Opinionated Metalhead: Kilpop and the Devil in Disguise
The Vegas Music Summit is here again. Brought to you by Kilpop , Smash Magazine and more. For those of you who don’t know what this event is about; It is a 3-day amalgamation of Q&A sessions, workshops, performances and meet and greets with
metal and hard-rock artists from Las Vegas. The 3-day event is coupled with after-parties planned out in venues around the Grand Hotel & Casino at Fremont Country Club and Backstage Bar & Billiards along with a bunch of unofficial events sporadically booked at other venues. At the end of the Summit the Kilpop Awards commence, hosted by the much loved Chris Kael , FFDP’s bassist, who is a large supporter and contributor to the local Vegas scene.
As with any award show, there is always some sort of drama and controversy as a prelude to the actual event. This event was no exception. It was announced this week that Devil in Disguise, including members of the now dissolved band
Desire the Fir, will be included as a featured artist for the event. This has triggered an uproar within the local scene from both band members and fans of the scene. People have been taking to social media to condemn or come to the defense of both Kilpop and the band.
“Fake News” Article posted yesterday 01.23.2019: https://fakenewsfactcheck.blogspot.com/2019/01/fake-news-alert-rock-band-devil-in.html?fbclid=IwAR1_sUZlx9M1DPY-YepmlqBtB3ug5-ZDdcoTX9ZbZDTUF1iSJenygzxqFOI
For those who do not know the back story here, the bands performance was cancelled after photos circulated of the
vocalist Cody Elliott (aka Cody Leaveau) posing in front of a Neo Nazi flag and blatantly racist comments were made on a post on social media about Avocados of all things. He stands accused of womanizing behavior and Neo-Nazi sympathizing beliefs from numerous parties. When accusations arose, Cody became defensive and place blame primarily on his spouse. Band members resigned over this incident to distances themselves from behaviors and beliefs they do not share or condone, but not before some colorfully worded posts in response to message on their band page arose. I was unable to locate any official statements from Century Media regarding their cutting of ties with the band they had originally signed.
Based off commentary from anonymous sources, I’d like to key in on the fact that Brian Saliba, who is part owner of kilpop and the special events coordinator for Clark County, is knowingly supporting a group who is racist. The fact he works for the city and our tax dollars pay him makes this not only an offense to those in the music industry and local scene but also to the tax payers and residents of Clark County.
When you control what bands are booked and what events they get to play you should expect and uproar and do the right thing. Not ignore the outcries and keep going about
your business as if you aren’t doing anything wrong. There are so many other bands and artists you could easily replace them with. And I’m not sure if you’ve heard their poppy version of metal that they are passing for music, but let’s be honest Kilpop could do so so SOOOOOOOO much better than the garbage this band is trying to regurgitate into our ears.
Kilpop and their associated contributors should have done a better job at vetting and preventing situations like this. This isn’t “Old news” from “sooooooo long ago” this was surfaced in May 2017. Any publicity is good publicity unless it is a PR nightmare involving racism. The vocalist has not made a prominent enough attempt to apologize for his actions, the statements made or try make amends for the actions that triggered the dissolving and blacklisting of his previous band. There is a continued defense and inclinations that Devil in Disguise have used paid marketing to bolster their current “Fan Base”.
My personal stance on this is that there should be Zero Tolerance for intolerance of
any kind. Whether it is racism, gender equality, homophobia, etc.… The local scene is about acceptance of everyone and is a tight knit group. Once you desecrate that bond and bring forth a close minded intolerant point of view, should you really be allowed back in the circle with out prostrating relentlessly to those you have offended? The bands initial response when screen shots were provided does them no favors. Telling people to mind their business and being tolerant to bigotry is 1000% WRONG.
Kilpop your tolerance of this is damning. I hope that you will eventually learn from this situation and not repeat such a huge mistake in the future.
Update: since the publishing of this article an official statement has been issued by Kilpop and the Vegas Music Summit as of 6pm PsT 01.24.19