“As devastating as this news was and has been these past couple months, I am excited for what the future holds.” – Michael Bohn.
In news that’s been rumoured online and looked to be on the cards for a long while now, co-vocalist Michael Bohn (pictured right) has now officially left Issues.
According to the band themselves, this move comes due to the supposed poppier, lighter and melodic direction of their future material, which apparently has no place for Bolm and his screaming, stating that “our band is developing musically in a direction that put us at odds with each other creatively”. The Californian group issued this statement online today, adding that this was their decision alone and wasn’t influenced by labels and the like, and you can read it in full below:
“To our amazing fans and Hooligans around the world, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the departure of Michael Bohn. We are all aware of how the internet rumor machine tends to spin its web, but the whole truth behind this amicable yet difficult decision to part is that our band is developing musically in a direction that put us at odds with each other creatively. Though sometimes beautiful in its contrast, the bigger picture began to be artistically irreconcilable.
Some of you may know that we as a band are always writing. The past year has been a lot of trial and error with new material, but the demos from these sessions are, in our opinion, undeniable in their potential, and are some of our favorite songs Issues have ever written. We found that many of the risks we wanted to take were in turn at risk of being “watered down” to make them compatible with everyone’s tastes and abilities. The quality and sincerity of our art is paramount, so we had to do a lot of soul searching to come to a conclusion that was best for all of us, the entity of Issues, and the music.
Just to make things absolutely clear: This was OUR decision as a band. No label or suit b-s. This is NOT a move to become a bubblegum pop act. We’re going to continue to do what we always have done, and write exactly what we want. We will continue to play older material and will delegate screaming parts live. Lastly, we have no current plans of adding core members to Issues.
We love Michael and the experiences we shared in Issues will forever be irreplaceable. We wish him the absolute best with his future endeavors, and he will always have our undying support within his musical career. We believe he will continue to be a voice for the fans, and prosper in his next journey.”
Given the sound and style of the band’s second record, 2016’s wickedly good ‘Headspace‘, this recent split between the now five-piece and Bohn isn’t all that surprising. With the exception of certain moments on ‘Headspace‘ (‘Blue Wall‘, most of ‘Slow Me Down‘ and ‘Flojo‘, that bridge/breakdown in ‘Coma‘, the verses of ‘The Realest‘ and ‘Home Soon‘), his contribution to Issues newer, groovier, and fresher post-hardcore sound was noticeably less than their first self-titled album and debut EP. I think it goes without saying that ‘Headspace‘ was the band’s best, most well-written and most musically interesting work to date and that they’d be completely foolish not to pursue this path further. Turns out, that means leaving Bohn behind.
Of course, Bohn is just one side of the coin for Issues killer dual vocal approach – a dynamic that defines Issues‘ sound – with fellow vocalist and now sole frontman Tyler Carter (pictured left) also discussing the departure of his bandmate and friend.
“Michael and I have been a vocal duo since we both got our start in 2008. In no chamber of my heart, did I fathom the idea that we would ever be split up. Issues has been a positive home for both of us together. We’ve had our ups and downs, as brothers do, but we have gained so much knowledge, and life from this band. I would never change a thing. Though we have a big road ahead of us, and we have no intention of giving up at any point, the biggest hardship in making this decision, is the fear of losing a friend. When you’ve been hand in hand with a musical partner for almost a decade, you can only imagine the heartbreak, anger, sadness, and confusion that you endure after a change like this. We as a band are on our way to setting up some of our most positive and creative work to date, and though it may feel disheartening, we will not hold back. I love Michael with every fiber of my being, and never wanna see him give up on the industry, I also never wanna see any of our fans give up on him. I know this is going to hit some people hard, but I hope you will focus on the most important part of what Issues has and always will be; the music.”
So lemme get this straight. Issues will continue to play older material and delegate out Michael’s parts to other members (most likely to bassist Skyler Acord or to Carter himself) all the while pushing in their recent direction yet will still remove the vocalist who would’ve provided such screams and harsh vocals more than well enough and who compliments Carter’s vocals and style greatly. That sounds pretty shitty to me and this news makes me nervous about where the band are heading next, but hey, that’s just business I suppose.
Hearing it right from the horse’s mouth, however, Bohn also issued his own statement about the split, stating that it was not his decision to leave the band, confirming that he was indeed let go due to the where the band was sonically heading for album #3. However, as you’ll read below, music isn’t over for the screamer just yet, with him saying that:
“Well, here I am typing up a statement I never thought I’d have to type. There’s so much I could say but I’m gonna do my best to keep it short and to the point. First off, I want to make it clear that I did not leave ISSUES. It was brought to my attention that the band wanted to go in a different direction and that they would be moving on without me. As devastating as this news was and has been these past couple months, I am excited for what the future holds. I am teaming up with Kevin Hanson (ex Woe, Is Me) for my new project. We have been writing for a little over a month and I have no plans on quitting music.
As for the fans, I cannot thank you enough for the love and support. So much respect to every fan around the world. You have made my time in ISSUES a dream come true. I’ve been to places I only dreamed about as a kid and couldn’t even fathom that I’d go. I have made countless memories in that band that will stay with me forever and learned a lot about life, people, and music. I truly hate that my time has come to an end in ISSUES but I’m going to make the best of it. Sorry we made you guys wait and wonder what’s going on but we wanted to be as professional as possible about this. Here’s to making the most of 2018! Much love“.
With that in mind, it’s rather bullshit to say that the split was amicable when the party that got shafted didn’t get a say in the overall decision. Well, either way, Issues third album is going to be very interesting indeed…