The ordeal took place in Santa Ana, CA, where Morrissey was to play the Observatory, and the other bands in the Constellation Room, also housed in the same complex. PAWS first brought the matter to attention last night through a Facebook post [via Consequence of Sound] that has since been deleted. In it, the band complained that Morrissey was "trying to have our slot at tonights [sic] show in Santa Ana, California cancelled because he is playing in another room in the same venue and wishes for there to be no other artists performing in his vicinity."
PAWS called Morrissey's demand "an unbelievable act of complete and utter selfishness that should not be tolerated," referred to him as an ego-maniac and lambasted his alleged "complete disregard for others and a baffling lack of support/respect for young, hard working musicians."
We Are Scientists later tweeted that the issue had been solved by pushing the set times to after the Morrissey concert wrapped, with PAWS starting their opening set at 10 p.m. PDT.
Today, Paws issued an additional Facebook message that detailed how Morrissey's management allegedly tried to pay them not to play, leaving the group feeling as if they were being "bought out" of a performance.
An excerpt from the lengthy post reads:
We received a call from the promoter/venue telling us that Morrissey, who was also due to play a show tonight in the larger room at the venue, had requested that no live music be heard during his set. SO, in order to adhere to curfews, this would mean that we couldn't play our opening slot as it would clash with Morrissey's and We Are Scientists' headline show would be cut short and heavily delayed (until after Morrissey's show). We were then informed that in respect of this cancellation, we had been offered to be paid double our guarantee for our troubles as per a clause in the contract for the show, but it was also asserted that we didn't really have a choice in the matter; for example, we didn't really get any sort of option to try and make the show work, it was just very cut and dry. So in short, we were essentially getting paid not to play.
The message also mentions that Morrissey had apparently threatened to cancel his own concert as the first Facebook post made the rounds on the internet, and that the singer's manager was demanding an apology from the bands over the exposure.
UPDATE: A rep for Moz has told Pitchfork the following: "Morrissey had nothing to do with this. As long as there was no sound bleed, Morrissey was completely fine with another show going on inside the same complex."
In the end, all acts managed to perform in Santa Ana, but not without more online ribbing from We Are Scientists, who delivered the following scathing tweets about Morrissey's performance:
No lie: Morrissey just asked his audience, "Are you discontented?" Yes. Yes, we fucking are, dummy. #MOZoleum— We Are Scientists (@wearescientists) May 9, 2014
The @itsmorrissey show was the laziest, most milquetoast piece of shit I've ever had the misfortune of suffering through ten minutes of.— We Are Scientists (@wearescientists) May 9, 2014
Spent the first 20 minutes of @itsmorrissey set wondering how they got a luau pig into a TopShop blazer. Then I realized IT WAS MORRISSEY!— We Are Scientists (@wearescientists) May 9, 2014
Turns out the reason @itsmorrissey doesn't want competing noise is that it might clue people into what singing in tune sounds like.— We Are Scientists (@wearescientists) May 9, 2014