Keep Portland Weird

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We use only the finest Portland ingredients: Stumptown weirdness sprinkled with local, anatomically correct music. Yum.

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  1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCTOBER 9, 2007

    ASIAN DANCE-ROCK OUTFIT THE SLANTS BANNED FROM HAWTHORNE THEATRE OVER
    “FIRE-BREATHING” INCIDENT

    Portland, Oregon-based Asian dance-rock outfit The Slants – Simon Young
    (bass), Aron (vocals), Jen Cho (keyboards), Gaijin (keyboards), AC
    (drums), and Jonathan (guitar) – were banned from one of their hometown,
    Portland, Oregon all-ages venues, Hawthorne Theatre, today after being
    kicked off-stage October 3rd in the middle of their set.

    During one of their songs, front man Aron uses a Bic lighter and lamp oil
    (pouring the lamp oil in his mouth and blowing it out hard on the Bic
    lighter, mixing air with the lamp oil to create a fireball effect) to
    “breathe” fire. Quickly after Aron did this, the stage manager for
    Hawthorne Theatre ran on stage, berated him and the band, and kicked them
    off stage. This was their first time performing at Hawthorne Theatre.

    The band has this to say about the incident and ban:

    “The stage manager ran on stage and decided to scream at us in the middle
    of our set, in front of the audience,” states The Slants’ bassist Simon
    Young. “Rather than explain the club’s policies, which we were unaware of
    and had previously not been informed of, the club’s stage manager decided
    to handle it this way, which was unfortunate.

    “We quickly got off stage, as requested, and decided to avoid any further
    confrontations and to leave the venue. Because of that, the club, in an
    email to us today, stated that we were being arrogant and rude, and that
    was part of the reason they did not want us back.

    “Everyone in the audience, the other band on the bill, and even some of
    the staff of the Hawthorne Theatre told me that the behavior displayed by
    the stage manager was unacceptable. After this experience, we have no
    problem with not playing the Hawthorne Theatre ever again. I would
    recommend the same thing for any artists considering playing and for
    future patrons to avoid the venue if at all possible.”

    Young further explains that he’s “heard of many other bands being treated
    poorly by the Hawthorne Theatre before, but I wanted to give the club the
    benefit of the doubt and do our best in promoting the show and in our
    performance. We spent quite a bit of money on full color printing and
    advertising, as well as many man-hours promoting the show. In fact, most
    of the flyers that the venue put out themselves had no mention of The
    Slants, which made sense to us on the day of the show, because from the
    moment we arrived at the club we were treated like we weren’t wanted. Many
    of our fans even came up to us before we played and complained that the
    staff treated them rudely, too. Some of our guests that we put on the
    list were denied and had to pay a cover to see us, even though when we
    turned in our guest list we were told it was acceptable. The overall
    experience for us as a band was horrible. Rather than being treated with
    respect, we were yelled at not once, but twice by the Hawthorne Theatre
    staff. Once because we wanted to have a fan introduce the band before we
    performed. And second, because of Aron’s fire-breathing.”

    Here are the facts of the lamp oil The Slants use, provided by the
    manufacturer and confirmed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health
    Administration):

    1) Auto-Ignition Temperature: 392 degrees F
    2) Fire and Explosion Hazard: None
    3) Contains no harmful chemicals or carcinogenic ingredients
    4) Non-hazardous as defined by OSHA Classifications
    5) Level 0 reactivity hazard by both NFPA and HMIS, only a level 1 for
    both flammability and health risk (which is extremely minimal)

    Source: http://lamplightfarms.com/pdf/msds_ultra_pure_lamp_oil.pdf

    It should be noted that Aron’s fire-breathing is a common occurrence
    during The Slants’ live shows, and no other venues in Portland, or the
    Northwest, have complained during similar performances (including
    Conan’s, the venue that previously occupied Hawthorne Theatre’s space).

    FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT ALEX STEININGER AT IN MUSIC WE TRUST
    PR – alex@inmusicwetrust.com or 503-557-9661.

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