The iconic band split in 1999, following the departure of guitarist Nick McCabe. They later reformed from 2007-2009, including a headline set at Glastonbury.
Speaking of the split at the time, Ashcroft told the BBC: “The decision to split the band did not come without a great deal of distress to me personally.
“I have always given everything to the band and would have continued to do so if circumstances had not made it impossible.”
However since then, he’s remained largely silent on the split and now, he’s revealed why. “If you wanted me to give clarity on why or what was the main factor, what I’d be doing was changing… I made a decision quite a number of years ago that I’d see how it pans out,” he told Radio X.
“I’ll see if any other member tries to re-write history, you know. I’ll see how many bizarre takes on events stack up and then maybe one day I’ll go: ‘You know what? I’ll write the book'”
“If I’m attempting to make myself the saint in this that would be wrong, but I think what has happened is, because I’ve kind of remained a bit silent on the subject, because I don’t want to burn people out publicly, I don’t want to just say ‘here we go this is what I was dealing with’. I’m not that kind of guy,” he added.
Ashcroft later discussed his respect for his bandmates saying, “I don’t want to be responsible for messing up someone.
“I don’t want to be responsible for that because the things that happened in The Verve, it was heavy stuff. It was real. It wasn’t just frivolous nonsense, you know what I mean?”
“There was real people’s lives. It was real emotions,” he added. “And I’ve never really thought about completely clarifying it because I know the damage that clarifying it will do.
“So I am prepared to take any bizarre misshapen fucked-up version of that reality said by anyone. Any ex member of the band can say what the fuck they like, because I know the truth and I’m cool with it. And I know what I’ve done since the band, and I know what I’ll continue to do. Judge me by my works…”
Last year McCabe revealed that he’d tried to call Ashcroft about whether The Verve should do anything to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘Urban Hymns’.
“At that point Jazz Summers was still with us so there was talk about it all,” he told NME. “I spoke to his wife for a couple of hours and that was all civil, quite a nice chat but didn’t hear back from him. That’s kind of where we’re all at now.
“I think it’s just whoever’s angry about what, that’s destructive in and of itself. It takes a lot of effort to be angry and Si and Richard – they’ve got grievances that they’ll never sort out,” he added. “I feel like I made peace at some point with Richard and a lot of this stuff could be easily sorted out with conversation but such things don’t work out.”