A few weeks after As I Lay Dying announced a spring 2019 U.S. tour, the venue Growlers canceled the band’s April 5th concert after hearing major outcry for booking the metalcore act.
Lambesis, in a post on his Instagram account, says that he understands the decision, but goes on to point out the amends he’s making in his life after serving time in prison for attempting to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife.
In a lengthy statement, Lambesis writes:
While I’m disappointed by the cancellation of our show in Memphis, I understand and accept the resentment some people have towards who I used to be.
I stand against that person I became during the darkest period of my past, and it is part of my life’s work to prevent others from going down destructive paths. It’s now been almost six (6) years since I made the biggest mistake of my life, and I consider each day an opportunity to do something positive to turn my life around and to use my experience to help others.
As I move forward with this purpose I know there will be obstacles. However, I wish we could have come up with a more meaningful solution for the fans in Memphis rather than just cancel. Perhaps I could visit a recovery center in Memphis, a free event to our fans + those being served at the center, where I can open up for Q&A and all questions are welcome. I look forward to continuing this conversation around recovery, how to prevent others from ending up in a bad place, and how to facilitate healing in the lives of people who have been hurt by others. I welcome the opportunity to address the topic of domestic violence and how I am not on the opposing side of this critical issue.
Since serving my time I’ve been involved in the following:
– Completed all of the courses necessary to become an addiction treatment counselor in the state of California with hopes of helping others who are struggling with addiction and mental health.
– Worked for a year as a case manager at an addiction treatment facility.
– Spent two years tutoring inmates who never finished high school. Education is the greatest tool we currently have for breaking the criminal cycle of repeat offenders.
– I currently visit prisons quarterly to help inmates without job skills train for their release so that they can become productive neighbors and not a burden on society. Most end up back in prison due to lack of hope or a support system.
Through AILD, our recent tours have allowed us the opportunity to donate proceeds of sales to organizations that help others — notably Heart Support and families affected by the California fires.
Thanks to our fans connecting with this message, we were able to become one of Heart Support’s main contributors. We strongly believe in their objective to offer emotional support and counseling to young adults caught in cycles of depression, abuse, and addiction, and will continually support charities that further the process of healing for others.
By listing all of the above, it’s not my intention to gain praise or recognition. I simply want to make sure it’s clear how seriously I take all of these issues.
Throughout my four-year incarceration and release, I’ve sought meaningful personal change and surrounded myself with family, friends, and counsel. I’m grateful to have earned the support of my bandmates, my wife, family, and fans who’ve also given me this chance. I will continue to move forward in my personal mission to help others and make a positive impact in the world around me, knowing there will be challenges, and believing that the next half of my life will be more meaningful than the first.
I look forward to continuing a discussion around recovery, mental health, domestic violence and prisoner reform for many years to come.
In place of the As I Lay Dying gig, the Memphis venue is scheduling a show with local bands that night, with proceeds benefiting victims of domestic abuse.
As I Lay Dying are still scheduled to kick off their U.S. tour on March 15th in St. Louis, Missouri. The dates can be seen here.