A band is called upon to perform in the most controversial nation in the world.
The Controversial Gig
"What the fuck were you thinking!?"
"I thought it would be a good idea."
"Yeah, well, you should have consulted us before you signed us to play in North Korea for the president when he shows up there!"
"You guys are playing for the President of the United States of America, and you're tell-"
"It's in North Korea! Imagine what that will do to our public image!"
"You guys will be in the news."
"For playing in North Korea!"
This is the current argument of Alexa in Metal lead singer, Jacob Dyson, and the band's agent, Norman Tarrett. Dyson was furious over the fact that Norman signed them a deal to play for President Damien Powell, a man who was recently elected. President Powell was consistent in his campaign to the presidency with his North Korea policy, which was, in short, to reach a peace agreement and assist the nation in rebuilding itself and ending its nuclear program once and for all.He also became a popular internet meme because of his defining chin strap beard.
The President was able to secure a deal to fly over to talk with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. The President was vocal in the White House over the fact that he wanted a chart topping band to play the national anthem for him as he left his plane and Alexa in Metal were the only ones to accept the offer. No other band looked to be part of this controversial trip.
"I can't fucking believe this," exclaimed Dyson.
"Look, just calm down, the band is getting a lot of money for this," assured Norman.
"I don't care about the money, I care about not going on this damn trip!"
"And I understand that, but we need to think of the monetary gain we will receive from this."
"By making the band look bad?"
"No, from playing the national anthem in a foreign nation."
"And by making the band look bad."
"You're not seeing the bigger picture here."
"The bigger picture here is that you're a fuckwit that we shouldn't have hired!"
After this outburst, the drummer of the band, Stacey Springfield, chimed in.
"Jacob, you need to calm down. Maybe this trip will be the best thing for all of us," said Stacey
"It's a trip to North Korea, though! It's going to make us look bad," replied Dyson.
"I highly doubt a trip to North Korea to play the national anthem will make us look bad. Besides, look at Dennis Rodman. He went to North Korea and no one hates him for that."
"Dennis Rodman is a man who is currently reported on as a crazy man whose brain was destroyed by years of drug use, a North Korea visit isn't the craziest thing he's done."
"That's a fair point, I guess," replied Stacey, as she slumped back into her chair. The rest of the band, guitarist Francis Wax and bassist Kyle Roddy, sat in their chairs while remaining quiet over the whole ordeal. The two were conflicted on doing the performance as well, but didn't want to be as rash as Dyson is at the moment. Dyson, meanwhile, felt he was in the right to get angry over this entire ordeal. He had no interest in going to North Korea in his lifetime and he wants to keep it that way.
A thing that the band knows about Dyson is that he's a safety nut. He's usually afraid to go to other countries, mainly ones in Asia, because of the reports of dangerous conditions ravaging the area. Their tour in China was a struggle to get started because of Dyson losing his mind over the emissions that poison the air. They had to cancel a show in Beijing because of this. So the band isn't surprised he's scared. But the difference between the China tour and this is that they get where he's coming from. North Korea is seen as a dangerous place for U.S citizens, and that fact alone scares the band.
"Look, Norman, can you please attempt to get off of having to this," asked Dyson in a hopeful tone.
"I'm afraid the deal is set and done, I cannot cancel this," replied Norman.
"Of fucking course it is," mumbled Dyson under his breath. At this point, he's pacing the room frantically, trying to calm himself down, but every new detail he heard about the trip continued to anger him.
"Francis, Kyle, what do you guys think of this," asked Dyson.
"Hey, man, I'm just going with the flow. Of course the place is scary as shit and their people are starving, but we're playing for POTUS, so... I'm up for whatever, really," replied Francis.
"Yeah, I'm with Frank on this one. This seems like a scary fucking idea, but I'm willing to go if everyone else is willing to. And besides, what's the worst that could happen," said Kyle.
"Alright, guys. It looks like a majority vote. It looks like-" Dyson had to literally swallow his pride.
"It looks like we're set to go to North Korea," said Dyson meekly.
"Hello, I'm Jasmine Riley for NBC 7. Today, it has been confirmed by President Damien Powell that the popular band Alexa in Metal are playing for his arrival in North Korea once that visit occurs. The decision was seen as 'strange' for a president to make, but the president is on reco-"
"United States President Damien Powell has confirmed that the band Alexa in Metal will play the national anthem for them. This decision was announced during a press conference held by the president himself. For BBC News-"
The news was having a field day reporting about Alexa in Metal being set to perform in North Korea. Some news outlets have released opinion pieces about how, "This is an un-American act for the band," while some support the band, stating that, "For the money they are receiving, it would be hard to pass."
Norman was shocked over how controversial this gig is. He thought there would be the standard liberal outcry. But then he saw some Fox News reporters debating about the topic and realized that it was a massive deal.
Dyson was currently at home, reading various things on reddit, specifically on the r/music subreddit, including how him and the band are massive sellouts, how the band is in possible danger and various other things. Eventually, he received a phone call from Stacey.
"Man, all this backlash for this gig. It feels so unexpected."
"I know. We're playing for the President of our country, for god's sake."
"Yeah. I'm really uncomfortable about this trip."
"What a shocker. Jacob Dyson, afraid to travel the world."
"It's not that! It's just-"
"Yes, I know that North Korea is a dangerous place."
"That's a massive understatement."
"But, we have to stay strong and continue being a band, a unit, through this time," assured Stacey.
"You're right, Stacey. I feel slightly less uncomfortable about this trip now thanks to that pep-talk."
"No problem, Jacob. I can't believe we'll be heading over to North Korea in a couple days."
"Yeah, it's crazy."
"Well, I'm going to pack early. I recommend you do the same, Jacob."
"Alright. Well, talk to you later, Stacey."
"Same to you, Jacob."
Dyson slowly leaned back in his chair, closing his phone, and thinking of every bad, possible scenario that he thought could occur.
Kyle and Francis were hanging out at a coffee shop, discussing various things like how awesome that sequel was and how it was worth the decade long wait, among other things, when two random people walked up to them to pour steaming hot coffee on them.
"Hey, what the hell was that for," asked Kyle.
"That's for being fucking sellouts!"
The two proceeded to walk off, proud of what they accomplished.
"What the fuck was that shit," exclaimed Francis.
"I don't know, dude," replied Kyle.
Today was the big day. The band would board their plane to play in North Korea. Dyson was still hesitant as ever, but the band was able to get him to board. Dyson was angry to learn about the coffee incident. Kyle and Francis played it off as fanboys being fanboys, but Dyson didn't like that they were treated poorly by complete strangers. Stacey got Dyson to calm down, along with the help of a glass of whisky. After a long wait, they received a call from Norman.
"Hey Norman," said Dyson.
"Dyson, be sure the band hears this," said Norman.
Dyson told them to gather around, then he turned on speaker phone.
"Is the band there?"
"Yeah," said Dyson.
"Okay, good. Listen guys, you all are going to be flying on Air Force One," said Norman.
"No fucking way," said Francis.
"Yeah, enjoy that privilege while you can."
"Norm, you're a fucking hero, you know that," said Kyle.
"I didn't arrange for it, the president did."
After a long wait, Air Force One was seen landing for refueling for the North Korea trip. The band was waiting for the president to enter the lobby. Eventually, President Damien Powell walked into the lobby... holding the hand of another man. The band didn't know the president was a homosexual.
"Ahhh, there's my favorite band," exclaimed the president. He proceeded to shake hands with each band member.
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. President. But, uh... who's the man," asked Dyson.
"Oh, this is George. He's my life partner," replied the President.
"That's really nice! It's a pleasure to meet you, George," said Stacey.
"Same to all of you," exclaimed George.
After the exchanging they had at the gateway, the group wondered to some seats to wait to board Air Force One, the plane that will carry them along their life-changing journey.
Dyson was slowly losing his mind. The band was standing on a stage in front of many North Korean citizens, and were about twenty or so feet away from Kim Jong-un, who was standing on a stage waiting for the President to walk out.
"Guys, I'm about to go fucking mental," whispered Dyson.
"Keep your cool, Jacob. It's not like we're on death row here," whispered Stacey.
"Don't put that fucking idea in my mind, Stacey."
They went quiet when they heard a North Korean announcing the President. A translator nearby told them to prepare to start playing. Once they heard the President's name, the translator told them to start and, needless to say, they played loud and proud to the thousands of clapping North Korean citizens and a clapping Kim Jong-un. The President walked out, waving to the crowd and shook hands with Kim Jong-un. The translator told the band to stop playing once the two leaders were seated. The band didn't know what to do, but they looked over to see the North Korean band standing to attention, waiting for their next orders.
The meeting went smoothly. It made the POTUS look good, and that's all that matters. They followed the President through a hallway that would lead to a car to drive them to where they stayed.
"Guys, I need to be honest about something," said the President.
"What's going on," replied Dyson,
"That fucking meeting was nerve-racking."
They eventually made it to their car, and they drove to their hotel to rest for the rest of the evening, they were set to leave in the morning.
The band woke up to the sound of a lot of banging on the door. Kyle eventually got up to answer it. It was George.
"Oh, hey George. What's up," asked Kyle.
"Hey, tell the band to get ready quickly. We're about to leave," replied George.
George walked off back to his room.
"Okay, lady and gents, we gotta get ready to leave this fucking place," said Kyle.
"So, Jacob, what did you think of the trip," asked Stacey.
"Well, the bed was rock hard and the food was shit, but at least didn't die.
"A-fucking-men, brother," chimed in Francis.
The band quickly got themselves packed up and left the room. They saw the President, George and the translator waiting at the elevator of the hotel.
"There they are," said the President happily.
"And it looks like Dyson's hair is a mess," said George, jokingly.
Dyson quickly attempted to fix his hair.
"Well, I hope you guys enjoyed your visit, because I sure did," said the President.
After a long flight home, they were greeted to a mob of people at the airport, with signs reading various things involving them being sellouts, how North Korea is the enemy, among other signs. The crowd were also throwing things at the band. The band tried to quickly weave through to escape quickly, but Kyle was tripped and was beaten up. Dyson noticed this and tried to go back for him, but was also beaten up. Francis and Stacey called the police, only to learn that the police are already enroute to the airport to stop the crowd.
The police eventually showed up to disperse the crowd and arrest the men who were assaulting Dyson and Kyle. The two were out cold from the beating they received from the various people in the crowd. Stacey and Francis were concerned about their lives, but they were thankfully taken to a hospital.
After a few days, Dyson woke up and to find a closed door with people shouting on the other end. He groaned in annoyance, then proceeded to groan in pain over his body still healing from the group beating he received.
"Hey, dude," said Kyle, while eating some pudding.
"Oh, hey Kyle," replied Dyson.
"That was a hell of a beating we took, am I right?"
"You know it."
"I'm glad you're finally awake. You've been out for, like, three days."
"When did you wake up?"
"Last night. I've been falling asleep for a couple hours at a time, letting my body, heal, things like that."
"Where's the TV remote," asked Dyson
"Next to you, I think," replied Kyle.
Dyson looked over both of his shoulders, looking for the remote. He eventually found it and turned it on. He flipped channels until the news came on.
"It was reported that musicians Jacob Dyson and Kyle Roddy were beaten senselessly at the airport a few days ago. President Damien Powell was asked about this and he had this to say:"
"I do not condone the actions of those people in the crowd who beat those two men. They were serving their country, they do not deserve that abuse."
"-It was also reported that their record label had sued three of the people who injured the two men. This is Jasmine Riley, NBC 7."
"Yeah, those fuckers deserve it," said Kyle.
"Yeah, they broke various limbs on our bodies. I'm relieved to learn about that," said Dyson.
Eventually, some beating on the door occurred. Stacey and Francis walked into the hospital room the two were being kept in.
"Those people are vicious," said Francis.
"Yeah, security is having to hold them back from getting in. They really want to finish the job it looks like," said Stacey, with a tone of worry.
"It sucks that this had to happen to you two," said Francis meekly.
The four eventually shared a selfie so that Stacey could post that the two are okay on social media, for their fans. They had a long discussion about the trip, how their careers were going to continue, things like that, before Norman fought his way into the room.
"Hey guys," said Norman, with a scared tone.
"Hey, Norman, what's up with you," asked Dyson.
"Yeah, uh... that crowd outside really want to rip you four to shreds."
"All we did was play in North Korea."
Norman pulled out his phone to reveal that their performance as anti-American propaganda.
"This has to be a joke," said Stacey.
"I'm afraid not," replied Norman.
The band sat around, concerned over that revelation.
"After that, I want them to tear me to shreds," retorted Kyle.
"Yeah, me too," said Dyson, meekly.
"Guys, it may look bad, but this will all blow over. Besides, we have to stick together, like a band, like a unit," assured Stacey.
"Stacey, us acting like a unit led to us going to North Korea, and also led Kyle and I getting our asses kicked. If anything, this unit bullshit just caused more fucking harm than good," said Dyson.
"Dyson, technically, it isn't our faults that you got hurt," said Francis
"Then whose fault is it?"
"None of this wouldn't have happened if not for Norman signing us to this fucking cursed gig in the first place," exclaimed Kyle.
"Guys, come on. It isn't that bad," said Norman.
"Dyson and I are in the fucking hospital because of that fucking gig, and you want me to believe that things aren't that bad!?"
"Okay, maybe things are a bit bad..."
"Yeah, they fucking are," said Dyson.
There was a silence that befell the room.
"What do we do now," asked Stacey.
"We could always call it quits as a band," replied Dyson.
"Jacob, don't you dare say that."
"Stacey, what else can we do? We're going to be negatively perceived for a very long time, it's best to just call it quits, take the royalty checks and call it a day."
"I agree with Dyson, we're fucked as a band," said Kyle.
"I also agree," said Francis.
"I can't believe you guys," exclaimed Stacey.
"Stacey, no one is going to buy any albums from us in the future for a very long time. It's best to fade away into obscurity over continuing this awful fucking existence of being 'that band that played in North Korea,'" said Dyson
Stacey tried to find the words to retort back with, but she couldn't find them. She sighed and had a contemptuous look on her face.
"Fine. It's over. We're finished as a band," said Stacey, fighting back tears.
"It's going to be okay, Stacey. I promise," assure Jacob.
Stacey got up to leave, before Norman held her back from leaving.
"Stacey, it's gonna be okay," said Norman.
"Today is a sad day for Alexa in Metal fans as the band announced they are officially disbanding today. Their post on social states, 'It's been a fun few years, but eventually, all good things have to come to an end. Peace out, forever.' The band is best known for their chart topping debut self-titled album and their controversial performance in North Korea, to which it was found out that their performance is currently being used in North Korea as anti-American propaganda to show our country as being too flashy and not progressive. This is Jasmine Riley, NBC 7."