Lamb of God Not Playing Malaysia Gig Following Death Threats and Government Ministry Decision
After reports surfaced last week that government agencies in Malaysia were looking to ban Lamb of God from playing their Sept. 28 gig at the Rockaway Festival in Kuala Lumpur, a decision has now been made to prevent the American metal band from performing in the country. In addition, the promoter of the festival at which Lamb of God were to play also nixed the show because of death threats to the band.
The Communications and Multimedia Ministry in Malaysia decided to cancel the concert after a meeting of the Central Committee on Applications for Filming and Performances by Foreign Artistes took place Wednesday (Sept. 4). According to the Star Online, the reason given was that the band’s performances “were found to infringe on religious sensitivities and cultural values of Malaysian society.”
Last month, it was the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia that first raised objection to Lamb of God’s scheduled performance, citing the band’s lyrics and song titles as objectionable, even pointing out that some songs contained verses from the Quran.
Meanwhile, the concert organizers themselves decided to cancel the show after the band started to receive death threats in wake of the attention the gig received because of the debate mentioned above. On the festival’s Facebook page, the promoter Livescape stated the following:
“It is with utmost regret that we announce the cancellation of the Rockaway showcase that was to feature the Grammy nominee band, Lamb of God on September 28 in Kuala Lumpur. This difficult decision was made after thorough deliberation by us at Livescape and taking into account the objections raised by various groups as well as life threats made by certain irresponsible individuals towards the band members themselves.”
Meanwhile, Lamb of God themselves released their own statement, saying:
In response to the growing controversy and public protest within Malaysia, and on the advice of our management, we have elected to cancel our show in Kuala Lampur. It is very evident (and a bit frustrating) that the groups, parties and powers that have taken the most offense to our music and lyrics, have themselves only made a passing glance at the content and meanings of those songs.
We would invite anyone offended by our music to engage in a discussion regarding the true motivations behind our work, especially before publicly slandering us based on assumptions and shallow misinterpretation.
We sincerely apologize to our amazing fans in Malaysia for the cancellation. However, in light of recent events in the band’s history, and given the increasing fervor of the media coverage regarding the Malaysian controversy, our management feels that the environment surrounding the upcoming show is becoming increasingly volatile. More than anything, we do not wish to jeopardize the safety of our crew, our fans or ourselves. Many thanks to all who have spoken out in our support through this.
The statements from both the concert promoter and Lamb of God can be read in full at the Rockaway Festival Facebook page.