THE HUMAN ABSTRACT’S NATHAN ELLS: WAS HE FIRED OR DID HE QUIT?
It always comes down to that when a band loses a member, doesn’t it? And usually there’s a long, drawn-out battle — graciously conducted via the media — in which each side explains their version of the story.
So, it seems The Human Abstract and singer Nathan Ells have parted ways. The band released a statement via their MySpace blog at 3:22pm on Friday afternoon simply stating “The Human Abstract will no longer be working with Nathan Ells. We want to wish Nathan the very best in his future endeavors. With that being said, we are now looking for our new lead singer.” 48 minutes later, Ells fired back from his own MySpace blog thusly: “I want it to be known that the decision made by my band was not mutual, and I was fired.”
Was he fired or did he quit?
My initial instinct would be to say that someone isn’t telling the truth here. But if you look at the band’s statement, all it really says it that the band “will no longer be working with” Ells; it doesn’t say he quit. So it would appear that Ells was, in fact, fired. I’m sure the band will come back — either now or in an interview weeks or months from now — with anecdotal support about why Ells was dismissed (i.e. “Drug problems!” “Emotionally unstable!” “Different artistic direction!” “Used his hair iron too much!”) but for now let’s just call a spade and spade and recognize that Ells was given the boot.
In the same blog post, the band announced that former guitarist AJ Minette has returned to the band, albeit not in a full-time member role:
We want to formally announce greater news! We are working hand in hand with A.J. Minette on this next record which is well in the works. A.J. was the original guitarist alongside Dean for the band. Mr. Minette will be part of the writing force and will serve as producer for the third album. We are tremendously excited to be working together again. A.J. wanted to add, “Let me be the first to say…FIRST POST. NO ONE CARES. VAN FLIP”.
It’d be easy to assume that Minette’s return in some way affected the band’s relationship with Ells, but let’s not get carried away here and make assumptions. Aww shit, fuck it, let’s! These two events are probably related at least a little bit, right?
I know a lot of Human Abstract fans were super bummed when Minette left the band so this should come as good news to many. Fans seemed to blame AJ’s departure for the band’s softer sound on Midheaven, but when I interviewed Ells after the album’s release he claimed that AJ was actually the one who wanted to go even softer. So who knows. Human Abstract fans should definitely read that interview, by the way… it’s one of the best I ever conducted for this site. Ells was definitely an interesting man, a true artist… I’ll give him that. It’ll be interesting to hear how his departure and Minette’s return manifest themselves in the band’s next record.