British heavy rockers Orange Goblin are touring the United States after their drummer Chris Turner was unable to travel to the country despite the band going through “red tape and hoops” enforced by the current administration.
The band offered a lengthy statement on Facebook on the process they went through for applying for a work visas and reaching U.S. soil — to no avail in regards to Turner.
An excerpt from the statement reads: “Despite starting our visa application process over 3 months ago, despite having one of the top companies put our petition in, despite the endless red tape and hoops we had to jump through we were only given a last minute embassy appointment. At that appointment Chris was told that he would have to provide extra information for ‘Administrative Processing’, this despite having had 6 US working visas previously, as well as a US social security number.”
The “extra info” required is a laundry list of personal identification history: “15 years international travel history (every single Orange Goblin show outside the UK plus every single personal and family holiday Chris has taken), 15 years address history, 15 years employment history, all the names and birthdays of his entire family, every phone number and email address he’s used in the last 15 years and all his social media info.”
The band continued, “Bear in mind Chris has no criminal record (even had a clean driving license for over 30 years), He is not a member of or affiliated with any political group or organization and he hasn’t travelled to a blacklisted country.”
The info was submitted by Turner within the deadline, according to the statement, yet he was still not issued a visa and given no further information; nor has his passport been returned.
As the band describes, not playing the shows would “bankrupt” them due to already incurred travel and gear transportation costs — “Orange Goblin would cease to exist.” Fortunately, the band was able to secure Ottawa-based drummer Chad Walls as a substitute so they can embark on their scheduled run. Described as a “drummer for hire”, Walls has previously filled in with Exciter and toured with ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno.
Turner also offered a separate statement, clarifying that he hasn’t technically been denied a visa and declaring that the Orange Goblin statement from the day prior was “not politically motivated”.
“It’s been reported that I’ve been denied a visa,” wrote Turner, “Not strictly true. My application has been picked out (without explanation) and put into ‘Admininistritive Processing’, a process which requires a whole load of extra information from me and can take several weeks with no guaranteed outcome and no updates. Technically speaking I may yet receive a visa but not within any useful timescale for our US shows.”
Read the full statement from the band below and Turner’s statement here via Metal Injection.
Orange Goblin’s brief U.S. tour kicks off tomorrow night in New York City, and runs through a September 2nd show in Los Angeles. See the dates below.
Orange Goblin U.S. Tour Dates:
08/27 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
08/29 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
08/30 – Cookeville, TN @ Muddy Roots Fest
08/31 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
09/01 – Austin, TX @ Come & Get It Live
09/02 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theatre