh show.