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Sal Costa, My Darkest Days: Guitarist Tells Us Why He Really Left the Band

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The day after Sal Costa got married to his long-time girlfriend in Toronto, the pair weren’t able to shut out the outside world and truly enjoy their first day as husband and wife.

No, a three-month secret that he had left My Darkest Days was released by his former bandmates online – and Costa’s phone started ringing and buzzing like mad. The personable, mohawked guitarist who has built such a close connection with his fans and even has t-shirts featuring his face, wanted to set the record straight via Noisecreep, the site that first wrote about his joining My Darkest Days back in Sept. 2009.

While he is currently on his honeymoon in Mexico, Costa answered this Q&A and now can go back to enjoying his romantic getaway.

Although it was only announced Friday (Jan. 4), when did you actually leave My Darkest Days?

I officially left My Darkest Days in October, but until everything was sorted out we didn’t want to make an official announcement. Leaving a band isn’t easy. There are relationships from both the band, fans, and people who work for you that you have to give an explanation to. I really wanted to sort out everything before any public announcements were made.

Why did you stay on and do the shows with the band?

For two main reasons. #1, I felt I owed it to the fans to play the shows they thought I’d be at. People paid money to see the MDD that included me, if I didn’t show up, it would be like a slap in the face to them. The fans made me and I owe them the utmost respect. Reason #2, the guys are still sorting out how they want to continue with the band. To leave them high and dry while the band had shows booked is not my style. I don’t want to see them crash and burn. That’s just not the way I wanted to go out. I wanted it to be as graceful a process as it could be. I had left the band and was still playing shows until we had nothing else booked. I thought that was just the most professional way to depart.

Watch My Darkest Days’ ‘Casual Sex’ Video

Why did you delay the announcement?

I delayed the announcement for the sake of the shows. I couldn’t imagine fans showing up to shows thinking I would be there, then the show starting and I’m nowhere to be found. It wouldn’t be right to do that to the people who made me.

Why did you decide to leave and how long were you contemplating leaving?

You know, it’s been a very long while that I’ve been contemplating my departure with the band. I really struggled with it for a while. I almost didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that I felt this way. When I think of a band, I think of a group of artists sitting in front of the same canvas painting different parts of the same scenery. I had felt for a long while that I was painting a different scene on a different canvas all together. We just were not on the same page on many fronts. However, that is okay. Everyone is entitled to their own journey. That is the beauty of life. How can I tell my fans to follow their heart and dreams and then not do the same for myself? It seemed hypocritical for me to stay.

For the record, what does you getting married have to do with you leaving?

Getting married has NOTHING to do with me leaving. I had been with “J” years before I joined MDD. Aside from being my best friend, “J” has been my backbone and has literally been my partner in crime, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my career. Many of my fans can thank her because if it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would be here today. That is the truth. She isn’t the girl I met when the band began to explode. Quite the opposite. She was the girl who gave me a roof to live under when I was a struggling artist making peanuts. I married “J” because I love her and I owe her the world. However, that has nothing to do with MDD.

Why do you think the band decided to announce you had left the day after you got married?

To be honest that really hurt me. We had agreed we would release a press statement that we would draft together and both agree on. We were to agree on what the release would say, and when we would say it. All of a sudden, the day after my wedding, my phone starts going off the hook as I began getting text messages from friends saying “YOU LEFT MDD???” Sure enough, a statement was released on the MDD page that was not approved by me, nor did I even know it was going up. I felt as if it was made to look as if my marriage ended the band, or made me leave the band. In reality, my life with “J” began way before I even joined MDD. It was really unfortunate and hurtful. I’m not sure why it was posted that day… my guess is that sometimes in situations like this, emotions run hot and people know not what they do.

Watch My Darkest Days’ ‘Sick and Twisted Affair’ Video

What are your plans?

There is a ridiculous amount of stuff going on right now. Aside from the release of the material myself, [Poison's] Bret Michaels and [Def Leppard's] Phil Collen collaborated on [coming out in February], I also wrote a song with Age of Days. It will be their next single off their new album, which you will be hearing shortly. I also feature a guitar solo, keyboards and synth on the song. I’m super excited about it. I truly believe in the song and the vibe we created together. I’m really excited for the fans to hear this one. RoadEatz [a cooking show] is rolling like crazy right now too. We’re almost out of the developmental stages, which is really exciting.

There are also some “top secret” projects in the works, and a LOT of writing going on. I am in no rush to put out some sub-par music, so I am really really really taking my time with what is to come. There has been a pretty cool tour offer that has come my way that I am contemplating with for mid 2013 as well.

Being on the road for so long, I have become friends with so many great musicians that I have been too busy to write with or create bands with due to MDD’s insane schedule. I finally have the time to almost go back in time. It’s exciting.

Also – you have heard it from me: I wish MDD the best of luck always. Not only in their musical careers, but in their personal life goals and endeavors. I truly mean that.

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