They’ve been around since 1994, and bill themselves as “Canada’s Top Metallica Tribute Band.” But the local group Sandman made some international headlines of its own recently. This came after they were slapped with a cease and desist letter from the lawyers of Metallica themselves, pertaining to copyright infringement, “for using official, stylized logos to identify, or promote musical performances through Facebook and YouTube.” Sandman had been using the same logo since 2003 (from Metallica’s St. Anger album), so this all came as a surprise when they rolled in to a gig at a London, Ont. club. “The owner came around and said, ‘I have something for you,’” relates Rick Van Dyk, the group’s Mississauga-based bandleader, and singer/rhythm guitarist. “He had this FedEx package. It was a 41-page cease and desist letter.”
“I put it on the bar, took a picture, posted it on my Facebook, and it went viral,” he continues. “It went crazy. And after three days, it was going at such a level that it reached the (the members of Metallica).” After posting on Facebook about the letter, Sandman’s lead guitarist, Joe Di Taranto, promptly received an interview request from legendary Rolling Stone magazine. “And, right after the interview, Lars (Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer) called him and said, ‘We love you guys. We checked you out, and everyone in the band feels really badly,”’ says Van Dyk, a 46-year-old father of two. “They posted (the story) on their website – right on metallica.com – which is quite shocking.” According to Metallica and their management, they were unaware of the cease and desist letter until it appeared online. They’re attributing it to “a very overzealous attorney,” whom they joked has been put on a flight out of San Francisco “to go permanently ice fishing in Alaska.” They told Rolling Stone they’ve always supported the many Metallica tribute bands out there, and in fact started out as a cover band themselves. They instructed Sandman to “file that letter in the trash” and gave them approval to keep doing what they’re doing. “They’re in the Top 10 grossing bands of all time (with 110-million-plus records sold, worldwide). It’s unprecedented for them to calm this story down,” the Brantford native adds.
“They said they’re coming on tour here in the summer, and they’re going to VIP treatment us. (They sent us) a licensing agreement. Now, we’re an endorsed Metallica tribute band. We’re part of the Metallica family.”Sandman has since posted a new band logo. Meanwhile, its booking schedule has picked right up – including a KIA ad, army bases and bigger clubs. Van Dyk recently appeared with Toronto alt/rock greats The Headstones on their reunion tour, and can be heard playing lead guitar every Tuesday with Groovestone, at Roc ‘N Doc’s in Port Credit. The Sandman lineup also includes drummer Brent Niemi, and bassist Paul Fonseca. “Before this blew up, I wanted to start doing more (with Sandman).
- Rooms have a Maximum Occupancy of 4 – All Room Occupants Should Arrive Together
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- Rain or Shine
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Who is it for?
Tickets: Various packages available
$199 – $549
How to get tickets?
WHEN & WHERE
Date & Time:
Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 7:00 PM – 11:30 PM