Ex-Madball Drummer Blames Band’s ‘Lifestyle Issues’ for His Departure
Ex-Madball drummer Jay Weinberg — son of Max Weinberg, the drummer for Bruce Springsteen‘s famed E Street Band — has struck back at his former band members, telling Noisecreep he wasn’t fired from the band. Weinberg says he quit because he and the other musicians didn’t gel when it came to “lifestyle issues,” and that he wasn’t given the credit he deserved for the work he put into their new album, ‘Empire.’
In a press statement issued in late September, Madball frontman Freddy Cricien said Weinberg “doesn’t represent this band well on a character level,” then added that “it would go against my own code of ethics to keep him around. He has a lot to learn about paying dues and about life in general.”
Weinberg disputed Cricien’s claims, adding that his decision to leave Madball was a gradual one, and he was fully responsible and fulfilled all of his obligations to the band before they parted ways.
“It was definitely thought out, and I believe it was handled in a mature way,” he said. “I made sure the band understood that my obligations with them would be fulfilled. We already had tours booked, and I wanted to make sure they knew I was on board. And I would kill the rest of the shows we had together, but when those obligations were fulfilled, they should look for someone else. Because it wasn’t exactly a good fit, and they’d be better suited with someone more in tune with their lifestyle and what they’d been doing for a long time.”
The drummer wasn’t specific about what “lifestyle issues” he was referring to, but emphasized that their habits were more suited to a musician that grew up in their era. “What they’ve been used to doing is something they’ve built up over the past 20 years, and as a new member who’s 20 years younger than rest of the guys in the band, I just didn’t see eye to eye on some of those things.”
Weinberg also says Cricien mis-characterized the contributions he made to ‘Empire.’ He said that he, guitarist Mitts and bassist Hoya Roc spent weeks writing the songs together and that Cricien wasn’t even involved until the end of the tracking process. What’s more, the drummer insists he went beyond the call of duty to make sure he was there for writing and rehearsal sessions under some fairly challenging conditions.
“I go to school at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, [N.J.], which is an hour outside of Queens, where we would rehearse,” Weinberg said. “And in addition to an 18 credit semester, which would be enough to drive anybody insane, I would got to Queens four or five days a week, and we would practice six or seven hours a day writing this record. It would be Mitts, Hoya and I in the trenches working at it.
“I had a great time and I loved the fact that they really welcomed and respected my contributions as far as writing songs and arranging stuff they brought to the table. So it was a nice collaborative three-way writing process. And at the end Freddy came a couple times and put the lyrics on it, and that’s how we got the killer album we have.”