Earlier this week, Skeletonwitch surprised fans when they not only announced that singer Chance Garnette wasn’t joining them for a European tour but also quietly removed his name from the Band Members section of their official Facebook page. Then reports started circulating that the vocalist had been charged with “assault and battery on a family/household member” back in October. But now Garnette has spoken out giving a little more insight to his absence.
In an exclusive statement to Metal Injection, Garnette not only admits to having a drinking problem but says he was fired from Skeletonwitch. He further claims that while he has since sought treatment for his alcohol abuse issues, his former bandmates fired him without giving a chance to redeem himself. Here’s his full statement.
“Hey everyone, Chance here. So, let me get into this whole thing in regards to what’s up between myself and Skeletonwitch right now.
To put it simply, I have a drinking problem. I regularly became a drunk asshole off stage and was fired. Did I just up and split in the middle of tour, leaving the band to solider on as heroes instrumentally as indicated by all the reports? No. I was left behind, unsure about anything, with no communication. It was my girlfriend who told me they were firing me from the band. Two days later, when I could get someone to take my call, I asked “Is this it? Am I fired?”. I was told, “Right now, you’re not the singer in Skeletonwitch” and that the band would be finishing the tour instrumentally. If I had been given the opportunity beforehand to change what was wrong, or been told “Dude, you’re too much, we can’t take this shit, shape up or hit the bricks” then of course I would have. I mean, I’ve poured everything into this band for 11 years. It’s been the first thing I think of when I wake up and last thing I think of before bed for that long. You know, the last person to see who’s being an asshole is the person being the asshole. That was me, Guilty. I should have been able to recognize my own mistakes and faults and be able to fix my own shit. I’m not blaming anyone for not coming to me with an ultimatum about my behavior. I wish something like that would have happened, it didn’t, what can I do? I’m not making an excuse for myself here, I own this; it’s all mine. What do they say? Wish in one hand and shit in the other and what are you left holding? Well I’m holding it…with both hands.
Did I go home to address “serious issues”? Yes, absolutely. Upon arriving home I immediately sought help via a local intensive out patient program because if there was to be any hope of a future with the band, I had to change, no question. There’s no excuse for blacking out and turning into a raging lunatic, not remembering what you have done the night before. Honestly, I still have no recollection of certain events even as I type this is. Look, I admit it; I fucked up. I can’t change the past. I can only change the present and the future and am continuing to try to do just that.
I apologize to everyone that didn’t get the full Skeletonwitch live show during the last half of the Amon Amarth tour late last year and to everyone in Europe that was expecting to see me front the band during the current festival/headline run. Believe me, I wanted to be there then and I want to be there now. I found out Skeletonwitch had a fill in vocalist for the current tour the same way everyone else did a couple days ago: on the internet. So, that’s that, guys. I don’t feel I am finished artistically. I don’t feel my well has run dry lyrically. I’m still “Breathing the Fire”. I’m sitting on notebooks full of ideas and I hope I get to perform for you guys again in the not so distant future. If I get that opportunity, I won’t let you guys down. Thanks for everything, I hope to see all of you again.”
On the one hand, it’s extremely admirable of Garnette (whose brother Nate plays guitar in the band) taking full responsibility for his wrong doing. Still, he definitely shines a less than flattering light on his now former bandmates, and it’s obvious that his departure was dramatic and not amicable. Skeletonwitch have yet to comment on their former singer’s side of the story, nor have they technically even officially confirmed he’s been outed from the band… but this is likely not the last we heard about this.