We have been reading posts and getting tons of calls, emails and texts over the last several days from many of you after seeing Matty’s statement about leaving the band.
Here is the straight truth…
Matty sent a group text informing us that he left the band. For the past month, we have been processing this news and deciding what the future holds. After some reflection among the guys, we all feel the band means everything to us and agree that Zebrahead is bigger than any one member. There is this amazing community of friends and fans all over the world, way bigger than any of us could have ever imagined, that made it clear to us to continue.
Although we will miss Matty and wish him all the best, we look forward to this next chapter for Zebrahead. We are excited about creating new music and playing live shows again. Thank you all for love and support. We promise you’ll be hearing more from us real soon.
Hugs & Kisses – Ali, Ben, Ed, Dan”
Lewis joined the band in 2005 after performing in a band called Jank 1000 who toured alongside Zebrahead.
He has performed on the band’s last eight full-length albums, the latest being 2019’s ‘Brain Invaders’.
French metalcore outfit Betraying The Martyrs have confirmed they have parted ways with their long-time vocalist, Aaron Matts.
Though not a founding member of the band, Matts joined the band in 2010 and has performed on all four of their full-length albums to date, the last being 2019’s ‘Rapture’.
Matts has confirmed the news of his departure in a statement posted via the band’s social media platforms, which you can read in full below.
“Ten years have gone by in the blink of an eye, it feels like just yesterday I was moving to France to join the band that changed my life forever and brought me so many new experiences and countless friends; and although this is a decision that I initially made more than a year ago, it feels odd to be putting this into words now; but here we are.
Betraying The Martyrs has been the focus point of my life for the most part of these past ten years and was at some point the very thing that defined who I was as a person; but as you all know, times change and it is with a heavy heart but also with a great deal of anticipation that I have decided to part ways with my role as the lead vocalist of the band.
There are many reasons and factors that have played a role in making this decision, but what it really boils down to is simply the necessity to make decisions for myself, to do what’s right for me in order for me to remain healthy and happy; and above all, to remain true to myself, to who I am as a person, a musician, and to what really moves me artistically.
During the process of making this decision I felt like I had lost that passionate connection that I felt to music, to performing, and everything in-between; but I came to realize that I still have that fire that burns so bright, but that I need to do it for the same reasons that made me follow my heart at the very start of this journey. So, I got my head down and instead of putting my energy into giving up, I put it into building something that I can truly say is 100% of what makes me, me.
It brings me a great deal of excitement to save my breath on the regular “I’m still going to be active as a musician, so keep your eyes peeled” nonsense, and instead to announce that for the past year I have built a new band that embodies everything I love about heavy music, something I feel extremely passionate about, and that tonight, I will be announcing the band name and line up, and that in exactly one week from today I’ll release the first single from a record that I am extremely proud of!
I, of course want to take this opportunity to thank every single person that has ever been involved in helping to build BTM into what it is now; all of the fans both past and present, bands that I met along the way that had a huge influence in putting us on, and also those in the industry who put their blind faith in what we were doing. There are way too many people to list, but you know exactly who you are. Thank you to all of those people that so generously dived deep into their pockets to help us when we lost everything to a blaze and kept us going through the hardest days of our lives.
If one thing is certain, it’s that BTM is not over. The band have been working on incredible new material, and I can sincerely say that the torch has been passed to a very talented, and deserving individual who will not disappoint, trust me!
His identity as well as the new music the guys have been working on real hard for the past months will all be revealed soon, so please make sure to keep supporting the band like you’ve all being doing for all these years. We’ve never taken your support for granted and we’re fully aware that we wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t thanks to you all. We part ways in good terms and relationships; it’s simply time for me to build something new, but rest assured that I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the ride guys, all of you. It’s been real.
More details on a replacement vocalist as well as future material and Aaron Matts’ new project will be confirmed as they develop.
Vocalist Hansi Kürsch has confirmed that he has stepped down from Demons & Wizards.
The news of Kürsch’s departure from the project follows the arrest of bandmate Jon Schaffer as a result of his involvement in the riots of the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6th 2021.
Schafer was arrested on January 17th 2021 and is reportedly being held on six felony charges.
In a short statement provided to RockHard, Kürsch confirmed that he has notified both Schaffer and label Century Media Records of his decision to leavy the band.
“I told Jon and Century Media on Monday that I was leaving the Demons & Wizards project with immediate effect. My collaboration with Jon in Demons & Wizards is over.”
At the time of writing, there’s no word from Schaffer regarding Kürsch‘s departure and/or the future of Demons & Wizards.
Holding Absence have announced that their bassist James Joseph has parted ways with the band.
James has been with the Holding Absence since the start of the band and has played on all their releases to date, with the most recent release on the single, ‘Afterlife’ and their upcoming record, ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’.
In a statement , James has announced he is leaving to put more focus on his other project; James And The Cold Gun.
You can read the full statement below.
“Dear Holding Absence Family,
I started this band five years ago and it has been a huge part of my life, I’ve travelled all over the UK and Europe, made amazing memories, played shows with some of my favourite bands and made friends for life. However, after spending the past 12 months self-reflecting and writing songs with my housemate I have decided it is time for me to step down from Holding Absence to focus on the music we’ve been working on with James And The Cold Gun. I wish the guys well for the future and I hope you enjoy the album we made together.
I love every single person in the Holding Absence community and I want to thank you all for your love, support and kindness. I can’t wait to see you all again some day.
The band added their on short message in a post via Facebook, where they have posted:
“Holding Absence is sad to announce that ‘Afterlife’ will be our last song with bassist James Joseph.
The band and James have split on amicable terms.
We wish James all the best with his future endeavours!”
Earlier this week, it was announced that Bad Wolves and their now former frontman Tommy Vext had parted ways. Vext sayed mostly silent on the matter but now he’s issued a statement.
Vext shared the statement via a live video on his Instagram account which he then posted onto his account’s feed, prefacing the statement by stating he’s currently suspended from posting on Facebook.
You can watch his video statement and read the transcript of the statement below.
Let me start by expressing a huge debt of gratitude to all of the fans, all the people at our label, our management, our lawyers, and everyone who helped in establishing Bad Wolves’ career.
I take great pride and sincerity in what we all accomplished together. Bad Wolves became the fastest rising rock band in the last decade, with five number one consecutive hit singles. Thanks to our massive support from all of the fans in the Wolf Pack, we exploded into mainstream rock consciousness, which is no small feat for a bunch of dudes from metal bands. We even held the #1 spot across the entire Apple Music platform on all continents. We accumulated hundreds of millions of streams, and as a result you helped us by giving back over hundreds of thousands of dollars to various charities.
Our future was bright and our trajectory was undeniable as an arena band, until COVID struck and everyone’s lives changed. I saw things happening that I didn’t understand. During the first quarantine, I publicly voiced my concerns about where we are going as a nation and what is happening to the country that I love.
I voiced my disappointment for protests that had turned into violent riots. Cities, businesses, lives destroyed, and then called “mostly peaceful”. I criticized the media standing idle and even condoning that behavior. I pointed out that good causes were infiltrated by bad actors, hijacked and delegitimized a good movement. I dared to question who financially benefited from all of this and who was funding these events. I questioned the lockdowns when small businesses were driven into bankruptcy and yet big chains were allowed to operate. I questioned the imposed social distancing when rioting and looting was exempt, or why you can’t have family gatherings or eat at restaurants with anyone unless you’re a politician. This is a repeated hypocrisy we saw time and time again.
And for this they came after me.
Me, an African American artist speaking his mind. I became unacceptable by the gatekeepers because I walked off the plantation. I had to be silenced. Cancel culture came after my band. I was threatened, I was ridiculed, I was blackmailed, and smear campaigns were launched to destroy my career, my reputation, and my livelihood.
These events really opened my eyes, because this was no longer just an urban legend or conspiracy theory, this was literally happening to me. Censorship became very real and I was fighting organized hit job after organized hit job aimed at my character and even my physical freedom. This is when I realized what I was up against. This is bigger than me. This is when and why I publicly endorsed the sitting President of the United States of America, because I believed he was fighting the same big tech, the same media, the same gatekeepers, the same faceless radicals who wish to destroy our first amendment rights, but I will not be silenced. I will not abandon my values and my love for the flag of this country. I will fight for the Constitution and our freedom of speech, which hopefully now all of you can see is being blatantly violated by big tech. However, this is my fight. I realize I cannot drag my band members and people around me into this. I, on my own, decided to go solo. This way everything I say and do will affect only me. I wish the best for the guys in Bad Wolves. We had some of the best times of my life building a band together and I love those guys, but you guys know me and I have to fight back. This is who I am. I can’t expect you to put your lives on the line to defend me, especially when we don’t have the same ideologies in mind. I can’t expect the label to fight my battles on my behalf, and to all the fans, to my friends, to my family, thank you for always supporting my voice.
I’m excited to start the next phase of my career. Over the past year, I’ve recorded over 37 songs by myself. Due to COVID, there was no way for the band to get together and to work on a record, and so I worked feverishly in the studio with different artists, producers, and songwriters, and after 37 songs were completed it was very clear that I had become a solo artist.”
More details surrounding a third record from Bad Wolves along with Tommy Vext’s solo project will be confirmed as they develop.
Nightwish Bassist / Co-Vocalist Marko Hietala has announced that he is leaving the band as well as his “public life”.
In a lengthy statement posted to his Social Media, the musician has explained the reason for the departure is a combination of the disillusion with the music industry and chronic depression led to the decision.
You can read the full statement below.
“Dear people. I am leaving Nightwish and my public life.
“For a quite a few years now I haven’t been able to feel validated by this life. We have streaming company big guns demanding 9/5 work from artists of inspiration while unfairly sharing the profits. Even among the artists. We’re the banana republic of the music industry. Biggest tour promoters squeeze percentages even from our own merchandise while paying dividends to Middle East. Apparently some theocrasies can take the money from the music that would get you beheaded or jailed there without appearing as hypocrites. Just a couple of examples here.
“This past year forced me to stay home and think. And I found myself very disillusioned about these and a lot of things. I found out that I am in need of that validation. For me to write, sing and play, I need to find some new reasons and inspirations. ”My Walden” so to speak. And it’s even in my book that I’m a chronic depressive. It’s dangerous for me and the people around me, if I continue. Some of the thoughts a while back were dark. Don’t worry, I’m fine. I have my two sons, a wife, the rest of the family, friends, a dog and lots of love.
“And I don’t think that I’ll be gone for good.
“Conspiracy is the word of the day. For the people who like them I need to say that my 55th birthday is now on 14th of Jan and I’ve certainly done my time for now. Blaming for instance Tuomas is an insult to both him and my free thinking. This is a very sad thing to all of us too. Have a care please.
“But of course now we’ll know, if some go there on purpose.
“There are a couple of things agreed on that I will do on 2021. Otherwise I kindly and with respect ask the media, bands, artists projects etc. to not ask me for anything within the next year. I have some reinventing to do. I hope to tell you about it on 2022. It’s not a promise though.
“I am so sorry about this.
“P.S. Tony Iommi is an exception to the ‘no contact whatsoever’. Childhood hero takes a precedence.”
Following the recent allegations which have been made against Beach Slang Guitarist/Vocalist James Alex, a statement has now been issued via the band’s Instagram account confirming they have split up.
In the statement which can be read below, their family have cited “abuse”, “trauma” and “severe mental health issues” as the result of Alex’s behaviour, they they haven’t adressed the recent allegations against him specifically.
They also state that he is currently in “an inpatient facility after attempting to take his life”.
Finally, they have confirmed that Beach Slang “is over” and Alex has “no plans to return to music”.
“A message from James family:
James is not perfect, and never claimed to be. After a lifetime of suicidal ideation, Beach Slang was simply intended to be an outlet of positivity in rock and roll, and an attempt to heal himself and any sad or broken friends he met along the way. His “fake music persona” wasn’t some facade derived with malice to dupe or harm anyone, it was a coping mechanism created to overcome his struggles. Yes he had moments of compulsiveness, emotional instability, and chaotic relationships, but none of his actions were intentional or meant to hurt or harm anyone, certainly not those who cared for or believed in him.
They were an unfortunate result of unimaginable childhood trauma, violent physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and years of untreated resultant severe mental health issues. James is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Paranoid Schizophrenia, and now Borderline Personality Disorder. This is not to invalidate or negate anyone’s feelings, or experiences, it is only to explain the unexplained or unseen cause to the effects, as the internet can be very black and white, and mental illness is largely a grey area.
While mental illness does not excuse anyone to cause others emotional duress, it should at least be acknowledged that it may cause one to unknowingly hurt others and themselves with their words and actions. James was starting treatment before these allegations were made, and is now in an inpatient facility after attempting to take his life. He is getting the help he needs and will be on a true path to recovery. Please know you’ve been heard. While it may have not felt like enough, or that it came soon enough, he has tried to make amends and reconcile his behaviors.
James is not a monster. He is a flawed and complex human being. He is also a father, a son, a husband, and a friend to those still willing to believe in him. He never intended to cause anyone pain. And all parties involved were aware of and could recognize his issues and tried to help him to the best of their abilities at the time. Unfortunately, the help he needed was beyond the scope of family or friends with good intentions. He just wants to stay alive, and do right by his children, family, and friends.
Beach Slang is over. He has no plans to return to music. He would just like the opportunity for forgiveness, compassion, and understanding, or if not, to be forgotten so everyone involved can move on with peace in their lives. To those who have supported, played in, or worked with Beach Slang, thank you for your time, dedication, and love. For those who can no longer do that, you can know it was still appreciated when you did, but understood if you now cannot.
I hope everyone can live healthily and happily and close this chapter of their lives. Please consider his children at this time, who are too young to understand or process any of this other than they miss their dad who is sick and can’t come home until he gets the help he needs.”