Swollen Members’ MC Madchild banned from entering the United States
Swollen Members’ MC Madchild (aka Shane Bunting) won’t be flying to Las Vegas, road-tripping to Portland, or shopping for flatscreen televisions in Bellingham any time soon.
According to a January 4, 2011 news release from the Members’ record label, Suburban Noize, the Vancouver rapper has been banned from entering the United States.
Bunting, who has been open about having an OxyContin addiction in the middle of last decade, was detained by U.S. customs officials while attempting to board a plane at Vancouver International Airport. The red flag evidently went up when he was identified as having connections to the Hells Angels, something that the MC says is now in the past.
In the release, Bunting states: "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."
The Swollen Members are set to release a new album, titled Dagger Mouth, on March 15, 2011.