Things heated up in a bad way at New Zealand’s Westfest heavy music festival on Tuesday when Antemasque frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala reportedly chucked an onstage tanty and hurled a kettle of what some witnesses describe as “boiling water” at festival-goers.
Bixler-Zavala, also known for his work with The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In, reportedly appeared agitated during the supergroup’s set at Westfest (the Kiwi answer to Soundwave) with one fan telling the New Zealand Herald the singer wreaked havoc on the stage, trashing speakers, packing cases and his microphone.
“Every time he picked something up I was like, ‘Is he going to throw that? You just knew he was pissed off. The last thing he did was hurl his microphone down to the grass in the space between the stage and the crowd,” the fan said. “He was so erratic you never knew what he was going to do with stuff.”
But Bixler’s anger apparently reached boiling point when he reached for a plastic jug. Festival-goer Hugh Smith told The Herald he and his friends caught “the full brunt” of Bixler’s hot temper.
“Cedric threw a plastic kettle full of boiling hot water towards me and my friends,” he said. “We were standing about four, five metres back. I threw my hand up to catch it before it collided with my friend’s face… this bruised my hand and then splashed hot water all over him and my face.”
“It bloody hurt. My friend’s arm went all burny pink.”
Another fan, who asked to remain anonymous because he didn’t want to be known as a whining metalhead for the rest of his life, told the paper he was burned by the water, but said the injuries to his face and right arm weren’t serious enough to require medical attention.
Footage of the stunt has since emerged online, which you can check out below. The kettle incident pops up around 30 seconds in.
A Westfest spokesman told The Herald they were investigating the claim but had no comment to make.
Cedric’s onstage meltdown is reminiscent of the time his old band, At The Drive-In, cracked the shits at Australian fans at Big Day Out in 2001. At least he didn’t call this audience sheep. That might have had harsher consequences.
Antemasque’s appearance at Westfest followed a run at Australia’s Soundwave festival, where they played Sidewaves with Incubus and Le Butcherettes. To the best of our knowledge, Aussie fans remain unscathed.