Chelsea Grin recently announced that they are parting ways with vocalist Alex Koehler, and now Koehler has issued a statement to fans on his decision to step down from the band. He also details his new music project, Grudges, with a debut song from the project “Misery,” available to stream below.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Hey Guys. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve already heard the news about my status as a member of Chelsea Grin. Before, I tell you my story I want to sincerely thank every single one of my fans. I also want to thank every single person that helped me through the darkest time of my life. The thing about hitting rock bottom is that once you’re there, the only direction you can go is up.
I should start of by saying I am no longer a member of Chelsea Grin. For everyone who has stuck with me throughout all my years with the band I wanted to provide an in-depth explanation as to why and how this all came to be.
I’ve been struggling with depression and alcoholism for a long time now. When I was depressed I would drink to feel numb and when I sobered up (alcohol being a depressant) I’d feel even worse, so I’d start drinking again. It wasa viscous cycle that could last days, weeks and sometimes months. I attempted to stop the cycle on my own a handful of times, but eventually I would find myself starting the cycle over and over again.
It felt like constant failure. The most recent example of this occurred while we were recording in LA. Up until that point I had been sober for a few months and felt in control of the depression and alcoholism. But the cycle began again when one mistake pushed everything into a downward spiral and my world seemed to fall apart.
It felt like a normal day for me… but the truth is I had been drinking from the moment I woke up until the moment I passed out. I even disappeared for an entire day without my phone and without telling anyone where I was. The guys were worried, stressed, and scared for my safety.
At this point, the people close to me, as well as myself realized it was crucial that I receive professional help to put me on the right path for my physical and mental wellbeing.
I left the studio early and with the help of my manager Mike Milford, Kevin Lyman, and Music Cares they checked me into one of the top-rated rehabs in the country. For that I am grateful. At this point, the plan was to postpone recording and to cancel the first half of our upcoming tour with MIW. Then when I was healthy I could pick back up and I would be ready to go.
My full intentions were to participate in the tour and finish the album and this is what I was led to believe was the plan. However three weeks into treatment I received news that we had dropped the tour completely. The guys came to see me at the next visitation session and we had a very long and serious talk about the future of Chelsea Grin.
I was informed they had finished the record without me. Although things weren’t set in stone, the guys were very conflicted about the right thing to do for Chelsea Grin and for me. They felt that they could not, in good conscious, let me jump back on the road with a high potential of relapse, and end up watching me slowly kill myself.
So for the duration of my rehabilitation I did a lot of thinking and I knew I had to make one of the most heart wrenching decisions of my life. I had no choice but to step down as the singer of Chelsea Grin. This was a decision that truly tore my heart into pieces. It was heart wrenching but led me to where I am in my life now.
I am currently three months sober and happy to report that I am in the best shape of my life. I’d be lying to everyone if I said ‘I got this’ but I am sure as hell going to strive to be the best I can be and keep at it.
Though I may no longer be a member of Chelsea Grin, there was no way I could bare not creating/playing music anymore. So, I’m choosing to carry on by myself as a musical entity known as Grudges. So…that’s my story. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the music video for my first single entitled ‘Misery‘… Written while I was in rehab.”