Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley opens up about band's split: 'I did not see this coming'
Fresh off the dramatic break-up of Every Time I Die, vocalist Keith Buckley commenced his previously scheduled "An Evening With..." shows in the UK this week. Naturally, a major topic of discussion was the dissolution of Every Time I Die and the internal divisions that led to it.
Speaking to a crowd at Signature Brew in East London on Monday, February 7, Buckley opened up (as transcribed by Metal Hammer) about the collapse of the band he first launched in 1998 with his brother Jordan, Andy Williams, and Michael "Ratboy" Novak:
"The term 'artist' never came up in my family. We never referred to each other as artists, we just kinda existed. And it wasn't until I got sober that I realised that that artistic spark is fundamental to every venture that you do as a human being, and if that spark isn't there, then there's no energy to push you into the next thing.
"So once I got sober and I realised that that spark in me had just been caked with resentment and anger and confusion and a lack of faith in anything, I saw it for what it was. And it was this poor little thing that was inside of me from the beginning, that made me want to be a writer, that made me want to be a musician, that made me want to go on tour, that then made me figure out how to deal with life in the public eye...
"There's been something that's been driving me on. I think that it's an objective fact that Every Time I Die existed for longer than most bands, so there was something in that formula that was alchemic, that was completely singular to us. And I think it was the rivalry… I think it was just those two forces constantly battling which kept pushing the band along. And once I got sober, and I realised that that was a very antiquated way to power shit… [I thought] we don't need to push the band forward with negativity, we can talk about things now.advertisement"I went to the band, and I went to the manager at the time, and I said, 'I fucked up a lot'. A lot of it was because of my drinking, a lot of it was exacerbated by a co-dependent marriage, but I said I'm on to that now, now we can really just address the problems that aren't coming in from any outside sources, now it's us. That's all I ever tried to do.
"I really felt that that was was a good thing good thing for everyone because I knew that there was friction between Jordan and I. There were a lot of things that happened during the pandemic that still haven't come out between he and I that led to this, there were multiple attempts at communication, therapy and everything. I love therapy… and I went to it, and I encouraged it for the band, but it was cut off, and I didn't know why.
"I just feel like I was looked at in bad faith. And I understand that, because I was an alcoholic and I did a lot of terrible things, and so it's easy to see someone who's constantly fucking up their own life and just realise that every decision they make is gonna suck, no matter what… And I know that that bad faith filter had been put on for 20 years…
"All i hoped to do was get a clean start and say, take all those filters away and try to look at me now as someone who is totally changing the way they're living and thinking and speaking and interacting and communicating, and give it a chance: just pretend that I'm not the guy that you got used to. And they couldn't do it. And it broke my heart.advertisement"On that [final Every Time I Die] tour… it was undeniable that I was performing better than i ever have. I was at the top of my fucking game. And I did not see this coming… I was led to believe that everything I was doing was working for the betterment of the band.
"I wanted the band to come out of the pandemic shot out of a fucking cannon, Because I knew that [2021 album] Radical was going to do it for us, it was going to be the one that finally got us to a Mastodon level, or whatever… I'd come out of a marriage with a new approach, and a new confidence to life…and I just wanted the band to have their time to shine.
"It's heartbreaking, heartbreaking. However, it is not the end of anything: I can't even say what the state of the band is right now.
"I don't know what the future holds but I know that, right now, this is exactly where I fucking want to be, and I'm very thankful to be here."