So I'm not one for much of putting your dirty towels to the public. But unfortunately, due to circumstance, my hands have been forced.
I, Matthew "theProphet" Smith, owner and founder of The Infidel Netwerk, and participator in many a bands, have been accused of threatening Ryan's family, and of selling him faulty gear without his knowing, and then proceeding to not answer him in an attempt to steal his gear. I claim to you all that this is false. I am sorry to Ryan, and to the public, for any sort of confusion, disgust, and upset that this situation may have caused. But it is all do to a series of misinterpretations, and can be explained through a series of statements. For your note: I have provided print screens of the conversation in it's full, unedited format, no leaving things out. They can be found at the bottom of the page. I'm not here to paint myself in a pretty light, but I am hear to prove that the allegations he is making is untrue. Make up your own mind based around the evidence!
So as for my side of the story, let's start at the beginning. On August 17th Ryan "Tweak" Clark messaged me asking me if I still had my old midi keyboard around. I told him yes and that there were certain defaults with it. He told me that was fine, and we went on to do the trade. Print screens of the conversation below:
Story continues below pictures!
Now in October, 2 months after the trade had happened, during the Canadian Thanksgiving Long Weekend, on the Sunday which was one of the days I was celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, Ryan messaged me asking for the gear back, saying that he needed it for an upcoming gig/project/whatever.
I didn't get back to him right away. I was busy with my family all weekend, and to be honest I didn't want to just be like "ok, I'm gonna give it back". When we did the trade we did so with the knowledge of gear that I was trading him being faulty, and for him to ask for it back after I had already integrated it into my setup, and doing so using the excuse that it was faulty, when he already knew that when I traded it to him... I wasn't so sure how to react. My instant reaction was a big fat no, but I felt I should sit on it as Ryan in the past had shown in his business with others to be less then diplomatic when there were things that he REALLY wanted, and I'm a normally really easy going guy so my plan was to offer some leeway in the situation, so I was gonna prepare a multi-level response to him. My original plan, which never managed to get into fruition, was to:
a. Offer him $100 which is the value of the devices we trade,
b. Offer to fix the device in question for him,
c. I was gonna offer to find a new one for him, and in the meantime let him borrow the one he gave me back until I found him a new one if indeed we could not get the thing that I traded him to work.
However, I didn't wanna spend my holidays haggling about gear which I already felt I was entitled to, so I was planning on leaving it to Tuesday or Wednesday, when I KNEW for a fact that I would have some solid time and emotional energy to actually discuss the potential arrangement.
So, a couple days goes by and Ryan proceeds to message me again on Tuesday asking if I could come by to pick up the device. But to be frank, I was dealing with sickness of the worst kind all day, and I was super busy with my family during the moments where I was feeling somewhat better. Most of the day I was either in bed, or chilling with my daughter, so I got almost no work done, contacted nobody back. So, it's not like I was intentionally and maliciously ignoring him with the intent to screw him over. I was simply in the process of taking some much needed downtime, and wanted to allocate the right time and energy to have a proper conversation about the whole thing...
So anyways, I didn't get back to messaging Ryan on Tuesday, as I ended up passing out early... My plan was to message him in the evening of Wednesday after I had a recording session, the first one I had in over a week, one which was only happening because it was already delayed several times due to my sickness and family commitments. So my end goal was to message Ryan about the whole thing after she left. Cause I knew I couldn't put it off anymore.
I'm sorry that I didn't put Ryan's request higher in my priorities. If there is anything here that I regret it is not getting back to him sooner. However, in my mind, I felt that our deal was pretty solid after 2 months had gone buy, and I felt like any sort of leeway I was going to be given was going the extra mile for our friendship, which I did quite value. Also I didn't think Ryan would take this so personally, as I am well known for basically being infrequent with my messaging back on Facebook...
So, continuing with the story, on Wednesday, literally 15 minutes before my client arriving for the evening is supposed to show up, Ryan messages me again, this time threatening me that it was my last chance to get back to him, and if I didn't that he would stop being friends with me, and he would take action to get it back. At which point I in a panic messaged him back letting him know that I was busy with my family, a business anointment, that I wasn't ignoring him, and that I was upset that he would threaten our friendship over a device. Never had there been any sort of conflict with me and Ryan in the half a decade of me knowing him, so to have him threaten me over me not getting back to him in 3 days, I was quite taken back... To make things worse, somehow in there, he took my comments I was making as an attack on his family. He literally has claimed that I threatened his family.
And just for some contrast, I had never ever said anything negative about his family situation ever. Actually on the contrary when Ryan had come over and publicly in front of my partner and company talked about the negativity in his family situation, we all offered him support, and said if he needed legal help at any point we knew different sources and could help hook him up. So... I have nothing against his family, and only wish for the best in his family life. And to say that I would threaten his family is the worst kind of slander that one could say about a person. As a family man, with a beautiful wife and daughter myself, I find that sort of rhetoric to be the worst kind of insult and I would never sink that low.
So, maybe I should have gotten back to him sooner, but another reality, Ryan can be very emotionally draining to deal with. He has a lot of passion, a lot of energy, and a very strong drive. And if something you desire clashes with something he desires there can be a lot of emotional friction. That requires energy and the right mindset to deal with... I personally didn't feel that I was up to that during my holiday weekend and when I was feeling sick, and I didn't have the energy to deal with situation turning into a fight. So, yes, maybe I could have given him some better heads up, and for that I apologize, but in reality this is a 2 month old deal, one that he is publicly lying about the details about, and one that I would be willing to have dealt with if he had some more patience.
Also, on another note... he relegated all of the conversation completely to Facebook. Even though he has my phone number, and not once before, during, or after this whole situation has he called me. If the situation was so important he could have called. But instead he decided to amp up and destroy our friendship and spread slander about me over social networking.
Anyways... to cover the absolutely ridiculous piece of slander that I was threatening his family... the one place where he could be somehow misinterpreted my intent, and in my opinion this is a huge stretch, I didn't even know what he might have been referencing until I re-read all of my messages like a dozen times... I said, "I actually spend time with my family and kid so I have a super busy life".
Looking back now, I understand how he might have thought that was an insult on him, and the grammatical wording of it may have insinuated that. And for that miscommunication I am very sorry, as I would never intentionally insult a person's family life, as I know how hard it can be to manage one... However, I was tying fast, cause as I explained above, I was feeling sick and in the middle of waiting for a musician client to show up at any time, and I was having a person who I considered to be a long term friend (and up until this point, he was a musical idol of mine...) to completely turn on me this way, over literally physical objects worth less then $100.
So, to clarify, something that I was trying to do before he blocked me, what I meant to say and all I meant by the statements I made was that I was actually spending a lot of time with my family and kid so I was super busy. And if you read the whole context of the conversation, not once did I mention his family, his fathering, his parenting, etc. All I mentioned was my own business and family... so if he interpreted another way, I am very sorry. And like I have said a many time, I have no ill will or negative feelings towards his family situation, and I only wish him the best to having an awesome future with his kid...
Honestly, It would make no sense for me to do any of this, this is a man that up until now I have deeply respected... we had multiple musical partnerships going on, I was representing him on my website, and was in the process of starting to remaster all of his old works to release on my label... to insult his family, and steal from him something worth so little... it makes no sense! So... instead of giving you little fragments of the story to piece together the puzzle, I've just copy and pasted the whole conversation in the form of print screens below. If you wanna see how things transpired, and you can make up your own mind. Will I admit that I got upset, and maybe reacted brashly? Absolutely. But did I threaten his family or steal his gear... ABSOLUTELY NOT! Make up your own mind and read below."