After the recent events that took place in El Paso, Texas, people have been on high alert at Walmarts around the country. So much so that multiple phone calls were made to police when people noticed a dark van with "suspicious characters" in it at the parking lot of a Walmart in Forest Park, Illinois.
Turns out, the van and its inhabitants were just a death metal band in their touring van. The band, Torn The F*** Apart, was resupplying during a tour and had been parked for an hour when a police car pulled up to the van.
The band's frontman, Michael Langner, recalled the situation in a statement made to MetalSucks.net:
“In the morning we had stopped and parked in the back of the Walmart parking lot in forest park, IL to stretch out and grab a few things after a night off of tour and enjoying the Chicago Domination Fest. We had been there for about an hour as our drummer was inside the store getting a few things, and about 15 mins after he went in we heard radio dispatch from behind the van and noticed a cop car pull up behind us. Just as quickly we saw three more pull up and surround us.
“After a few minutes of answering questions, the cop said that they were there because they had received multiple calls about a dark van with “suspicious characters ” in it. After all IDs were checked they knew that wasn’t the case. The cops were very professional and respectful to us after they realized we were no threat to anyone, and they even took pictures with us as though we were under arrest, and played along with us to tell our drummer we had warrants and were under arrest when he came back to the van.
“We don’t blame the cops for doing their jobs; they handled it well. But it was upsetting that we had been profiled for the way a “metalhead” looks. This isn’t something we haven’t encountered before and life goes on. Now we get ready for our last show of the tour Saturday at the Chicago Domination Fest.”
Sounds like the situation played out in a positive result. I've been to quite a few metal shows and the fans are probably the coolest, most loyal fanbases out there. Most people don't realize that the overwhelming majority of death metal bands are just putting on an act which could play into the stereotype that they're into murdering people.