Home World Music AJ Maddah Has Been Quietly Paying Back All His Soundwave Debts

AJ Maddah Has Been Quietly Paying Back All His Soundwave Debts

Untitled design 2024 04 01T163016.643
Untitled design 2024 04 01T163016.643

Can you believe it’s almost been a decade since we lost Soundwave? The beloved rock, punk and metal festival collapsed in 2015 amid a mushroom cloud of controversy, encompassing promoter bankruptcy, conflict over ticketing refunds and a paper trail of millions of dollars still owed to dozens of artists from the previous years’ event. It was, as the French would say, a shitshow.

In the years that followed Soundwave’s gruesome demise, we haven’t heard much of a peep out of the fest’s ill-famed boss, AJ Maddah. But now, Maddah has re-emerged on the scene with a new touring company and a new pledge to make amends.

triple j’s Soundwave 2014 Highlights

As The Music reports, Maddah responded to a post about Soundwave 2016’s cancellation in a Facebook group entitled The Soundwave Society, revealing that he’s spent the past eight years working to steadily pay back all of his Soundwave debts, even though he doesn’t legally have to.

Noting that all said debts were “legally extinguished” after Soundwave’s parent company successfully filed for bankruptcy, the promoter revealed: “I still voluntarily and with no obligation send out monthly payments to bands and local creditors. It will take a few more years, but I hope [to] have everyone paid up.”

Last month, Maddah further elaborated to The Music: “There is still a long road ahead, but things are accelerating with the success of my new companies. Next week I am sending money to the Aquabats and Steel Panther as well as five local suppliers. By the end of the month I should have Lamb Of God paid in full and a few others over the halfway mark. In April, I plan to send money to Godsmack… We will get there!”

He also revealed that he was “working as many and whatever jobs I could and sending out whatever I had left at the end of the month, to someone who was owed” in his long-running bid to right all of his past financial wrongs.

However, before he was able to start paying back all the bands who were owed, he first had to spend two years getting square with “the loansharks who I had to resort to in order to make sure Soundwave 2015 actually happened and that the people who bought tickets got their show”.

“There is a legal dimension where all these debts are extinguished once you have gone through administration/liquidation/creditor settlements,” Maddah said. “And then there is a moral dimension where you carry this burden with you forever and it is always on your conscience that you let people down. People who were by and large my friends.”

He continued: “Despite all the legal and financial advice to walk away post-settlement and never look back, as I was legally entitled to, there was never a question in my mind that that I would make amends to people, especially those who were so kind to me despite being left out of pocket.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Maddah also opened up about the psychological toll that the whole fiasco took on him, but nonetheless accepted full accountability for letting himself fly too close to the sun in his pursuit of putting on a good show.

“The truth is that I had not had a lawyer or any legal advice until things went south. If I had engaged even the most basic legal advice, I would not have entered the agreement to try and rescue Big Day Out, which was basically walking headfirst into a $12 million loss, which started the domino effect that eventually fucked everything,” he said.

“I was so obsessed with putting on a big show that my thought process was clouded. ‘Oh we can have lawyers, or how about we use that money to add two more bands to a festival line up!’” he continued. “I booked $3 million worth of bands and additional stages after Soundwave 2013 had already totally sold out to ‘reward the fans’. Really stupid. Everything went back into the shows.”

Maddah went on to say that he was “totally broken mentally, physically and spiritually” for the first six months after Soundwave collapsed – an experience that “shattered [him] into a thousand pieces”.

He explained: “I am alive thanks to the intervention of family, friends and the odd paramedic. But you slowly get your resolve back. My new mission in life was to make amends and that drives you forward one step at a time.”

Today, Maddah is back promoting live music events, launching his new company ThePhoenix.au last year. He’s already gifted Aussie punters a handful of international tours from the likes of Static-X, Don Broco, Polyphia, Avatar, Devin Townsend, Wednesday 13, Mudvayne and Of Mice & Men, with upcoming tour projects headlined by SkilletThe Damned and HIM’s VV.

Further Reading

Here’s How Much Money Soundwave 2015 Acts Are Owed

Here’s How Many Soundwave 2016 Tickets Were Sold Before Its Cancellation

The Truth Behind The Death Of Soundwave Festival

The post AJ Maddah Has Been Quietly Paying Back All His Soundwave Debts appeared first on Music Feeds.

Source: musicfeeds.com.au