It’s been an eventful past few years for As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis. He served just over a two-year prison sentence for soliciting the murder of his wife and was released early in Dec. 2016.
The band announced their return soon after in June 2018, selling out their first North American tour since 2013. Now, with a new slew of dates this spring, it appears not everyone is as happy for Lambesis’ return.
AILD’s next tour doesn’t begin until mid-March, but one of the venues has already pulled the plug on their show.
Memphis, Tennessee venue Growlers released a lengthy statement on the event’s page Tuesday night explaining their decision to cancel the show.
They state community outcry led to the decision, and they’re replacing the show with a benefit for domestic abuse survivors with information on that still pending. They also quote Lambesis’ past statement, explaining not everyone was ready to give him a second chance.
You can view the venue’s full statement below:
“After hearing the combined voice of disheartened friends, local bands, and patrons, locally owned concert venue and bar, Growlers, has cancelled their scheduled show with As I Lay Dying, previously set for April 5th, and will replace it with a local show to benefit victims of domestic violence. Growlers has also canceled a show with the band Pentagram, previously set for March 24th.
In 2014, Tim Lambesis, singer of metal band As I Lay Dying, was sentenced to up to six years in prison after being convicted of hiring someone to kill his wife. While the plot never unfolded, Lambesis spent the next two years of his life incarcerated. Just a couple of years later, and he’s back on stage, but with a remorseful attitude.
From Lambesis, ‘I stand against who I became in my past… People who support AILD are not supporting the person I once was, because part of my life’s work is to undo the hurt I’ve caused. I will never be able to undo my greatest mistake, but I believe it’s better to do something rather than give up. AILD collectively condemns all forms of domestic abuse and violence. Our mission is to continually seek and implement ways to facilitate positive, meaningful change in the world around us.’
However, not everyone was ready to give Lambesis a second chance, and Growlers has created controversy in Memphis for booking his band in Memphis.
“While we believe in the justice system and the ability for rehabilitation, we are against domestic violence and will always listen to those that have gone through the pain that it has caused. Since As I Lay Dying returned to performing we’d had several requests to bring them to Memphis, despite the singer’s past.
When the show was first announced, hundreds of people bought tickets right away. However, we’ve since heard the input of several people in the local community that we have the utmost respect for, and we want them to know that their voices are heard. Growler’s vehemently denounces all forms of physical and mental domestic abuse, and we’ll be replacing the As I Lay Dying show with a benefit show featuring all local bands. 100% of the proceeds will go to helping local victims of domestic abuse.”
“As a locally owned small business, supporting our community is the single most
important thing to us. In this instance, we’ve heard the community loud and clear, and we are going to do everything we can to ensure that we continue forward in providing an enjoyable entertaining environment that all of our patrons feel comfortable in. And to the people who’s comments were erased we sincerely apologize, just know we stand with you.”
“All tickets purchased through Ticketweb will be refunded this week.”
This isn’t the first show As I Lay Dying have received backlash over following their return. In October, Spain’s Resurrection Festival set for this July removed the band.
As I Lay Dying’s tour will continue as planned this March, and you can view dates and pickup tickets here.
As I Lay Dying and Tim Lambesis’ past few years
The singer was arrested in May 2013 after being accused of hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife. After a delay in his trial, Lambesis pleaded guilty to a felony charge of soliciting the murder of his wife of eight years in Feb. 2014.
While he would have faced up to nine years in prison, it was revealed in May 2014 that Lambesis was only sentenced to six years. However, Lambesis received an early release in Dec. 2016. He finally broke his silence in Dec. 2017 with a lengthy statement.
The band confirmed they were returning with their original lineup, including Lambesis, in June 2018 by releasing a new track, “My Own Grave.” They performed their first show together since Lambesis’ release a few weeks later. The band announced a European tour in July followed by news of a North American one and many dates have already sold out despite venue upgrades.