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Byzantine - Official Statement

Byzantine have posted the following message on their official website regarding dropping off the International Extreme Music Tour:

"OK. Just so everyone knows exactly what is going on with us, here is why we are not doing the IEMF tour. We were screwed by Jeffrey Churchwell at Digger International. There we no internal problems with the band. Yes, OJ had a death in the family. That’s not the issue. No, no one in the band is addicted to anything. We were fully prepared to do this tour. We have signed contracts with the venues. We just ordered new merchandise. We were in the process of securing more reliable transportation for the tour. In short, we have been taking all the steps necessary to do this tour. I will state this again clearly: We were screwed by Jeffrey Churchwell at Digger International. That is why we’re not on the tour.

Stating that there were “circumstances beyond our control” is nothing but PC horseshit.

We did two tours previously for Jeffrey. This first was with GIZMACHI prior to their Ozzfest tour. It was crap. It was originally going to be with SIX FEET UNDER as a headliner, but Chris Barnes is a dick and didn’t want to tour with us or GIZMACHI. So he dropped it and took another tour. Since Jeffrey already had the shows booked, he sent us out anyway. Only he didn’t send new contracts. That’s right, BYZANTINE and our boys in GIZMACHI did an entire US tour with void contracts. Naturally, he never bothered to tell us this until we were already on the road.

The second tour was the one we completed yesterday with our new friends HELL WITHIN. Now we did our homework and budgeted and new full well that this was a bullshit tour. We’re talking horrible routing, very low guarantees, and no headliner. There was no way we were going to be able to afford to do it. But, Jeffrey told BYZANTINE that if we didn’t do it, he would kick us off the IEMF tour. He essentially held us hostage and made us do a shitty tour in order to for us to be on IEMF.

Driving home two days after completing the shows he booked (he routed us to Portland and let us figure out how to drive 2500 miles home with no money), he tells us we’re kicked off of the IEMF tour. The kicker is that he gave us no reason. He just said we’re off. We held up our end of the bargain and did these shit tours and then he screwed us.

Now we don’t know if there was some sort of political pissing match going on somewhere that caused this and we don’t care. We got hosed and I, for one, am hungry for payback. If you’re reading this, take the time to repost it anywhere and everywhere. Fuck Jeffrey Churchwell and Fuck Digger International! If you happen to live in the Chicago area (where Digger is based) and have a baseball bat……….. And if you happen to know anyone in the music industry who understands the word “ethics” (I know that might be stretch), please give them our CD.

Sincerely,
Tony Rohrobugh
BYZANTINE"
28 Aug 2005

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