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Alissa White-Gluz on Split With The Agonist: ‘That Was the Worst Betrayal I’ve Ever Felt in My Life’

Photo by Patric Ullaeus
Photo by Patric Ullaeus

It was the spring of 2014 when Alissa White-Gluz moved from The Agonist to Arch Enemy, with The Agonist quickly selecting Vicky Psarakis to fill the void. At the time, The Agonist and White-Gluz issued statements and the singer later revealed that it was her intent to balance doing both acts, but it was not meant to be. White-Gluz stated at the time that she wished she could change the situation, but it was beyond her control. But while it was very polite and professional publicly in revealing the moves, the singer says in a new interview that she was hurt by her bandmates’ decision and how they acted in making the move to replace her was “the worst betrayal” of her life.

White-Gluz has been reluctant to open up about it, but decided to share what happened during an appearance on The Jasta Show podcast (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). According to the vocalist, she had already been splitting time as a special guest with Kamelot when the offer for Arch Enemy came along. After having talks with Angela Gossow and Michael Amott, they agreed that she would be able to do both bands and even went so far as to mapping out scheduling where both acts could co-exist. “That band was my baby. I built that band, I picked the name, I drew the logo, I directed all the photo shoots,” says White-Gluz. “You know, it was my band … I thought that we made great music together. I really liked the music that we were all making. I think everyone was very talented in that band. And so I told them.”

The singer says that the band members seemed to be okay with the move when it was revealed to them, with White-Gluz planning to give up Kamelot and just focus on her two bands. Plus, she was giving up her day job, which gave her even more time to work on music. She recalls doing a couple of tours with The Agonist with no signs of trouble and had even started working on new music for their next album. Not long after, three of the members of the band called an emergency meeting. “They basically sat down and they told me that one of the guys in the band gave them an ultimatum and said, ‘Either we kick her out or I’m gonna quit the band, because I don’t want her in the band anymore,'” recalled White-Gluz.

The meeting ended with her planning to speak with the band’s new manager to discuss how things could be worked out only to find she’d been locked out of all the band’s social media accounts and when she finally got hold of the manager, he told her that he was informed the she had quit. “I was, like, ‘What? I didn’t quit. This is my band. I would never quit this band,'” says the singer. “And he was, like, ‘They told me you quit.’ So I was, like, ‘Can we get on the phone, please? I don’t know what’s happening right now.'”

Eventually, White-Gluz reveals she was able to get back into her e-mail account where she uncovered a chain from months earlier where they had found a new vocalist. “Basically, I saw this happen. It occurred to me that they had been lying to my face throughout an entire 30-day tour of Europe,” says the singer. “Me talking about ’em, ‘I’m so excited for the album. Listen to this. I did this on a song.’ It now occurred to me that they were smiling to my face but secretly knew that they had found someone else.”

The vocalist says reflecting on it now, she feels it was a case of ego interfering and she still doesn’t understand why it happened without any sort of communication that there was an issue. White-Gluz says she’s remained quiet about it because she doesn’t want to publicly shame anyone and has blocked The Agonist from her social media viewing. “I just decided I don’t want to feel that betrayal anymore,” she explains. As for whether or not there would ever be a mending of fences with the band, she responded, “No. I’ll never talk to them again — ever! That was the worst betrayal I’ve ever felt in my life. They stole a lot from me. It was not right.”

She concludes, “I just took the standpoint of I’m not gonna say anything negative about those people. I’m not even gonna talk about them at all. They’ve stolen enough from me. I’m not gonna let them steal any more of my energy. Instead I’m gonna put my energy towards the good things that I have, which is from this point and into the future.”

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