In a recent interview with Sweden's Global Domination, drummer Tony Laureano was asked to explain the reasons for his departure from NILE and his opinion on his replacement in the group (George Kollias).
"Well, it boils down to the fact that I was not happy with the politics within the band," Tony began. "There were too many things that I thought were totally craptastic and not fair for everyone in the band, and I just wasn't happy being in that situation anymore. I have never really talked about it publicly before as I was honestly quite bent about it for a little bit after I quit, kind of feeling as if I had wasted four years of my life being in that band, but it's been a few years now, so I don't mind shedding a little light into the subject.
"Basically, what really started the downward spiral was an incident that took place in the spring of 2003. We didn't have anything going on between March and June. The only thing that was a possibility of happening was a tour with DANZIG called 'Blackest of the Black' that our management was trying to get us on, but it wasn't looking like it was going to happen, as management was expressing some doubts about it. At this point, MALEVOLENT CREATION, who were friends of mine, and were the first band that I ever toured with back in '95, were asking me to do a month and a half in Europe with them as they were having some drummer difficulties. I really didn't want to take 3 months off, so I agreed to do their tour, but I told NILE that if the DANZIG tour came up, that I would scrap the MALEVOLENT CREATION tour. So about a week before I'm about to leave for Europe with MALEVOLENT, NILE gets the DANZIG thing, except now it's no longer a tour, it's only 2 shows. Before anything else, I'm figuring that we'll fly to California, do the 2 shows, and come back. So rather than blowing out a whole tour for 2 shows, I come up with the sensible solution to do the MALEVOLENT tour, and then skip about a week in the middle of it so I can fly back to the U.S. and do the DANZIG shows, and then fly back to Europe and finish the MALEVOLENT tour. But I was told that the plan was for NILE to set up some quick dates in secondary and third markets so we could do shows to and from the West Coast where the DANZIG shows were going to be.
"First off, barring anything else, I thought it was a dumb idea to set up solo shows (as it only would be NILE and local acts) with only 30 days notice in markets that were already weak even when we rolled through with plenty of advance notice and a complete touring package. Knowing that the extra shows would be really weak, and if I didn't go with MALEVOLENT they would have to cancel the entire tour, I asked that the extra shows not be booked, and said that I would fly over from Europe at my own cost, and come to do the important shows. While one member of the band whole-heartedly agreed with me, the other two guys and management shot down my proposal and started questioning my loyalty to NILE. That REALLY pissed me off because some time before that, another member of the band that shall remain nameless (but is still in the band today) decided that he didn't want to go on a fully booked month long tour of Europe with HATE ETERNAL, INCANTATION, and IMPALED, and cancelled the whole thing 2 weeks before the start of the tour without talking to anyone else in the band about it, and it was just swept under the carpet. Meanwhile, here I was asking to not do some minor shows that were not booked yet with credible reason,and I was getting crucified. So, anyway, for those shows they took another drummer who, according to the rest of the band, had a tough time with the material, and as I predicted, everything but the DANZIG shows and the one other show I agreed to do were utter crap.
"That incident totally opened my eyes and I saw all of the hypocrisy that was going on, and that basically opened the flood gates for all sorts of other bullshit that had been simmering in the background to be brought to the forefront. I became really disillusioned, and I started thinking about leaving the band. At the insistence of our frontman Jon Vesano, I made a last ditch attempt to fix things. We had a meeting, and we talked about everything for hours, and I said that if things didn't change and become fair for everyone, I would leave the band at the end of the touring cycle. I was told this would happen, but it never did. I even waited another 6 months, but it just never happened. So I left, and only then did I hear musings of how we could have worked things out. Too little, too late.
"Since then, I've just been doing various different things. I'm doing recordings with four different projects (INSIDIOUS DISEASE, AURORA BOREALIS, plus two other ones that don't have names yet), and on occassion I do live shows with four or five other bands, so I'm keeping myself quite busy musically. I am really enjoying the freedom to do all that, and I am not in any rush to hook up with another band on a more permanent basis at this time.
"As for my opinion on my replacement, I can't say how he's done in the band as I haven't heard the new album or seen him play with them. I have seen some videos from his old band, and he was doing some cool shit there. But obviously the guy must be killer if they bothered bringing him over all the way from Greece."
Read the entire interview at this location.