In Memoriam – A God Forbid Retrospective

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It’s only been a week since we closed the door on God Forbid, but with so much outpouring of affection, sharing of memories, disclosures of sadness bordering on mourning from friends, fans, fellow compatriots in the music industry, and my own reflections burrowing their way from my subconscious to the surface, I thought I should share some of my thoughts about what kind of legacy we left.

In all honesty, it feels silly to use a word like legacy when talking about my own band, but I was actually having some sentimental feelings about the musical catalog God Forbid has amassed when I was preparing for the last couple shows we did, before I decided to leave the group. I was practicing a few songs I hadn’t played in a while, and in that time, I started listening back to some songs and albums I hadn’t heard to in quite some time. And in that moment, I felt a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. For perhaps the first time, I heard a distinct sound that permeated from our first album to our last. Although that sound had evolved over time and become more nuanced and composed and lost some of it’s teeth, much of the feel was there. The groove was consistent. Dynamics always played a part. Darkness and melody persisted and coexisted. The words spoke about pushing through and striving for better.

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I am leaving God Forbid

I am sorry to say that I am indeed leaving God Forbid. I started playing with these guys since I was 16 years old. Now I’m 32. You do the math. To say this is difficult and a big move for me would be an understatement. It has been very emotional and very sad for me to actually follow through with this, but I feel in my heart and head that it is the right thing to do.

Let’s first remove the elephant from the room, and explain why I am leaving. I don’t want to leave the band, but there are elements of disorganization and unprofessionalism within the group that have made it impossible to be an effectively active band. I don’t feel like I’m being treated in a way that meets my standards, so I have to remove myself from the equation. I’m not going into great detail because I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus. I still love all the guys in God Forbid. They will always be my family even if there isn’t a working band. But just because you love your family doesn’t mean you can work with them in a professional sense.

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Introducing Paradise City

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So back in May, my old buddy, Tommy Vext, asked me if I would do an acoustic set of cover songs for a performance at a benefit show for our mutual friend, Tim No 37, at Tammany Hall in NYC. I wanted a more full sound, so I asked God Forbid guitar player, Matt Wicklund, to play second guitar. Our other old pal, Acey Slade (Dope, Murderdolls, Joan Jett), came in to play bass on a couple songs. We weren’t very well rehearsed, but we had a really good time, and apparently the set went over well enough that the venue offered us a residency to do a rock/metal full cover set. We rallied the troops and have been hard at work to put the most badass show together.

It kicks off this Wednesday at Tammany Hall, and we look to play there every week. We’ve also enlisted my fellow School of Rock brethren and drummer, Moe Watson, as well as New York City rock royalty Ms. Jenn City (Kittie, Suicide City) as a second bassist. I’ve always wanted to do something like this. Jamming out some of your favorite songs with your friends is as good as it gets. It’s going to be rock, it’s going to be metal, but above all, Paradise City will be about having fun, so spread the word and come out to Tammany Hall on Wednesdays. We will also be looking to take the party on the road, so be on the look out.

Paradise Fucking City