Following the cancellation of their concert in Singapore on 7th March, heavy metal band WATAIN made a strong statement on their Facebook page condemning the Singapore government.
They sent a “proud hail” to their fans and followers from around the region who had travelled to Singapore in hopes of seeing them perform but were “robbed of their experience in the last minute by Singapore’s tragic excuse for a government”.
They added that they looked forward to the day when they can perform for their fans without the “interference from lesser men”.
In a statement to AFP, Watain frontman Erik Danielsson slammed the cancellation.
He said, “We have been touring around the world for nearly 20 years and believe it or not, never have we encountered such old-fashioned retardation,”
He described the decision as “self-righteous attempts to govern other people’s lives and decisions, as if all our supporters in Singapore were incapable of deciding for themselves”.
WATAIN’s concert was scheduled to be on the evening of 7th March and was initially approved the Info-Communications Media Authority (IMDA) who imposed strict conditions that ‘no offensive songs’ were allowed and that the audience was limited to 200 people.
However, concerns were raised over the past few days regarding the band’s history of encouraging violence and making religiously offensive statements. Eventually, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) advised the IMDA to cancel the event following a security assessment they carried out which concluded that the band’s history and message would go against public order and affect religious and social harmony.
In the end, the band held a meet-and-greet session with their fans outside the concert venue.
In their statement, WATAIN said that the government’s “cowardly act” has stirred the “cauldron of their misfortune” and that the “flames of discontent have one again been kindled”.