The metal community has responded as As I Lay Dying have return with a new song and tour news after controversially reuniting with frontman Tim Lambesis – who was jailed for conspiracy to commit murder.
Lambesis was sentenced to six years in prison for plotting to kill his wife back in 2014. He was sentenced after pleading guilty to paying a police officer posing as a hitman $1,000 (£630) to kill his then wife, Meggan Lambesis. After being released in December 2016, Lambesis last year took to the band’s official Facebook page to post a lengthy statement, “apologising to everyone” for his actions.
Now, the San Diego metalcore band are back with their ‘classic’ line-up of Lambesis, along with guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, bassist Josh Gilbert and drummer Jordan Mancino – releasing their first new song in six years with ‘My Own Grave’, as well as announcing details of a homecoming show on June 16.
However, many artists and fans within the metal community are unhappy about Lambesis’ return to music:
So, someone tried to murder their wife and still has a career afterwards? I wonder where the line is drawn for what’s acceptable. Chris Brown beats women and R Kelly urinates on little girls, and they both still have careers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by any of this.
— Michael Lessard (@michaelcontorts) June 8, 2018
What if he had been successful with taking another person’s life? I don’t think the fact that he failed exempts him of his attempts. I have no acceptance for people who do unacceptable things and I’m not interested in helping give them a platform to influence others. https://t.co/yrRtRmzxNU
— Michael Lessard (@michaelcontorts) June 8, 2018
Let’s recap here: As I Lay Dying ruled. Singer goes crazy and hires a hitman (who is actually a cop) to kill his wife. Singer goes to prison. Band goes on to talk about how they didn’t even know their singer apparently and form new band. Singer gets released. Band reunites. ??
— Nixon (@fhnixon) June 8, 2018
I cannot believe As I Lay Dying released a new song and that people are just ignoring that Tim had tried to put a hit out on his wife.
— Peach ? (@xBruisedPeachx) June 9, 2018
Just a friendly reminder that Tim Lambesis went to prison for hiring a hit man to kill his wife. Thanks for letting me know you like As I Lay Dying’s new song so I can unfollow you.
— SamPura (@SamPura) June 7, 2018
The best as I lay dying take is “yeah I don’t agree with what tim did, but he’s human. I still love this band.”
Motherfucker he HIRED A HITMAN TO MURDER HIS WIFE YOU CAN GET SHITTY METALCORE FROM LITERALLY ANYWHERE ELSE
— The ASMR Volta (@mmatthewryann) June 7, 2018
FUCK As I Lay Dying. Fuck Tim and and all the pathetic spineless fucks he got to reform the band. Fuck their label. Fuck any agents or promoters who work with them. Fuck press outlets who promote their new music. Fuck their fans.
— Sam Richards (@Tovegantinued) June 8, 2018
Some however, defending the band and their decision to return with Lambesis:
So I think we can all agree, that enjoying the new As I Lay Dying Official is the true definition of a "guitly pleasure". Sorry, I had to, but I digging the new track.
— CREATIVE HEATHEN (@chdcofficial) June 8, 2018
One fan Arlo Pineda Jordan wrote on Facebook: “This band is a perfect example that shit happens, and in spite of what happened, they decided to bury the hatchet and move forward.”
Mackenzie Vieth agreed “‘Omg he did something bad how can you support the band?’ Listen virtue signallers, he served his time. That’s how our justice system works. Besides, I’m trying to listen to their new music, not marry the dude,” while Jacob Rhoads added: “Regardless the past, everyone makes mistakes…some way more brutal and crucial than others, but this is moving on and forward.”
“Words cannot begin to express how deeply sorry I am for the hurt that I have caused,” Lambesis wrote last year. “There is no defence for what I did, and I look back on the person I became with as much disdain as many of you likely do.
“First, I apologise to my former wife and remarkable children for my appalling actions. There’s not a single day that goes by where I don’t wish I could undo the damage I caused, and out of respect for their wishes I will not discuss anything else about them (now or in the future). I also ask anyone reading this to promote healing for them by respecting their privacy and defending them from any negativity or anger which should be directed towards me. I was the sole offender and the only one to blame for everything that happened.”
He continued: “To the people who looked up to me as an artist, I let you down in so many ways. I tried to show my best side to the public, while feeding an ugly growing monster behind closed doors. I wrote lyrics about the person I wanted to be rather than the person that I was. I was living a life that lacked empathy and viewed everything through a self-motivated lens.
“I cannot say for certain what life looks like going forward as so much is different now and I’m still learning. Music always has and always will be a part of me, and has helped me get through the darkest parts of my journey. However, this apology is not a part of promoting anything. Rumors circulate, and that’s something I’ve learned to accept, but this apology is just that, an apology to everyone around me.”