It was announced back in September that ONSLAUGHT vocalist Sy Keeler would sit out the band’s upcoming Thrash Invasion Tour of The US and Canada through October and November due to health issues with his son, reports Bravewords. The band hired former Anthrax vocalist NEIL TURBIN for the tour, guitarist Nige Rockett stating “I believe he’s one of the only guys in the genre who could step into Sy’s shoes. I think It brings a unique edge to this tour and I’m sure the fans will really dig what they hear.”
Two days before the end of the tour, however, Rockett revealed during an interview with Heavy Metal Television’s Susie Von Slaughter that Turbin had been fired following the band’s November 24th show in Anaheim, CA.
Rockett: “Things never really started off well with Neil. He had a reasonable amount of time to learn the songs. He turned up at the first show in New York with a prompter on stage, and that prompter was still there yesterday.”
Turbin initiated damage control via Facebook a short time later with the following statement:
“I agreed to do the Onslaught tour to fill-in for Sy Keeler who couldn’t do the tour due to his son’s illness. I turned down the offer three times because it was very low. I agreed after Nige Rockett wouldn’t let it go and kept after me and increased it slightly. The contract was signed a month before the tour and that’s the amount of time I had to learn an entire set of complex lyrics and vocals. There was no time on the road, except for poor situp sleeping in the van and numerous nights without hotel rooms, driving straight from gig to gig. That being said, up front it was shared with Nige that the only way I could sing the proper lyrics would be with some help, since we never rehearsed once and four weeks was not enough time to learn the amount of lyrics.
On Monday before showtime in Anaheim, I had a meeting with Nige and let him know I needed to be paid each of the last three shows the money that was owed to me which was a few hundred dollars, so he did not confirm or assure me that I would be paid and it was suspect the fact that he collected all the money from the Brazilian tour dates, even thought the tour cancelled. In Montreal before we played there were major arguments by some of the other members, with Nige expressing concern that they weren’t being paid. With this concern heavily in mind, I asked Nige Rockett, who told me he needs to get paid $2000 by Nate (tour manager). I then spoke with Nate Klug, tour manager, who said that all the money is going to the van and said Nige was supposed to pay me. When Nige didn’t on Monday night after the Anaheim show, I then told Nige and the band C-ya. No Pay No Way No Show! Therefore his interview providing false information about what happened is just damage control.
I left the tour on Monday by my own accord of not being paid for the final week of the tour. Nige Rockett stating that I was fired because of a teleprompter is total rubbish. I would like to add that whatever they pay Sy Keeler should be increased to double the amount to tolerate the verbal abusiveness and passive aggressive behavior of Mr. Rockett.
I quit the Onslaught tour due to non-payment. Nige had no intention of good faith and no intention of paying me. That is the only reason I am not playing the last shows. The rest is Nige Rockett damage control and anger venting.”
Rockett responded with the following, ramping up the war of words:
“Mr. Turbin was paid in full each week as per contract. If he states otherwise, we have evidence to confirm each of these payments. In fact, Turbin was paid over 300% in excess of what any other Onslaught band member was paid per week! So no, Neil was not ripped off, Neil was not done wrong, Neil got paid! Ask him to deny what I say!”
Watch for an official statement from Onslaught/Neil Turbin in the coming days.