Were you at Exit/In last night for the Naked Without Us show? Did you see Armed Forces play? Ha, that was fucking weird! Here’s what happened, according to Mr. Brandon Jazz, who prefaces his account by saying, "To avoid any claims of libel, slander, or blasphemy from the other side of this argument, I will present my account of the events of 4/21 in the most factual, objective manner I possibly can."
I was asked, as Armed Forces, to perform at the Naked Without Us fashion show event on 4/21 at Exit/In. After being given a multitude of incorrect information regarding my set time, set length, and band order, I set up for my performance. At 8:55, 50 minutes before the time that was communicated to me multiple times throughout the day, I took the stage with the current Armed Forces lineup: three beautiful young ladies and pre-recorded instrumental tracks of classic Armed Forces hits. We proceeded to sing, dance, gyrate, and jive through three songs out of our five song set before the plug was pulled on our performance. While Mr. Billings Gimmell shouted at us to "get the fuck off the stage" and questioned loudly "what the fuck was that?", we proceeded to thank the attentive and responsive audience for their time, apologize for the abrupt departure, and politely pack our things. It was announced that Chancellor Warhol, a friend and respected MC in his own right, would be finishing the remainder of our set...rapping to pre-recorded beats. It is worth noting that while Mr. Gimmell was inexplicably dissatisfied with the magical powerpop we presented him, the Exit/In staff was nothing but polite and courteous, happily cashing in our drink tickets for refreshing beers.
I later found out that my female cohorts, while backstage, received a verbal assault of their own. By accounts that I have no way of verifying personally, one young lady had her purse forcibly yanked from her hands and tossed into the parking lot, spilling its contents in the street. Another allegedly received a hand to the face accompanied by some version of "get out of here, fattie" or something. Again, I wasn't present so I can't confirm specifics. What I do know is that if there is one thing more insulting to an artist than to take away their music while they sing out their heart and soul for a packed crowd, it is to physically and verbally assault their band. While I understand that Armed Forces isn't for everybody, nobody deserves that manner of violence and humiliation.
That's all I have to say on the matter.
Full disclosure: I was the “drummer” for Armed Forces last night. I was asked to show up and read a book behind the drum kit while dressed in something ridiculous: It was basically the full-band version of the Armed Forces show at the Scientology Celebrity Centre. While everyone involved (including Gimmell) was very nice to me throughout the evening, I did witness a purse being thrown in the back parking lot and a hand in someone’s face as she was shoved out the door. That was seriously, seriously fucked up, and completely unnecessary. I don’t know what, if any, words were spoken between the other girls and whoever was backstage, and I don’t know who did the throwing and shoving; all I saw were hands.
Again, I was personally treated very politely. I tried to speak a little bit to the involved parties, and the gist of it was they found the performance “disrespectful” because “there are people’s moms here.” (There was a Jack Daniel’s bottle filled with watered-down Coca-Cola being passed around onstage.) Do you have any idea how weird it is to try to be the peacemaker when your tits are hanging out of a T-shirt that says “cocaine”? I do! Thanks, Naked Without Us!