NewsMarch 7, 2024 10:37 AM ET13,277 views

Escuela Grind issue statement about Tour Manager and Driver accusations

Escuela Grind 23

The onset of 2024 hasn't been smooth sailing for extreme metal outfit Escuela Grind. Following the release of their latest EP, DDEEAATHHMMEETTAALL, vocalist Katerina Economou suffered an injury during a Dallas show. A month later, guitarist Thomas Sifuentes parted ways with the band, citing safety concerns. Subsequently, the newly hired tour driver, Destiny Harper, was dismissed, and she leveled allegations of gross misconduct against the band and tour manager.

On Wednesday, March 7th, we received a letter from the attorney of former tour manager Chris Cotter, addressing the allegations made by Harper.

Today, Escuela Grind have released their one and only statement on the remaining matter:

We have publicly stayed quiet about the conflict between our previous driver and previous tour manager. We felt it best to first let them each have their say.

The band faced challenges during a six-week tour where we were responsible for many supporting bands. We hired a full crew for the very first time. Mistakes were made in the hiring process, ultimately causing issues the core members had never experienced before on a tour.

Ultimately, we made mistakes. We tried to do what we thought was best, and in the end it wasn't. We did not know about the personal issues between our former driver and TM until they posted about it online. We immediately parted ways with him. We failed, but we have learned.

Our driver quit on their own terms. They were not abandoned. They chose to go when they did, and we did not know about their plans. Their flight was nonrefundable and non-changeable. The driver was paid in cash weekly. We mailed a check to them for their final week so that we had proper proof of receipt and deposit. We have many receipts of us trying to get in touch with them to pay them t hrough alternative methods like Venmo. etc.

We take blame for not making our expectations clearer and properly vetting our driver.

There was never a moment where either the TM of driver approached us about the concerns they presented in their statements. If approached, we would have acted on this information immediately. Absolutely nothing verbal no physical was observed in the times we were present. There was never a moment where our TM seriously expressed that he was uncomfortable with the jokes being made on tour. Jokes and nicknames were created just like any other tour. The TM encouraged and instigated many of these jokes, and it appears he is trying to absolve himself of wrong doing by misrepresenting facts, while still admitting to his inappropiate behavior towards our former driver.

We understand that we let our fans down over the last weeks with our inabilitiy to address this situation directly and that has been difficult. Thank you for bearing with us. Bands work in environments where social boundaries are constantly crossed. It seems like a paradox; to find the balance between having crazy fun tour and being strait-laced professionals. We are working throught our growing pains.

This is our final statement on this matter. We now focus on moving forward, and working to be the best we can be at all times. We love y'all always.

 

The above statement was posted along with the following post:

TL;DR: Addressing recent claims. Our previous driver chose to leave and was not abandoned. We tried to pay them but they were unreachable. We fired our former tour manager despite his claims. No complaints of the issues raised in either TM or driver's statements were raised during the tour. TM participated in jokes and banter, now falsely accusing to deflect. Tour dynamics challenged by balance between professionalism and fun. Mistakes made in crew hiring process. We take full responsibility for our inability to manage situation and vetting process. Much love and gratitude from Escuela Grind.




Related News

THE VANFLIP PODCAST
THE VANFLIP PODCAST
#142 - Jorge "Hoya Roc" Guerra of Smoke AxD/ex-Madbal

Lambgoat's Favorite Albums of Q1 2024
Lambgoat's Favorite Albums of Q1 2024
A list of great records from the first three months of the year that we can't get enough of.