AS I LAY DYING singer Tim Lambesis has commented on the departure of guitarist Nick Hipa.
Late last month, Hipa confirmed his exit from AS I LAY DYING, explaining that he can no longer justify being part of "a superficial pursuit" of the "story and meaning" that the band's 2018 reunion was built upon.
Although Hipa's exit was originally rumored in August 2020, neither he nor his bandmates had publicly spoken out about the split until he took to his Instagram on August 31 to write: "At this point though, it has been well over a year since I have distanced myself from [AS I LAY DYING] on a personal and professional level. In that time they have only given fans merchandising posts and show announcements. This sort of activity highlights and reinforces our differences.
"Respectfully, I left because the story and meaning we built our reunion upon decayed considerably over time. What primarily endures is a superficial pursuit I cannot justify supporting or being part of. This is not an indictment on any who choose to remain or be involved. There is tremendous good that can be accomplished through singular focus on the power of music. However to my memory and recent experience, it comes at the cost of tolerating behavior which at times mistreats, disrespects, and hurts other people. I do not have it in me to walk that road again.
"The talent and unshakeable ambition of the band is undeniable. They will continue to release successful music and do great business. On a human level, I hope everything else fares well for them."
Earlier today (Friday, September 10), Lambesis took to his Instagram to share a few photos of him and the rest of AS I LAY DYING with Hipa, and he wrote in an accompanying message: "Being able to have different opinions or priorities but to still deeply care for another person's wellbeing is something that's often lost in our current climate. I just want to say that I truly wish Nick Hipa the best in his next chapter of life, and I'm thankful he wishes me/AILD the same.
"I've wanted to focus on music for past few years because it takes me back to why I started AILD in the first place 20 years ago. I look forward to writing new music and seeing many of you on tour again soon!"
Lambesis was famously convicted in 2014 for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife.
In May 2014, Lambesis was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to paying a San Diego police officer posing as a hitman $1,000 to kill his wife. Approximately two and a half years later — on December 17, 2016 — he was discharged from a California detention facility and was transferred to the Division of Adult Parole Operations.
In June 2018, AS I LAY DYING played its first show with Lambesis in five years and released a new single. Lambesis also owned up to his crimes in a long apology on the band's Facebook page after his release.
In September 2019, AS I LAY DYING released its seventh full-length album, "Shaped By Fire", via Nuclear Blast.
The return of AS I LAY DYING raised some questions, particularly since Hipa categorically denounced the band's disgraced frontman as a "sociopathic narcissist in definite need of rehabilitation" in a social-media post back in 2014.
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