As stated above, American metalcore band As I Lay Dying have been removed from Spain’s Resurrection Festival, set to happen July 2019. The cause of this removal is the same reason the band was originally included in the festival — the fans.
Fans of Resurrection Fest voted in pre-festival surveys to include As I Lay Dying in the 2019 lineup, but are now retracting their decision due to the controversy surrounding lead vocalist, Tim Lambesis. Before we dive further into this, let’s jump back into the past to the year 2000.
A Quick History Lesson
As I Lay Dying — whether you love them or hate them, are considered by many to have been “the kings of the metalcore” in the early 2000’s. Formed in 2000 by founding member Tim Lambesis, the band released six albums, one split album, and two compilation albums. Touring with genre icons like Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Rob Zombie, and Slayer — As I Lay Dying found immediate success. They were even nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for Best Metal Performance of their song “Nothing Left.” Sadly, in 2013 this success came to a crashing halt.
Lead vocalist and founder of the band, Tim Lambesis was arrested after trying to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife. After a long court process, Tim pleaded guilty and was sentenced on May 16, 2014, to six years in prison, with 48 days credit for time served.
The band did not condone Lambesis’ behavior and many expressed deep anger and hatred for him. The band, instead of finding a new frontman, decided to start a new project called Wovenwar with Shane Blay as lead vocalist.
Lambesis was released on parole Dec 17, 2016. After his release, Lambesis made a public apology and one-by-one got in contact with each of his former bandmates to apologize. As you can imagine this took a while. A lot of hurt feelings and anger was still lingering with many people. But as time went by, the band members forgave and let him back into their life. (To read/hear more about the apologies and the band’s road back to success, go to the link below. It will take you to a news website called Alternative Press, that did a video interview with the band where they talk about this.)
On June 8, 2018, As I Lay Dying surprised everyone with the release of a new song called “My Own Grave.” With confirmation from the music video, fans were able to see the original line up (including Lambesis) was back.
Since then, the band have played one show (which sold out in four minutes) and announced tours for later this year in the United States and Europe. Which brings us back to where we started.
Throughout the process of reuniting, the band received an enormous amount of backlash. About letting Lambesis back into the band from fans, fellow artists and news companies. One publication, MetalSucks, stated in an editorial that they would never write anything about the band or Lambesis ever again.
It is this kind of backlash that caused leaders of Resurrection Fest to remove the band from the 2019 lineup. The festival released the following statement:
“Given the controversy after the announcement of As I Lay Dying for next year, we would like to highlight our absolutely condemnatory position against gender violence. At the festival, we are aware that it is a huge problem in society, with which we must have a special sensitivity.
Like other forms of intolerance or oppression, it has no place within our festival or within the scene of which we are part. Proof of our commitment is that during our 13 editions we have been an example of coexistence, or any other violent act. Furthermore, in the surveys of the assistants during recent years, we have been given high results in terms of security.
Resurrection Fest for us is a celebration of music in many of its variants and for the majority of our attendees, it is the best week of the year. We still try to make a festival that we would like to attend to as public and where the passion for music and coexistence among all our attendees’ reigns.
The decision to include the band As I Lay Dying in this year’s edition, the same way many other European festivals will do next summer, is that we believe in social reintegration and in the right of people to rehabilitate after having met a conviction. We understand that this opinion by the organization of the festival is shared by a large part of the festival attendees who requested the band in the polls.
Given the debate and the division that was created among the attendees, and in order to maintain the prevailing atmosphere of harmony among the entire festival community, we finally made the decision after talking with the band of not including As I Lay Dying in the billing of this edition.
We hope that everyone understands this situation. Resurrection Fest is an event for all types of audiences regardless of age or social group, and that forces us sometimes to make difficult decisions. Thank you very much for understanding. See you in Viveiro.”
Despite the controversy, complaints, and setbacks, As I Lay Dying continues to push forward. With shows starting in the states next month, it doesn’t look like anyone or anything is going to stop this band or Lambesis from pushing forward and showing the world that they are back.
This article was written by Nathan Henderson.