As I Lay Dying have responded to ex-guitarist Nick Hipa’s statement on his departure from the group, saying they “respect [his] decision to move on from the band and forging a new path in life”.
In an Instagram post made last month, Hipa told fans that it had been “well over a year” since he was last involved with the Californian metalcore outfit “on a personal and professional level”, noting that he’d been avoiding questions about his relationship with the band as he was “trying to move on peacefully in life”.
Citing his current priorities as “a motion design career, deep focus on my family, taking care of my health, and working on other creative projects”, Hipa said that his decision to step away from As I Lay Dying, who reunited in 2018 after a few years of inactivity, came after “the story and meaning we built our reunion upon decayed considerably”.
Hipa’s post continued: “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 behaviour which at times mistreats, disrespects, and hurts other people. I do not have it in me to walk that road again.”
He added, “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.”
The band themselves have now issued their own statement in response, opening with an explanation for why it took them nearly a month to address Hipa’s claims. “We’ve been laying low for the past 18+ months,” they wrote on social media earlier this week, “adapting back into normal home life routines as the world tries to navigate itself through the [COVID-19] pandemic.”
They continued: “Through this downtime from touring and being creatively active with AILD, we’ve found ourselves reflecting on which direction each of us must take individually and collectively as a band.”
Sharing an old photo of the band onstage with Hipa, As I Lay Dying stated that they “will certainly look back fondly at the many great memories, experiences, and accomplishments we shared together over the years”. They wrote that they “will be nothing but supportive and encouraging to all of Nick’s endeavors post-AILD”, and “wish him the absolute best moving forward”.
The band closed their statement – which you can read in full below – with a note that plans for the future of As I Lay Dying will be unveiled “shortly”.
We’ve been laying low for the past 18+ months adapting back into normal home life routines as the world tries to…
In his own Instagram post, frontman Tim Lambesis said: “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.”
Lambesis reunited with As I Lay Dying in 2018, five years after he was arrested over a plot to have his wife murdered. He pled not guilty to a solicitation-of-murder charge, with Lambesis’ lawyer saying that his judgement was “devastatingly affected by his steroid use” when the alleged incident occurred. He was sentenced to six years in prison in May of 2014, and was released on parole in December of 2016.
In December of 2020, Lambesis was hospitalised with burns to 25 per cent of his body, following a bonfire accident. He shared an update on his recovery back in January, saying he was “very, very thankful” that his face did not get burnt.