Pelle Forsber, guitarist of Swedish black metal band, Watain, has been denied entry to the U.S., forcing the band to proceed on their U.S. tour as a four-piece.
The band was scheduled to tour with Morbid Angel for The 2019 USA Sickness Tour, which was to begin Nov. 21, in Houston, TX.
“Upon entry to the States last week, Pelle was unprovokedly taken into custody, locked up in a cell and interrogated during an entire night,” the band wrote on Facebook. “Only to finally have his newly approved US Working Visa, which he has been granted five times prior to this one, revoked and made void.”
The band further mentioned how the remaining four were also questioned and forced to abandon their tickets, one day before their scheduled departure.
“We would like to remind that this is not a cautionary tale from 1980s Soviet, this is Trump-administered border policy in today’s United States,” the band wrote. “This is what you get with an imbecile, Christian, racist ape ruling the nation and ‘defending it at all cost’ from anything that can be considered alien, and therefore unacceptable and potentially dangerous.”
The band mentioned how they contacted their lawyers and management after several days of attempting to enter the country, and were finally granted permission for the remaining members to enter the United States.
“We have barely had time to rehearse. Pelle has many other duties in Watain other than play guitar, many things have had to be reorganized.” the band said. We have already lost several thousands of dollars in lawyer costs, new last minute flights, new visa embassy appointments and so forth.
In early 2018, fellow Watain guitarist, Set Teitan, was accused of making a Nazi salute gesture, at a Stockholm concert. The band denied the allegations, stating an arm gesture was misinterpreted as a nazi salute. They further mentioned they have no personal or public ties to Nazi ideology.
“Watain never surrenders,” Forsber wrote. “Alvaro takes my guitar and Erik takes the bass once again. I’ll be back!”