As I Lay Dying have said goodbye to another longtime member following their 2018 re-formation after frontman Tim Lambesis’ prison stint. Bassist and clean vocalist Josh Gilbert has left the veteran metalcore band, following the footsteps of guitarist Nick Hipa, who exited in 2020.
Lambesis was infamously arrested in 2013 on suspicion of attempting to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife. He was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison in 2014, but was released after only two and a half years behind bars. He ultimately decided to revitalize As I Lay Dying, and was joined by longtime members Hipa, Gilbert, Phil Sgrosso and Jordan Mancino. The band has been touring again ever since, and released the new album Shaped by Fire in 2019.
In a statement on Monday (May 16th), Gilbert said, “Hello, friends. After 15 years (almost half my life), I’ve decided to part ways with As I Lay Dying. Despite the ups and downs inherent, I’ll always be grateful for the profound privilege of being to able to grow up traveling the world playing music with the band. None of that would be possible without the fans of the band, so for that I sincerely thank you all so much for allowing me the opportunity. I wish the best for AILD moving forward, and I hope to see all of you sooner rather than later.”
As I Lay Dying have recruited Miss May I’s Ryan Neff to replace Gilbert, while also announcing that Ken Susi of Unearth will be playing guitar on the band’s upcoming tour’s in the wake of Hipa’s departure in 2020.
The band stated the following via Instagram:
“As we have been nearing our first tour back since the beginning of 2020, there have been several developments within AILD that we’d like to share with our fans. The past couple years off from the road with the uncertainty of how or when touring would pick up again has provided time to consider new endeavors in life apart from AILD.
Josh Gilbert has decided to exit AILD to pursue other musical opportunities. Josh has been a strong contributor musically for AILD since joining in 2007 so we are grateful for all his contributions and his friendship over the years. We wish him all the best and are excited to see where this new path takes him in life.
As I Lay Dying will honor our touring commitments for the remainder of 2022 with the Two Decades of Destruction US Tour (June 10 – July 17) then European festival season in August.
We are thankful to have Ryan Neff, of Miss May I taking on bass and vocal duties for our upcoming tours. We first met Ryan down in Mexico City, playing together back in 2012, so we’re stoked to be sharing the stage with a familiar face and talented musician.
Joining us on second guitar for these two tours will be our good friend Ken Susi of Unearth. We have known Ken for almost 20 years, coming up in the scene and playing many tours together. Ken’s style of guitar playing is closely related to AILD so we are excited to have a close friend and ripper of a guitar player joining us.
We are grateful for our fans’ continued support as we enter a new chapter of the band with newfound energy and enthusiasm. There’s been a lot of moving parts but what has and will always be the main priority of AILD is creating new music. We plan to have a new song out to you shortly before completing our full length by the end of the year.
We look forward to seeing many familiar faces on our upcoming tours and thank you for believing in us at every step of this band’s journey.”
When Hipa left in 2020, he pointed to internal conflict within the band, stating, “”Respectfully, I left because the story and meaning we built our reunion upon decayed considerably over time. What primarily endures is a superficial pursuit I cannot justify supporting or being part of.”
For his part, Lambesis has claimed to turn over a new leaf since serving his prison sentence, saying, “People who support As I Lay Dying are not supporting the person I once was.”
As mentioned in the band’s statement, As I Lay Dying kick off a US tour in June, followed by a European festival run.