Metalcore Frontman Calls Out Venue for Taking Cut of Merch Sales

At a recent show, Lochie Keogh, frontman for Australian metalcore group Alpha Wolf, called out the venue his band was playing at for taking a significant cut from the merchandise sales of all the bands on the tour.

The moment was captured on video and one fan shared it Twitter (see video below), calling it “absolutely fucking colossal” while expressing support for Alpha Wolf.

The practice of venues collecting a portion of any band’s merch sales has become commonplace, but it doesn’t mean that artists find it favorable. After all, musicians have endured a prolonged period of time off the road due to the pandemic and, now that they’re touring again, they’re faced with rising expenses, such as fuel. Factor in travel costs to get from Australia to North America, in Alpha Wolf’s case specifically, and it’s easy to see how quickly the financial situation mounts.

Exactly what prompted Keogh’s outburst we can’t be sure of, but he was fired up towards the end of the show and addressed the crowd, stating, “Before we go, I want to mention every band on this tour is selling merch over there — we’re all trying to get the same shit done. It doesn’t matter whose merch you buy, any bit of money you spend helps, especially when these dirty fucking venues are taking 20 percent of it from the bands playing tonight. It’s like… we’re not making any fucking money anyway. You’d think venues doing that could afford some good fucking air conditioning but apparently not. All right, so if you have any money to spend, fuck the bar, spend it he a shirt.”

While others were sympathetic towards Alpha Wolf having to give one fifth of their merch cut to the venue, some didn’t feel it was right to instruct fans to stop spending money at the bar since the bartenders rely heavily on tips. “‘Fuck the bar’ is scummy though. The bartenders didn’t decide the merch cut,” wrote one commenter. Another rhetorically asked, “Do you think the bartenders work on commission?”

Others scorned the tipping system that is common in the US and lamented that consumers must take on rising inflation, which leads to increased tips, when instead the employers should just pay their workers an honest wage so they don’t have to rely on tips.

Alpha Wolf’s North American tour continues through early September and you can see all the upcoming stops here. They’ll also release a split EP with Holding Absence titled The Lost & The Longing he Aug. 15. See those details further down the page and watch the music video for Alpha Wolf’s latest single, “Hotel Underground” directly below.

Alpha Wolf, “Hotel Underground” Music Video

Alpha Wolf + Holding Absence, The Lost & The Longing Split EP Artwork + Track Listing

Alpha Wolf + Holding Abscence, ‘The Lost & The Longing’ Split EP

SharpTone Records/Grayscale Records

1. “60cm Of Steel” – Alpha Wolf ft. Holding Absence
2. “Hotel Underground” – Alpha Wolf
3. “Aching Longing” – Holding Absence ft. Alpha Wolf
4. “Coffin” – Holding Absence

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