Former Enabler Bassist Accuses Frontman of Physical and Sexual Abuse; Band Goes on Indefinite Hiatus
Before we begin, let me just say that this story is not going to have any of the usual MetalSucks editorializing. The reason? We’re a little too close to it. Not only are we Enabler fans, but we’ve sponsored several of their tours and debuted songs and music videos from the band. I’m quoted on the sticker that will accompany their new album, Fail to Feel Safe. And Frank Godla, who was the band’s drummer until yesterday, is a very close friend, and one of our business partners in multiple endeavors, including the website Gear Gods.
So, I’m just going to present the facts as we currently know them and leave it at that.
And with that out of the way…
Former Enabler bassist Amanda Daniels — who was also romantically involved with guitarist/vocalist Jeff Lohrber for some time — released the below statement over the weekend via her personal blog. The statement was in response to an interview with Lohrber regarding Fail to Feel Safe‘s upcoming release.
There are many reasons for my silence. They have changed over time, as I have collected and carried these secrets. I want to say now the largest of these reasons is the desire to move on, for how can we heal from the past if it falling out of our mouths? But this is a lie, you can never heal from the past if it hauntingly remains inside of you. The real largest reason of all is fear.
Now that all I fought for is lost, my biggest fear is that I will never be ok. Some kind of justice must come to fruition.
I want to say I’m sorry to all of you who were there, wanting to help and not knowing. Thank you for persistently asking me if I’m ok, asking how I’m doing, and asking more specific questions if you were bold enough. I’m sorry for my uncountable bold faced lies, “I’m good, I’m ok” I’m sorry I never reached out, I’m sorry I never told you, I’m sorry for all of my half truths, parts left out, and I’m deeply sorry that I cannot speak these words face to face.
I never want to upset anybody, I never want to be the cause of negative thoughts and feelings. There are too many of those in this world as it is. This is very negative and very upsetting thing to talk about and thing for people to hear. It is time for my silence to end. The story is spreading and it is no longer my own to bear. It hasn’t been for awhile now, it made it’s way into the world a little over a year ago when his violence moved from me unto our vehicle and it’s contents which belonged to four of us…. was that the first time it was obvious to others? I’m unsure of details, I cannot keep every incidence separate or straight. But I am sure of all the broken promises made to us in the following days, a permanent reminder scratched into my skin in a new jersey hotel room.
The last of these a promise of privacy, one of your request, one broken publicly. I saw it last night, words echoing in my ears, and I’ve been thinking of what to do all day. Where does one start? The above paragraphs as a type of preface and the following response should do.
Let me begin by congratulating you on the most aptly named release to date. You should in no way, shape or form feel safe.
You think the personal hell you caused and put yourself through is worse than anything that can be done unto you?? That sentiment isn’t going to keep anything away from you or protect you anymore. No one feels sorry for you.
If you are writing lyrics to help people and hope someone may be able to relate perhaps you should be clear in who your target audience is, for only a certain kind of person can relate to your specific brand of personal suffering. Adulterous, manipulators, perverse and predatory sexual molesters, anger ridden abusers, purveyors of violence against women, liers and rapists, to name a few.
I was not your girlfriend of seven years. It was six. April 20th of 2007 to May 29th of 2013. Six years, one month, nine days.
“We split up and tried to stay in the band together.” We tried? I tried. I believed you could grow, that with the evolution of our relationship and the separation we needed you could seek the personal help or mental illness and anger management issues you so sorely needed. And though I couldn’t be there like you wished I could be I was still there as a friend and bandmate to help you through, even after all you had done to me. I felt you were like a brother, like family. I believed we could make it through. A belief I stupidly clung to and a position I should have never, ever put myself into.
It went so much more worse than I ever possibly imagined.
There is some truth you speak here, you were out of control, you were out of line. Yet you did nothing to try to regain it, and threw yourself into your own demise.
I had to leave the band. It was a hard decision, but only because I had invested so much. I’m stubborn, I’m a capricorn, I do not easily walk away.
Though, once you get the gumption, it’s surprisingly easy to walk away from someone who is terribly mistreating you.
WE WERE NOT FRIENDS.
You were never my friend. You have made that very, very clear. Seeing as I couldn’t be in your band and you couldn’t be in my presence without continuously sexually objectifying me and forcing yourself upon me whenever an opportunity presented itself.
the mental and physical torment is something I’m not sure I’ll ever fully recover from.
“This isn’t a breakup record … wishing things were different … figuring out where things are wrong in life and becoming a better person …this is the most pissed off record but most of it is directed at myself …inward, almost a self loathing.”
Good. I hope looking at yourself in the mirror every day, seeing your reflection and knowing what you have done makes yourself fucking sick.
We can wish things were different all we want, scream it to the rooftops. Believe me, I wish it never happened too. but you can’t wish it away, and that sentiment gets you nowhere.
I hope you’re finally on your way to “becoming a better person” because your desire for that is what bought my silence and your freedom. (not the $5.000 you owed me or all your threats) You are lucky you were able to make this record, to have this freeing experience of putting everything to tape. You should be thankful every single fucking day, because these songs should have been written from your prison cell.
Thanks for the broken ribs, the cage which protects my heart and lungs forever damaged. something time will never heal, pain I will never be free from. One of the many things you should carry a sentence for.
“It was a painful writting process”
Why, because you had to remember all those other holes you put your dick into and know it finally closed off the opening to your favorite one? Because you had to remember what it was like to see the person giving you shelter and feeding you laid out from the concussion you just gave them from hitting them over the head with about twenty pounds of vinyl? Because you remember how awkward it was when our drummer started asking questions about where the giant bruises on my thighs came from during the summer time? Are some of those things painful to recall?
The story on the record, you hope people can get something out of it? What exactly is this story you are telling, what exactly is it you hope people take away from it?
As for your mother being the first person other than you to receive writing credits, this is another lie. “Balance of Terror” has words written by Ryan [Steigerwald, ex-Enabler drummer] and I, and a quote from the late Bill Hicks. Though it’s a small contribution, along with those words and some stolen riffs, you can again fuck right off. Yet another example of your delusion and your manipulation of truth.
”I had to move back to Ohio and watch the life I built for seven years fall apart …” You mean the life I built for us? Like it just magically crumbled all on it’s own? You tore it apart and I held it together. There is a reason I stayed, it was my life, not ours. You were nothing but a parasite in the end. Playing in your band no where near worth the personal suffering I endured.
At least you were focused on this new recording while you wrote the songs as a record.
Most of these songs were written while still in Milwaukee. from what I’ve heard the demo versions are far better, no offense Greg.
Your proudest moments on record is the story of living in your own personal hell because I finally left after years of manipulation, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse?
This is enough for me for now.
The silence has ended.
Lohrber then responded thusly:
Diskreet bassist Dustin Albright, who has also worked with Enabler, then released a statement of his own in support of Daniels:
And Daniels has now written a response to Lohrber’s response:
This began as a reactionary statement. I didn’t think, I just listened to Jeff’s recorded words and typed my response. I’m glad I did what I did, when I did. Though I’ve been wishing it was more comprehensive, not so vague and emotional.
There are some people caught up on the fact that I mention writing credits, wondering what it’s doing in the middle of all my other “allegations”. It is only to say that on the prior record Ryan and I have writing credits for a song, making the statement about Jeff’s mother being the first other than him false. It’s meant to be an example of character, a reflection of unnecessary untruths that fall rampantly from Lohrbers mouth. It falls in a strange place in my post because it’s randomly in the middle of the interview, my response just followed suit.
There are some lambgoat comments, some of which are surprisingly supportive. Most of these I know I should ignore, the ones calling me insane, the ones full of victim shame, the ones claiming I’m airing dirty laundry, creating drama, or being vengeful because I got kicked out. (I QUIT!), or the one saying this is a publicity stunt. But there are a couple in there that ring true, and a couple of things to respond to. Like all the people saying I should have left the first time anything happened, that I should have immediately called the police, that I should have sought medical attention. I want to discuss these things and all the reasons that victims stay with their abusers and do not seek help, but at a later date. That is a huge and vast psychological topic and I want to give it proper attention.
One in particular comment one was requesting facts and evidence before “moving in on the dude”, urging Jeff to seek legal council and sue for defamation. I did make one hell of a statement with no evidence exposed, that is certainly true. I did that, and perhaps it wasn’t the smartest move. But, there is evidence, I am beginning to compile it and hopefully it isn’t too late to make a legal case. I will openly admit that some of these things will be my (and a small handful of others who were there at the end) words against his, as I didn’t seek medical or legal help when I should have.
I’ve been unsure of what the next move I should make should be, what should be said next. Some have given me advice such as, “lay out the timeline, write what you remember, the starting point doesn’t matter as long as you start” This resonated, as sharing my story is allowing others to share their own, granting others strength.
Yesterday, this was my one very sound thought: Jeff mentioned in that interview several times that he hoped his record would help people when it dawned on me that if either of us could actually help anyone, it would be me. But I couldn’t do that if no one knew.
Taking that advice will have to meet a pause though – as Jeff as issued a statement on Lambgoat, and I have yet another thing to respond to. Half of me is screaming that I don’t owe him or anyone any kind of response, but I want the truth to be known.
This time I am going to copy and paste what he has to say paragraph by paragraph, so no one will be confused about where my statements are coming from.
JL: “Let me start by saying, I do not condone physical violence of any kind to any living thing, period. I do not condone rape whatsoever. Anyone who is aware of anything of that nature going on, I urge you to remove yourself from the situation immediately and contact the authorities if need be “
AD: So you agree, I should have quit a long time ago and you should be in a jail cell? No wonder you have such great self loathing or said things about lyric content being inspired about dwelling in your own personal hell – you have committed these acts which you avidly do not condone.
JL: “ “Secondly, to anyone who would deal with things by starting a witchhunt online rather than deal with them at the source or take it directly to the authorities – you are absolutely in the wrong. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and in today’s climate it’s very easy to believe everything you read on the internet without knowing exactly what happened between two people.”
AD: I didn’t start a witch hunt, you’re no magik maker, and no one’s hunting for you. If they were, you’re pretty easy to find. And don’t worry, the authorities will soon hopefully be involved. I’m very sorry I didn’t involve them years ago, once again I’m glad that we’re in agreement that they should be included.
Seeing as you and I are the source, perhaps if you would have dealt with as promised (seeking anger management and therapy) this wouldn’t be happening. As far as the internet not knowing what happened between to people – perhaps you shouldn’t have started speaking in half truths about it or using it to sell records if you didn’t want to be corrected.
JL: “ “The last thing I want is to drag anyone’s name through the dirt. I’ve read through Amanda’s post many times, and it’s pretty contradictory of itself. The thing I want to know is if I was truly abusing her and I truly did rape her in the manner that I’m accused of, why did she beg to stay in the band when she had been asked to leave multiple times? Why weren’t the authorities involved? Why come out now when the new album is to be released in less than a month? And why the hell bring up songwriting credits in a post that is accusing someone of rape?
AD: The last thing you want is your own name dragged through the dirt. What I have said is only contradictory if you twist it, and you are not allowed to do that to my words anymore. You raped me once. Afterwords you kissed me on the cheek, saying “I’m sorry, this is all I have now” while I just laid there crying. It was after a brutal fight, and I was already just laying there in a ball with my knees pulled to my chest. I was mentally drained and in physical pain due to mother nature visiting, it was my time of the month. It was very easy for you to slide my underwear down (I was wearing a skirt) and easy for you to enter, as I was menstruating. the fight was already taken out of me, all i could do was say no over and over. not interested in make up sex, ever. It happened before I knew what you were doing, and thank god it didn’t last long. All the other times I consented to your consistent pressure and begging because it was easier to put out and shut up than to deal with the mental and physical torment I would be put through after saying “no”. Though you never seemed to mind, even though I made it perfectly clear that I didn’t want you and told you over and over again that you made me feel like a whore.
You also made it almost impossible for me to have any kind of contact or relationship with another person, you were my only option.
I never begged to stay in the band, it was you who begged me, and who continued to offer my spot back to me months after I quit, at the least asking me to do five year” all hail the void” anniversary tours with you.
The authorities weren’t involved because you repeatedly engaged in and threatened self harm – and whenever I told you that was my next step you would stop. I gave you way too many chances. I came out now because you were using personal pain and suffering to promote your new album and it made me sick. And as for the writing credits, see above.
Oh, you also owed me $5,000 dollars, and I wanted that back.
JL: “ “I thought that both of us had moved on with our lives, me continuing my work with the band, and her starting a new life with someone she met while on the road with the band and moving onto future musical endeavors that are more fitting to her abilities. I guess not. This is a blatant attempt to ruin the band’s name, a band that she played in for 3 years and played 200+ shows with. If this was really going on the whole time the way that she portrays it, why would a person put that kind of blood, sweat, and tears into a project with someone that is capable of these things?”
AD: I am moving on, but you are wrong if you think life ever magically starts anew. What you have put me through haunts me every single day, and complicates my new relationship, which was something good to come out of me staying in a horrible situation. I have no current musical endeavors, and what the fuck do you mean by “more fitting to my abilities”?
This is no way in an attempt to “ruin” you, though that may be a side effect. People don’t like supporting people who have done what you did.
If you had read my initial post, like you say you did many times, you would recall the two main reasons I stayed. 1, I am a stubborn capricorn who does not give up, and who does not give away that kind of blood, sweat, and tears easily. 2. I always believed that you could better yourself and you could rise out of what you were doing. I went through an absolute personal hell only to be proven a fool.
Maybe I’m slightly masochistic, I care more about playing music and pursuing what I love than my own well being. I didn’t think I had anything else.
JL: “ “Relationships go bad all of the time. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I was in the right all of the time. I was wrong in a number of things I did, for which I have owned up and apologized directly to these people, but the things I am accused of here are not accurate. “
AD: Your past apologies aren’t shit if you think they were enough and don’t continue to feel remorse. I’m not accusing you of anything, I am telling the truth, and it is what it is.
JL: “ “As far as Enabler goes, all shows are off as of now and the band is on an indefinite hiatus until this is cleared up. I cannot risk dragging anyone else that I have a close working relationship with into this mess. This is my problem and I am the one who has to deal with it.”
AD: There is no one else to drag into a mess, and if you feel that way perhaps you should have been honest with the reasons why you lost your whole band with your new “team” and you wouldn’t have to be worrying about any of that. I hope you take the time of your hiatus to seek the help you need, I wish it didn’t have to reach such extremes for that to occur.
If anyone knows anything about pressing domestic abuse charges when incidents happened many times across the country (and once in canada), filing sometime after they took place please let me know, I can use and very much appreciate all the help I can get. Thank you.
There is currently no word on whether or not Century Media still plans to release Fail to Feel Safe on August 7.
We’ll update this story if/when more developments occur.