Soundwave festival boss AJ Maddah’s six craziest Twitter beefs

Bless you, AJ Maddah, for single-handedly keeping popcorn-eating gifs in circulation. With the 2016 Soundwave event officially cancelled Maddah and ticketing company Eventopia got involved in a public fight, but it didn’t quite scale the heights of past feuds. Here are some highlights from Maddah’s time shouting at people from his @iamnotshouting account.

1. AJ Maddah vs Travis Barker

In 2013 Blink-182 were booked to play Soundwave but at the last minute drummer Travis Barker pulled out, citing the inability to schedule a boat trip as he doesn’t fly. He also claimed that there were no buses booked to get him from city to city within Australia. Maddah went on the rampage on Twitter, saying that not only were buses booked but that Barker was demanding his performance fee even though he cancelled and had threatened to prevent the rest of the band from showing if he wasn’t paid. This one ended amicably though, with Barker saying they were given “wrong information” and Maddah that they “were both fed a lot of nonsense by a 3rd party looking to start a fight”.


2. AJ Maddah vs The Madden brothers

Good Charlotte headlined the original Soundwave in 2004 – so long ago it was still called “Gravity Soundwave” – and whatever happened between the Madden brothers and Maddah it soured their relationship for years. When Maddah retweeted a petition to “get the Maddens out of Australia” Joel Madden chided him with the words “Keep talking shit brother it suits you”. It doesn’t take much to set Maddah off and that was more than enough. He accused Madden of making a young girl cry by telling “fat jokes” about her at the festival and “Supporting PETA and animal rights 1 minute and sucking Colonel Sanders’ cock the next.” Ouch. Once again, this one ended with a phonecall and make-up session.

3. AJ Maddah vs selfies

Soundwave wasn’t the only festival to ban selfie sticks this year – Lollapalooza and Coachella both appealed to the cranky old man demographic by doing so – but Maddah wasn’t content to just update the entry conditions. Instead he tweeted: “Dear people with those fucking camera sticks: please have some consideration for people behind you trying to enjoy the show.” Maddah’s thinkpiece on millennials can’t be far off now.

4. AJ Maddah vs Trent Reznor

When Nine Inch Nails allegedly pulled out of the 2014 Soundwave Festival just five hours before the lineup was announced Maddah responded the only way he knows how – a real angry tweet. “Sadly Trent wants to be mainstream now and reach Justin Timberlake’s audience”, he wrote. The band’s frontman Trent Reznor responded by saying that “I think your bill sucked and I’d rather not be on that bill.” To demonstrate what he thought a better bill would look like, he then announced a co-headlining Australian tour with Queens Of The Stone Age.

5. AJ Maddah vs Megadeth

This one kicked off when Jason Newsted’s band Newsted were kicked off the 2014 Soundwave lineup, with initial reports blaming headliners Megadeth for demanding the change. Both their tour manager and frontman Dave Mustaine denied this, and then Megadeth pulled out of the event. Maddah’s response was unusually opaque. “I don’t like being asked to lie. Nor do I like being extorted. But at the same time I don’t want to lose an act off the festival.” He went on to tweet directly at Mustaine that he was “punishing the fans who have no part in any of this.”

6. AJ Maddah vs Adelaide city council

In 2014 Soundwave forfeited a $10,000 bond for breaking noise restrictions, which Maddah blamed on complaints by “one guy in North Adelaide.” In 2015 it happened again, with Maddah tweeting that the $10,000 was being kept by Adelaide City Council after receiving only two complaints. “Bravo ACC. Bravo.” However, the Council claimed that it wasn’t complaints but breaking of noise restrictions that led to the fine, saying that the limit of 110 decibels was exceeded for 41 percent of the festival’s running time. Maddah disputed that figure and when was told about the fine before the festival’s climax announced that he was letting Slipknot and their sound guy “off the chain” in revenge.