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Pennywise explain Warped tour bus fight

Written by John Ritchie on August 11, 2010

In an interview with Altpress, Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge told his side of the story surrounding the events of the Warped Tour Sunday night fight in Denver. Dragge and Pennywise bassist Randy Bradbury were involved in an altercation with members of Alesana. Dragge says the incident stemmed from a misunderstanding and had nothing to do personally with Alesana.

Dragge explains:
“We were coming back from a bar across the way from the Warped buses in Denver after the show had ended. We saw what we thought was the RV of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. We’d been hanging out with those guys and since it was our last night on the tour, we wanted to drop by and say goodbye. They were driving a very distinctive RV, and I thought it was the only one on the tour. Apparently Alesana have the exact same van. We walked in and nobody was there, so we sat down thinking somebody’s gonna pop up or something. That’s around when [Alesana’s] tour manager came onboard and said, “What are you guys doing here? Who are you? You need to get out of our vehicle.” He was totally in the right. It was a situation where we thought we were in one place, and the tour manager for Alesana didn’t recognise us. Of course, if the roles were reversed and we found people on our bus, we’d tell them to leave, too.

When asked how the confrontation started Dragge stated:

“Their tour manager said we had to go, and I think I said, “I’m gonna make a sandwich real quick.” That’s typical, smart-ass drunken Fletcher behaviour. He went outside to get some of his team members to get us off the RV. This isn’t a bus; we’re talking about a pretty small area. All of a sudden, there’s me and Randy and six other guys in this kitchen area, and I think someone grabbed Randy’s arm saying, “Let me escort you off the bus.” It wasn’t violent. But everybody had been drinking and push came to shove. It’s kind of a blur, but it turned into a little bit of a melee. For us, we felt a little bit trapped in there because there was only one way out and there were people in the door way and people coming at us. We were in the wrong. We were in the wrong place and [Alesana] came to get us off their territory. It turned into a situation where we felt like we were outnumbered, even though we’re obviously older and bigger than those guys. It turned into self-defense mode. It went on for a little bit, and everybody took a couple bumps. In the middle of it, I think their TM realized who we were and that we just didn’t know where we were. Then it became about getting Randy off the RV. That’s when the cops rolled in and took control of the situation, or I guess, me, with the taser. All I saw was more people coming up the stairs who I thought were gonna do some more damange, and they wound up being officers of the law. They blasted me with the taser about five times, but I used to be an electrician, so I’m used to it. [Laughs.] We weren’t looking for a fight. We were just looking for the Rev.

Alesana and Pennywise will be be on the Soundwave tour this year but according to Dragge we are unlikely to see repeat of events.

“It’s just that with Warped Tour, there are so many people crammed in such a small space for six weeks. That’s part of the fun of it. But in the morning, you dust yourself off and start another day. We have nothing against those guys and we’re thankful they dropped the charges. I’m sure we’ll end up on tour, having a beer with them and laughing about it”.

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