Hey all - you may or may not know at this point, that our singer, Chase, has decided to leave the group as of Sunday, October 7. We have not yet addressed this issue, but would now like to take the opportunity to do so, as many false accusations have been going around.
First of all, it has been said that his departure was ostensibly due to a Craigslist ad posted by one of our members over a month ago, which we will address, but there are a myriad of reasons that led to Chase’s decision to leave the band.
Tension had been building since before our summer tour, when Chase riled up half the band in an attempt to cancel the tour a week before we were to leave. There was no regard to the dozens of other people involved (other bands, promoters, fans, families, etc) nor to the thousands of dollars already paid for venues, promoters, and hotels. We talked and talked about it and, after much stress and uncertainty for the band, Chase finally agreed to go on the tour. After we all returned to Denver, he said there were a lot of issues and problems we needed to discuss. One of those issues was that he needed “3 months” of break time in between tours. Considering that we had only been gone for 7 days, and that future tours would be approximately the same length or longer, this is highly impractical.
About two months ago, Chase informed us that he was going to be having some dental issues taken care of, and that he didn’t know if he would be able to finish the rest of the shows we had booked. Therefore he told us, “You guys should begin looking for a temporary singer.” Now, temporary is a very vague word - it could be a day, it could be a month, it could be a year. When we asked him what his time frame would be, he said hopefully this year or whenever he gets enough money, but he didn’t know with 100% certainty. So, we began looking for a singer, just as he had asked us to do. We had a couple of people express interest, and we made sure to remind them that it was a temporary position in case Chase couldn’t make a show, as he was still our singer.
As recently as 2 weeks ago, he asked us, “Are you guys still looking for temporary singers?” to which we replied in the affirmative. Then, last Sunday, he came across the ad one of our members had posted over a month ago, in which we were looking for a singer - something Chase SPECIFICALLY asked us to do. Again, “temporary” is very vague - what happens if he were unable to sing if we have gigs, the recording studio, and/or a tour already booked? Recording is a little easier to reschedule, but we cannot cancel shows and a tour when he is the one who asked us to find a replacement.
This notion of “going behind his back” is absolutely ludicrous, when he is the one who LITERALLY asked us to look for singers. The fact of the matter is, he is using the ad for a singer as a scapegoat for his unhappiness with us. We tried to address issues such as him forgetting lyrics so often, not showing up to practice due to being “too tired”, not being able to practice on his own at home, etc… We tried to understand his situation and work with him, and for a time, things would improve, but eventually revert to how they were, and the process would repeat - ad infinitum. In the past few months his responses to us would be things along the lines of “this band sucks” or “you all are so unprofessional”. Other times if we were to bring up an issue, his response would be to walk out of practice, or refuse to continue singing during practice. Telling us multiple times that he was going to quit is not an indication of someone who is happy in their situation. We tried to talk to him so many times, but each time proved fruitless, and he would cast blame on us for his actions.
A lot of talk is going around that we treated a highly functioning autistic person unkindly, and that is not true in the least. From day one, Chase told us he had Asperger’s Syndrome, and we told him that it wasn’t a problem. One of the band member’s brother has Asperger’s and another band member has two very good and close friends who also have Asperger’s. To say that we treated him like crap because he had Asperger’s is just not true and is an insult to us. We regarded Chase as a member of the band—a part of our band family. He has been with the band for the past four and a half years, and we thought he’d be with us well into the future.
Emotions cloud reason and we are asking the music community to look at some of the events that have transpired in the past few months:
1. Chase and Tony Z flew to Ashland, KY to attend the IMEA awards since the band was nominated in three categories. They hung out together, played and sang an acoustic version of one of the band’s songs, and attended all the festivities. Why would the expense of the trip be taken if the band had decided to replace Chase?
2. A tour to Europe was planned for late July but had to be postponed to next summer. Thousands of dollars were spent with promoters, and non-refundable airplane tickets to Sweden were purchased for all band members, including Chase. Why would all that money be spent if the band wanted to replace him?
3. When we came back from our US tour, the entire band decided on which songs would go on the upcoming EP. We set recording times, the drummer laid his tracks in August, and we set up the balance of the recording dates for late December and early January (Chase had indicated he would be able to do the vocals in January.) We have paid thus far over a thousand dollars and will pay the balance in January. One of the songs that was supposed to be recorded was one of Chase’s songs. Does this sound like we wanted to get rid of our singer? We now have to put a hold on recording vocals and incur extra expense to record drums again for another song since we will be unable to use our former singer’s song anymore.
4. The whole band posted on our facebook page on September 30th a new song that we have written. Chase was at the practice and was improvising with some screams as the instruments played the song. In the video clip, one of the band members asks Chase if he’s written the lyrics yet and he says that he is working on them. Does this sound like the band wanted to replace their singer?
5. The band booked three shows in Denver—one in October, November, and December. Why would we do that if we were looking to replace our singer?
6. We have already started working on next year’s lineup of shows and tours … again ….why would we do that if we were looking to replace our singer?
Throughout all of this, Chase has given us mixed signals: he wants to quit but still comes to practice; he thinks the band sucks; he wants us to find a “temporary” singer. And so we tried to keep the status quo while attempting to please our singer. When we tried to find a “temporary” singer, the person who told us to do it turned the tables on us.
Anyone in a band would be confused and worried about future show dates, cancellations, and keeping peace in the band so it continues to thrive.
The truth is we are very sorry to see Chase go. He was a part of the band and had been for the past four and a half years. We never thought this would happen. We will miss Chase because he was not only a singer in the band, he was our graphic artist who made our flyers, banners, posters, and a lot of creative inventions (the box lights) that made our appearance shine. Losing a long-time member is always tough, and we still wish we knew why he was so unhappy in a band that he’d loved so much for at least a couple of years. We still consider him a brother even if he wishes to think otherwise.
It’s important to note that we are not in any way casting blame upon him or upon ourselves. We are simply outlining the facts as we see them, and giving our side of the story. Perhaps, this situation could have been handled better by both sides, but hindsight is 20/20.
If you have questions, feel free to ask us.
Axel, Drew, Miguel, and Tony.