This past Saturday (16th), As I Lay Dying performed their first show in five years held at the SOMA Sidestage in San Diego, CA. Before they walked on stage, the group shared a discussion video explaining their controversial return. Prior to the group releasing their first song, we had a headbangers brawl of our own debating on whether or not they should have a comeback.
Frontman Tim Lambesis was arrested back in 2013 for attempting to hire a hitman to have his wife killed. The singer pleaded guilty in 2014 and by December of 2016, he was released from prison. Activity of the group did remain relatively quiet, aside from Lambesis’ official apology statement from last year. Last week, the band broke their silence promising they would soon address issues about their return and ended up surprising us over the weekend with a 31-minute video.
Lambesis kicked off the conversation (transcribed by ThePrp):
“So there’s, there’s a lot of awareness of things that happened very recently in music and stuff. And then last year there’s an awareness of the public apology in my expression of remorse.
But behind all that there was the individual conversations we had and it was for me, expressing more remorse publicly. It’s one like one thing and that will be shown very slowly over time, people have to kind of get to know and see if they can trust that I was sincere or not.
But in terms of individual conversations, those went back even a year and a half before the public apology, almost two years before that. And those conversations were much more in-depth than anything we could ever like explain, you know even just this discussion or a written public statement or anything like that.
So, I first reached out to Jordan and Josh because I felt like that was just… I had to start somewhere and I felt like that seemed the most natural place for me. And I reached out to them in an email a long time ago and the first individual conversations we had were mainly me listening so that I could better express my apology for the ways that everything… Like I guess what the concept I talked about, the ripple effect.
There’s the obvious wrongdoings that I made and there’s the little ways that they sort of spread out beyond that and hurt people in so many ways that like I really wasn’t entirely aware until I got home.
And those conversations kicked off and I was sort of better able to understand what they’d been through and I think more sincerely apologize because of that.”
Later, guitarist Phil Sgrosso discussed the state of the band’s relationship prior to Lambesis’ arrest:
“What happened in 2013 wasn’t like the start of the end of our relationship. It was like years before that and finally it was like when this happened, as terrible as it was, I felt like a sense of relief that I don’t have to do this band anymore. Like I don’t have to be so angry about a lot of things that are going on.
And, so it took me going through that and then being like ‘what I am going to do?’ ‘What are the rest of us going to do?’ And just kind of set out to keep doing music. however we could.
And when you went to jail it seemed like a peaceful period for us. We didn’t have to deal with you. We didn’t have to deal with any sort of manipulation, didn’t have to resent you.
But every little thing that came out, whether it was an interview after your sentencing, it was just like all of us were like fueled by this hatred of like ‘God, even when you’re not in our lives, we’re still being affected by it and will continue to be affected by it.’
So it put a lot of strain on other relationships amongst us as well. Because Nick and I didn’t really process our problems either in the most responsible way, so our relationship was deteriorating. So when I heard that you were getting out of jail. All of us were just on edge. Our community was on edge of just like ‘What is this guy going to be up to, now?’
Not just our local community, the music community, everywhere. Because we were all touring around and people, our friends in other states, countries, would be talking about stuff. Everyone was like ‘What is going to happen?’
And you I try, we all tried avoiding those things as much as possible. And I said ‘I will never do that band again. I will never play music with that guy again.’ Why would I? I was already enjoying playing with musicians that weren’t putting a strain on my life…”
Lambesis opened up about handling his arrest, sentencing, and incarceration:
“Immediately after I had been arrested I went into this mode of just like ‘How do I kind of survive this situation?’ And you hire people, you find the best attorney who knows how to put together the best defense and all these people are speaking on your behalf. The mentality is like defend, defend.
I definitely bought into that and that influenced the person I was while awaiting my sentencing. There was that person Nick had all those hard feelings about. He was right, so it was literally leading up to the actual sentencing. That was the timeline of when I had said all those things [in the Alt Press interview.] Those things had been said and recorded, to come out sometime later after my sentencing.
Then my sentencing happened and my moment in the courtroom was true and genuine, but I didn’t have any ability to follow up with it in any way. So the way that Nick viewed it made absolute sense to me when he explained it to me. I get that because how insincere does that seem? I’m in tears in this courtroom and then you read this statement by me that says something opposite of that.
And then there was such an unbelievable sense of relief after my sentencing of like, defense is no longer in my vocabulary. I don’t defend what I did because there’s no defense for it…”
Watch the full discussion below:
Later that evening, As I Lay Dying went on to perform their first show in half a decade and you can watch fan-filmed footage below: