Members of The Ghost Inside have expressed regret over their decision to sack bassist Jim Riley after he admitted to using a racial slur.
Riley left the metalcore group in June after being accused by Bracewar’s Rashod Jackson of making a racist remark in 2015. The musician apologised in a statement, saying: “Its shameful and fucking embarrassing. I present myself as someone who gives a shit about progressive movements and ideas, and I was not living up to that.”
Rashod called me out in 2015. I called him, he put the screws to me. I deserved it, and I apologized to him. He told me that wasn't good enough and he was right.
— The Jim Riley (@SpartaDTD) June 5, 2020
The Ghost Inside have revealed that they felt pressured to act swiftly and sack Riley, which they now regret.
Guitarist Chris Davis told DEFIANCE podcast: “It felt that incident was going to take away the band again. It just felt so overwhelming that it’s like we have to… all five of us felt like we had to do something. Looking back now, we definitely acted hastily and definitely made the wrong call” [quotes via Lambgoat].
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Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk added: “We were just feeling the pressure from fans, people on social media, and even some peers. We felt the pressure and we made a decision against the wishes of our management and label and as soon as we made that initial post about Jim not being in the band anymore.”
He continued: “I think we all just saw something going on that was like a lose/lose and we just felt like that was the call to make at the time, and immediately felt bad and felt wrong. We knew that. We never stopped talking to Jim or anything. We literally have chatted every day since.”
— The Ghost Inside (@theghostinside) June 6, 2020
In June the band released a statement explaining why they dismissed Riley. “The Ghost Inside was born from a scene of forward thinking, understanding and progressiveness.
“Our music and message has always been one of hope and finding that light at the end of the tunnel. Racism and bigotry of any kind stifle that journey the light. It closes and locks doors that need to be broken open.”
It’s not clear if Riley is set to rejoin the group.
Riley’s departure came days after the release of The Ghost Inside’s self-titled fifth album, which NME reviewed here.