Keith Buckley Releases Statement On Every Time I Die Breakup

Former Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley has released a statement following news of the band’s breakup earlier this week.

Earlier this week, the four members of Every Time I Die released a statement announcing the end of the band. This was followed by Buckley posting a legal letter of separation sent to him by a law firm on behalf of the other band members that served as a cease and desist for Buckley to stop using the band’s name and logo from any upcoming events.

Today (Jan. 19), Buckley shared a lengthy post detailing his side of the story and explaining what led to the band’s demise. Part of the post reads:

“On December 20th, 2021, I received a letter telling me that I was separated from ‘the members of Every Time I Die’ which included all of the members not named Keith Buckley. I was also given a cease and desist, forbidding me from using the name or logo. I immediately lawyered up. I then took the band’s name off all promotional flyers for the book tour. I redesigned my social media accounts according to this request. I streamed on Twitch and didn’t mention it. Check my work, I played by the rules even though their ‘cease and desist’ was not legally binding. I was honestly doing them a solid. For anyone concerned about legalities, I am still playing by the rules and am acting in accordance with the council of my lawyer.

‘The members of Every Time I Die’ returned on Jan 5th with an offer to give me back the band and- instead of separating from me – asked me to take the ETID name back and continue without them, with the condition that they receive payments for using the name and all likenesses while I toured. 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 6th. If it was done, it was done, but I was still open to figuring out what was best for us all.

After that I waited for a response, but quickly became uncomfortable with the fact that tickets to upcoming tours were still being sold. It is my understanding that they had, at this point, no acting manager and therefore no one to take responsibility for their decisions. According to my lawyer, no one was responding to his requests to talk either.

On Jan. 17th, with pressure from promoters increasing, my lawyer sent them a proposed statement to discuss amongst ourselves. (Here it is for reference… ‘In a desire for transparency I want to let you know that I received a letter from the band’s lawyer firing me from Every Time I Die on Dec. 20th. there were no band discussions prior nor since. While the details are being legally worked out, know that I am in a good place and excited for whatever will come next. I wish everyone well and have no hate in my heart.’) I said that I would release it in 24 hours ONLY if they did not respond with an alternate statement or an interest in collaborating on a new one. As I saw it, something had to be said. I was not going to lie to people to protect ‘the members of Every Time I Die’. No response. Later that night I was texted by a friend telling me to check Twitter. There, I discover that they have announced on behalf of themselves that we officially disbanded after the second Christmas show.”

He continues: “That is how I found out that the band I started when I was 19 years old was publicly over. 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. That is one of the hardest things to stomach. After half my life in a van I don’t even get access to an IG page worth of memories. That, coupled with the incongruous stories that are being told to manipulate and blur the narrative for anyone that might one day look back on this, are to me a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

My truth is that the pandemic changed me. Full stop. I looked at my life and I realized not only was I unhappy, I was exhausted from pretending I wasn’t. So I stripped everything back until I found what I loved. Then I worked to nurture that Love and set boundaries around it. Any growth that has transpired after that has been, to me, miraculous.

After I became sober, I acknowledged to the band the pain I had caused in the past and begged 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. In return, my mental health was thrown into question when it suited them. Or instead, it was used as a weapon against me when my boundaries offended the consciences of those repeatedly trying to cross them.

There are a lot of reasons this break up happened, but it could not have resulted in any other conclusion. This was inevitable. In all of its ugly confusion and negativity and rumor, our own deep familial dysfunction manicured it perfectly. Our problems with each other go back decades. We should have broken up in 2014 to be honest. But we didn’t, for our own reasons. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I continued beyond that point for no other reason than to connect with other people through my lyrics and live performance. In hindsight, I’m so thankful I stuck it out. FPU [From Parts Unknown], Low Teens and especially Radical are important records that I feel needed to be made. I still sense Radical gaining importance, 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.”

Read Buckley’s full statement below.

Every Time I Die’s breakup comes shortly after the release of their ninth album, Radical.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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