Keith Buckley Shares His Side of the Story of Every Time I Die’s Breakup
On Jan. 17, Every Time I Die announced they had broken up following weeks of public drama involving frontman Keith Buckley and the other four bandmates. Since, both sides have aired other details surrounding the decision and Buckley has now shared an extensive version of his side of the story.
Internal friction within the band came to light late last year in a confusing series of messages from Buckley and the rest of Every Time I Die, some of which have since been deleted, thus creating more confusion for fans who are looking to follow the breadcrumb trail of events. Often times, the statements from each side were conflicting. As Every Time I Die neared the end of their tour in December, it was determined that Buckley would be absent from the final pair of shows due to a need to prioritize his mental health, per the band.
Buckley agreed his mental health has been a topmost priority since becoming sober and confirmed he would begin preparations for the annual 'Tid the Season holiday event in the group's hometown of Buffalo, New York. The event went ahead as planned on Dec. 10 and 11. The vocalist had also insinuated that the rest of the band were plotting to replace him behind his back and called out his brother, guitarist Jordan Buckley, in the process.
In an effort to clarify the chain of events that immediately preceded his four bandmates' collective decision to terminate Every Time I Die, Buckley shared four text-based images on Twitter and said, "This is my truth. Read it if you want to know it."
"There is absolutely no hate in my heart when I say that whatever is going on with the guys from now on is between them and their God," Buckley began.
The first part of the explanation chronicles Buckley's disenfranchisement with his bandmates after allegedly overhearing talk amongst the other members about a plan to replace him while backstage at a show in Asheville, N.C. on Dec. 3. He performed the show and then promptly left the tour to "protect" his mental health.
Upon returning home, he says attempts to discuss the personal issues between him and his bandmates and work toward reconciliation were "dismissed or outright ignored."
More than a week after the conclusion of 'Tid the Season, Buckley said he "received a letter telling me that I was separated from 'the members of Every Time I Die,'" which included everyone but him. A cease and desist order also dictated that he must remove all Every Time I Die branding from any promotional materials he was using personally. In response, he "lawyered up" and reworked assets for his book tour and revamped his social media accounts in compliance with the order.
Buckley also said that, on Jan. 5, an offer was presented to him by "the members of Every Time I Die" that would allow him to take the Every Time I Die band name back and carry on without the rest of the group. In return, those four members would still receive payment for Buckley's continued use of the name and likeness.
"The thing is, being given the band back and/or replacing them was not something I was interested in doing at this point in my life. Also, I do not see ETID as anything other than these specific members. I declined the offer on Jan. 6," Buckley revealed.
The band, absent a manager who resigned amid the drama, struggled to communicate properly, Buckley suggested, and with a tour looming and "pressure from promoters increasing," the vocalist says he worked with his lawyer to spur a discussion between the two camps with Buckley threatening to release a public statement within 24 hours if his four estranged bandmates failed to "respond with an alternative statement or an interest in collaborating on a new one."
Shortly after, the four members of Every Time I Die publicly announced the band's dissolution.
Jordan Buckley also issued a statement on Twitter and said, in part, "There was been no direct communication with Keith, because it's either impossible for direct communication with him solely or we've been cut off to any and all communication by him himself."
"That is how I found out that the band I started when I was 19 years old was publicly over," Buckley continued, dismayed that there was no communication between the two sides whatsoever before that final decision came down. "In posting that without prior conversation, without legal consultation, without any personal sense of honor for the band we built, these men took away my ability to say goodbye to 20 years worth of sacrifice," he went on.
Buckley then acknowledged the personal changes he had made in recent years and cited the pandemic as the impetus for introspection with a renewed focus on nurturing love and growth in tandem with sobriety.
"After I became sober, I acknowledged to the band the pain I had caused in the past and begged for their forgiveness. I promised in return that I would allow the pain they caused me to heal completely and all hatchets would be forever buried. For those understandably unwilling to immediately forgive me, I promised my vigilance at finding the perfect balance of happiness and sacrifice," he wrote.
The vocalist, who turned 42 in November, also noted that his mental health was weaponized by the rest of the band against him. He then acknowledged that problems the members of the band had with each other "go back decades" and that Every Time I Die should have broken up in 2014.
"In hindsight, I'm so thankful I stuck it out. [From Parts Unknown], Low Teens and especially Radical are important records that I feel needed to be made," stated Buckley. "I still sense Radical gaining important, but the firm spiritual and political stance I took on that record became an insurmountable point of contention between Jordan and I. I, however, make no apologies for a single word."
The final part of Buckley's side of the story is concentrated on gratitude for those who supported him and reassured concerned fans, "Trust me that I'm good," after having had a month to process everything.
Meanwhile, it appears the four estranged members — Jordan Buckley, Andy Williams Stephen Micciche and Clayton "Goose" Holyoak — intend to continue making music together outside of Every Time I Die, per a Twitter response from Jordan.