Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell has announced his retirement from the band, citing ongoing health challenges.
“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” Harwell said in a statement provided to TMZ. “To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”
Harwell, 54, suffers from cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease where the heart muscle becomes enlarged and weak, making it difficult to pump blood. Last month, he took a brief hiatus from the band in order to address recent health issues, but after briefly returning to the stage this past weekend, Harwell decided it was best to retire for good.
A TikTok video featuring footage of Smash Mouth’s concert last Saturday showed Harwell slurring his words and stumbling on stage. He also allegedly threatened members of audience, and at one point appeared to give a Nazi salute to the crowd.
“To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you,” Harwell added in his statement. “I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues, and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to.”
Harwell concluded his statement by saying he “cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans,” which suggests the band will continue on without him. When Harwell took his aforementioned hiatus last month, he was replaced by an unknown friend of the band.
Harwell and bassist Paul De Lisle were the only two constant members of Smash Mouth since their formation in 1994. The band has two top 10 singles to its name — “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star” — and their sophomore album Astro Lounge has gone platinum three times over. Both “All-Star” and Smash Mouth’s cover of “I’m a Believer” were featured prominently in the first Shrek film.