Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation)
SPB: What is the worst you’ve been screwed by a venue or promoter? (No need to name names…unless there is.)
Ryan: There's a guy named Mitch that runs a venue called Ground Zero in Spartanburg, SC. We were on a tour that was booked during a gigantic boom in tours at the time -- EVERYONE was out touring at the same time and I don't think many of them were doing great because of it.
So many agents do this -- they just book and book and book all their fucking bands at the same time so everyone's competing. Anyway, we arrive to the venue, totally exhausted, this absolute asshole at Ground Zero just says "Ticket sales suck, you can play but I'm not paying anyone". Our tour manager got super pissed, got in his face about it and the dude called his buddies to come protect him. He just sits and brags about how he brought Slayer fucking 25 years earlier like any of us give a shit. Then he called the fucking cops on us after we did in fact play.
We weren't going to stiff the fans that did show up, but this dude sure had no problem stiffing us. He called the cops at the end to have us all removed from the property because our TM had gotten really angry at him. The next time we come to SC we played somewhere else and I mentioned to the crowd how glad I was to not be playing for that douchebag Mitch. The place ERUPTED in applause. Countless people came up to us afterwards telling their stories of this asshole and that they totally understood where we were coming from regarding him.
OF COURSE, some bootlicker goes and tells his ass and now I'M the bad guy. He goes on a tirade online about me, that I'm a shit talker, blah blah blah. One thing I've NEVER done is stiffed someone after signing a contract. This guy gets it. He knows nothing's gonna happen. He fucked over the entire tour package which was rather extensive and had a lot of bands on it. But I'm the asshole here to him. He fucks over an entire package, I say one little thing to an audience who was unanimously in agreement about this dude, but yeah... I'M the big asshole new, sure, yeah, that makes all the sense in the world. Fuck that dude. Never went back and never will.