Canada's KATAKLYSM recently returned home after two separate very successful shows in St-Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. Unfortunately, upon arriving in America guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais was pulled from line at customs and detained by federal agents.
Commented vocalist Maurizio Iacono: "Well, this was one odd week especially yesterday. First, we finally flew out to Russia for the first time and we didn't know what to expect. There's always been this grim picture painted of that country to us. Having said that, we thought we'd arrive under dark skies, with rain and depressed looking people everywhere. Instead, we arrived to sunshine and enthusiastic people that looked happy and energetic and we were through customs in matter of minutes. So I said to myself, 'This will be interesting.' We were soon greeted there with open arms by the promoters and we were off. We played St-Petersburg first then Moscow. The shows were fantastic and everything was top notch. Fans knew all the lyrics and went ballistic! We even had Russian special forces soldiers stage diving! It was just a crazy, all-around good time and the shows were packed! I could have stayed there another week but we said our goodbyes and headed back home.
"We arrived in Washington D.C. with a layover to Chicago where I live now (the rest of the band still live in Montreal). So we grabbed our bags and went through immigration with no problems, as expected. As we're waiting in line for the customs exit, some uniformed guy grabs J-F and takes him away with his bags. We assumed it was just a random check.
"So we make our way to our next gate for our plane and realize it's been over an hour and there's still no sign of J-F. This was 4 p.m. I go back to the customs area and the place is deserted. At this point, we started worrying and asking questions but we received no answers. We decide to board our plane at 4:30 p.m. with still no sign of him. Someone from United Airlines tells me finally he won't be joining our flight but still no reason is given. At this point I'm like, 'What the fuck is happening?'
"So we jet out of D.C. and get back to Chicago where the guys were staying over at my house until today to go back to Canada. After fruitless calls to the airport we just decided to wait for some sort of sign of life. That sign came at 11 p.m. in Chicago at O'Hare airport.
"Apparently, Washington customs official grabbed J-F and threw him in a room with only one chair and a table. He was there for five hours until they finally talked to him and they told him that he was wanted internationally and by the U.S. government. I could have imagined his face when they told him this, it must have been priceless. People that know J-F know he couldn't hurt an ant. He's one of the most down-to-earth and sweetest people you could meet. After a few hours of denying everything, Interpol sent in a picture and that picture didn't match his. What happened was that there was another Jean-Francois Dagenais that is listed in the FBI's most wanted list and they thought they'd caught him. I mean, what the fuck!? He was given a tap on the shoulder and apology and rebooked to Chicago! Even though we were really worried, all of us laughed it off at the end. It's just ironic that we expected this to maybe happen in Russia, but in the end it ended up happening right here at home!"
Fan-filmed video footage of KATAKLYSM's April 11, 2009 performance at the Blender Theater in New York as the support act for NAPALM DEATH can be viewed below (courtesy of "loginkill").