Huntress Tour Blog: Jill Janus Reveals Guitarist Eli Santana Was Attacked + Arrested
Huntress are in the midst of a European tour with Amon Amarth + Savage Messiah, and Huntress frontwoman Jill Janus is giving you some insight into life on the road with this new Loudwire tour blog. In this entry, Jill shares more stories from what she's calling "the most interesting Huntress tour ever." What makes her say that? Read on in her blog below:
So, this is officially the most interesting Huntress tour ever. And we're not even half way through. The last time I wrote, I had just filled in for Amon Amarth vocalist Johan Hegg when he lost his voice briefly. After hosting the show in Plymouth, England at The Hub and performing 'Guardians of Asgaard' I thought things couldn't possibly get more interesting...
Stoke-on-Trent. The show at the Sugarmill was sold out, the crowd was fantastic, true metalheads. Outside on the street, a different story. Pubs crawling with amateur drinkers, just turned 18, unable to hold their liquor and ready to brawl. As we were loading out gear, I warned my American bandmates that these English kids are not to be f--ked with. Stay cool. All they do is drink, fight, f--k, repeat.
Here's what happened next. Eli Santana (guitar), Ian Alden (bass) and Tyler Meahl (drums) were leaving a bar next to the Sugarmill while Blake Meahl (guitar) was starting up the van. As the boys were walking towards the van, a kid -- we'll call him Drunk Wanker -- yelled "Terrorist" at Eli Santana. And then it all went to s--t within seconds. A group of English boys surrounded Eli and started beating him. Eli fought back, Ian and Tyler jumped in to protect him. Blake was already in the driver's seat, and before he could get out of the van, Eli was put into handcuffs and thrown into a police car. The officer would not take statements from Huntress. He said that even though he didn't see Eli hit anyone, Drunk Wanker's friends said it was him. Drunk Wanker was now crying like a sissy girl on the sidewalk. "Your mate will be lucky to get out by tea time," the officer said to Blake. Seriously, what in British hell just happened?
I think the theme for this tour is "The show must go on." We waited all day for updates from the police station, then finally found out Eli would not be released by stage time. Having already helped the Plymouth show from being canceled, I jumped into showbiz mode again and reworked the Huntress set with my bandmates. "I'll be with you up there, just do what ya do, I'll handle the rest. We're in this together" is what I said to them. "Blake, you know these songs in your sleep. I'll get the crowd clapping or yelling during Eli's solos, in case ya botch 'em...no one will hear!" We stormed the stage and held it down. We tore through seven songs, bringing the fury, staying tight with each other, and sometimes just laughing otherwise we'd be crying. All we could think of was Eli in prison.
Back in the dressing room, we got word that Eli had been released. Blake and I hauled ass from Manchester back to Stoke-on-Trent to get him. As soon as we saw Eli, we bear-hugged him. On the drive back to Manchester to get the gear and boys, Eli told us the torrid tale of his 16 hours in jail.
According to Eli, "I found out that during the fight, someone was hit and he was in the hospital with a broken jaw (the Drunk Wanker). I'm starting to worry because my release is now postponed. So I started doing push-ups, even trying 'prisoner style push-ups' where you do a handstand against the wall ... but I'd been hit so much on my head that it really started hurting. I didn't want to fall asleep since I most likely have a concussion. After 14 hours in a cell, I was taken to the interview room. A solicitor was waiting. 'We don't know why you're here, we saw the video footage.' And I was all, 'Oh my God, there's video.'" She goes on to say, 'It's pretty grainy, but what we can clearly tell is there's nine people fighting, one person being attacked by at least three people at once, and one other person that's obviously trying to help.' Another sergeant comes in and says 'Looks like it was a good person in a bad situation getting attacked by scum. Let's get you outta here as fast as possible.'"
"Then I had to watch the video with them. It was obvious I was the one being attacked. The video was pretty grainy but you could see someone step in and just lay out the kid with the broken jaw. That was kinda badass. It's interesting to see the arresting officer on the video pushing past all the English guys fighting, walking straight to me, wounded on the side, and putting me in handcuffs. Before I went to jail, I thought it would be like Elvis in 'Jailhouse Rock' and you get to hang out with your buds. Nope. I'm not ever going back."
Luckily, Eli Santana didn't sustain any serious wounds and wasn't charged with any crime. The Drunk Wanker is still in the hospital with a broken jaw. And about that shadowy figure in the video, laying out Eli's main attacker and breaking his jaw with one punch ... Huntress sends a warning to all racist, ignorant Drunk Wankers of England: Don't f--k with American bass players.
Our thanks to Huntress’ Jill Janus for her latest Loudwire column. The group has several more European dates ahead of them, as they are booked into mid-February. See all their tour stops here.