Published Jan 04, 2011As he told us back in 2009, Swollen Members rapper Shane "Mad Child" Bunting has had a storied past, including bouts of drug addiction and some well-documented affiliations with the Hells Angels. Now, Mad Child's past life has come back to haunt him as the Vancouver-born rapper has been banned from entering the United States.
In a press release, Mad Child made the following unedited statement:
I was on my way to meet my brothers in Swollen Members to perform some shows in the United States. I went to go through customs at the Vancouver Airport, and I was pulled into the Customs waiting room. I must have sat there for three hours before I was even called up to the desk, which was odd considering there was hardly anybody else in there waiting. When I was finally called up, the agent started questioning me about being a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club and when I replied, 'No', he just continued to repeat the question over and over again. After five more hours of waiting, watching him go back and forth, looking on the internet and asking me the same questions over and over again, I was finally called to the front desk. He asked me another series of questions and after a total of eight and a half hours of questioning I was told that I was officially banned from entering the United States.
The thing that is frustrating to me is that I am being judged for the people I associated with and for some trouble I had back when I was a minor over sixteen years ago. In the last year I've managed to defeat my drug addiction and really worked on changing my life to become a better person. I've even started speaking at high schools here in Canada to talk to kids about the perils of drug addiction and hopefully use my journey to inspire the youth to avoid the pitfalls that I fell into. It's extremely disheartening to me to know that after turning my life around, it feels like a second chance is evading me. Unfortunately when entering the United States, I'm not judged on the person I am today, but rather on my appearance and whoever the customs officials perceive me to be, which is discrimination.
Despite the bad news, Swollen Members have just put the finishing touches on their upcoming album Dagger Mouth. The record is slated for a March 15 release via Battle Axe/Suburban Noize. Until Mad Child can clear up his customs issues, however, the band's promotion of the record will be left out of the United States.
According to a video posted on The Juggalo Empire (no, seriously), Mad Child will also be releasing a solo album called M.A.D.E. in 2011. Little else is know about the project, but the clip is available below.