Tuesday, August 9, 2016

About Dopethrone gigs in Finland and facebook post by Dopethrone

Gure Hitzak received some days ago serious accusations by the band Dopethrone and their manager (Nico from Dead Pig Entertainment) so here is a statement to defend myself according to them, explain a bit the context of the whole situation and assume some mistakes. 
First of all, it is absolutely false, like Dopethrone pretends to mean in their fb post describing some "shady deal", that me, Jon Gure Hitzak, tried in any way to steal money from/rip off Dopethrone. They know it well, but it seems that their intention was more to cause harm than state the things as they really happened. Actually was all the opposite, the purpose in my actions was that Dopethrone wouldn't loose a cent of their fees when there appeared some unexpected spends while booking their gigs. Tampere, and Helsinki promoter know well about this. And actually Dopethrone left Finland with extra money on top of the previously agreed fees, that of course they got in full. This all is absolutely provable. 
In Dopethrone's fb post is also mentioned that I was given a "second chance to tell the truth" etc, that refers what happened after the gig in Turku and I have to say it's absolute bullshit. What happened was that after the gig TVO's people gave the gig's money (Dopethrone fee + extra money tha included the money to pay the other bands) to the Dopethrone agent while I was outside TVO momentarily. Then when I came asking for the money, as the local promoter I was together with TVO, Dopethrone agent denied having it while TVO was telling me that he did. Then started a big argument between me and Dopethrone's agent as I never have seen anything like that in the 17 years I have been booking bands: a band's agent hides the gig's money in their merch box, money that was for paying the support bands also, so money that Dopethrone didn't have any right to handdle or hold. Then I faced the absurd and paranoid situation in which I was accused by Dopethrone's agent, the one who actually was holding the money, of being suspected of taking that extra money for me, money which I still even hadn't seen in that moment, and which I didn't know how much it was, just cause I really didn't have the chance to put my hands on that money!!!. The deal with Dopethrone for this gig was a fixed fee, they didn't ask for afterbreak deals (provable) so wasn't negotiated ANYTHING betwen both parties in advance about the possibility of extra money after their fee but still Dopethrone's agent acted like was his property already. I also had a deal with TVO that was that 70% after covering all spends (including Dopethone fee) was going for paying the other bands (provable, mentioned in the emails with TVO) and also more for Dopethrone, if that was possible obviously. My expectations were low, (as my emails with TVO proves) I was going to be happy if there was some money for gas for my own band (Gangrened) and something for the local band. But then happened that the gig went really well and there was much more than that, but Dopethrone's agent got it in first place. Wouldn't be more smart if, for whatever reason the headliner band's agent gets in his hand all the money of the gig, after counting it to give it to the local promoter to manage it (as it should be) as the agent, have the guarantee that he cant get fooled by the local promoter cuase he knows what's the total? Seems not, hiding it in the merch box and denying it was a better move apparently. 
So because of that I was accused of doing terrible shady deals. Dopethrone's representantive for their nordic dates that I was negotiating with for these gigs NEVER asked for afterbreak deals (money share after covering all spends) thats provable in the emails I sent with him, while at the same time my expectations were low for Turku in TVO as i said. Then Dopethrone agent gets all the gig's money and started the paranoia. Cause that was a constant with this agent and Dopethrone, a "ripping off paranoia": they asked to my band mates (like if they would be also my band's agent too !?!?) what money we got in Turku. The bandmate of mine who answered to that wasn't updated of the situation so they automatically thought I ripped my band mates off too (?!?!) and they were saying that to people (trashing, bashing me out of that). More, when Tampere promoter told them about the extra money I asked for they automatically thought was that I was taking that money for me, when Helsinki promoter backed my version they immediatly accused me of doing it (asking for that money) cause I didn't want to tell to my band mates that that spend was going to be deducted from the gig's fee, and so on,.... then the bullshitting statement from their side. 

No promoter was really ripped off neither as they described it. Motivated by a already tense situation between me and Dopethrone representants (which I explain later) and as a quick and easy solution for a unexpected spend and with no other purpose than to cover this unexpected spend (which I explain later too), I asked to Tampere promoter for a little bit more of money. He acepted easily and the reason I told to him for asking for that extra money was as a compensation for the lack of hotel accommodation as, by then, I was demanded to host Dopethrone in hotels for the 3 gigs, stressing cause seemed only possible in Helsinki, and not even for all. The night of the gig I explained all of this to the Tampere promoter, what the money was for. He seemed ok about it then later that night, while it seems Dopethrone and agent were trashing me already, he told to the band and agent. Then the day after they posted that fb statement and forced Gangrened to dont play in Helsinki. 
I shoud say that there was a context that led to this tense and kind of paranoid situation, it started already since the begining while Dopethrone Finnish gigs were being booked. I was told, while I was working on it, that there was some kind of trusting issues with me from Dopethrone agent. This created certain stress and pressure in me for 2 reasons: First, in the almost 17 years I'm booking tours and gigs never started booking a tour being told a lack of trust towards me. Partly because, second: I couldn't understand where these trusting issues could come from. Simply cause Gure Hitzak in the last 3 years or so have only booked a handfull of tours and gigs, like one or few tours and few or around gigs per year, working like in a "low profile mode" and getting just gratitude (provable, emails etc,.. I'm talking about like 5 or 6 bands, few more maybe) either from tour managers, agents or bands about my work, so I didn't understand or couldn't imagine where that could come from, and that caused some pressure on me. 
With this working environment of lack of trust towards me there started to appear some serious problems, like it can happen with any other tour. Like the cancellation of the gig from Gong in Turku due to a summer break which added more heat. And then, on top of that, Helsinkis local promoter wasn't going to pay hotel for all Dopethrone crew (getting out of budget I guess, understandable) giving as an alternative the cancellation. I told this whole issue to the Dopethrone representantive, who at that time was demanding hotel in all the 3 gigs (later it changed but that was the demand on that exact moment), so the heat increased, and I was told to find a solution, to suggest to deduct it from Dopethrone fee maybe would have been the normal thing to do, but after fees been set and all this tense.... I just came with this solution that I described above: asking Tampere promoter if they could pay a bit more, he accepted to pay without issues, and I told him that the reason I asked the money for was to compensate the lack of hotel accommodation, AS by then, again, I was being demanded by band representantives hotel in the 3 gigs for the band and crew. MY MISTAKE was not to tell the band's representantive about this extra money I asked from the Tampere promoter and ask for it in the name of the band. But my purposes anyways, as the events prove, were no other than solving a problem and keeping Dopethrone's fees intact, as they were before this issue with accommodation in Helsinki. I have the bill of the extra double room needed as a prove. 
I have to point that Gure Hitzak made 30€ with these gigs, provable too. 
I faced with Dopethrone's agent what were those trusting issues he had with me, most significant thing he told me was bullshit.... certain agent, who is not working with this certain band for some years already, inventing things never happened, totally provable (band going to a gig and gig doesnt exist, but happens that there are pics and videos of all the gigs, ha!). A band arriving to a venue and no gig happening is the worst thing a promoter could do. I would say you have to be a really bad or fucked up promoter to do that, not a guy with a experience of 17 years booking bands, it's needless to explain I think. I wouldn't blame Dopethrone's agent having trusting issues with me after hearing that but the way to deal with them.... talking bullshit has affected a lot all of this mess from the beginning (to the end also as I will end this statement) plus dealing with a guy like Dopethrone's agent haven't been nice cause raising suspicions all the time is not any good. Trusting issues should be faced directly, then start working in a clean partnership or not start working at all, if there are going to be suspicions around all the time. This is also related to the fact of people those know me or even have collaborated in any way in these gigs reposting Dopethrone's status without caring to ask me about it first - what happened to get a better picture of the whole thing. Internet bashing is never anything good.