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The Faceless: Michael Keene and Justin McKinney Rip into One Another on Social Media

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Update, 3:37 p.m.: Justin McKinney has contacted MetalSucks to clarify his original statement. Says Justin:

“Michael didn’t sell the band’s stuff from the storage unit, he didn’t pay the storage unit rent for a long time and they auctioned off all the stuff in the unit. Meanwhile, EJ [Shannon, the band’s manager] and a friend of Michael’s were giving him money that he requested to pay for the rent of the unit. But it never got paid and the money that was sent to him for that rent was used for drugs.”

Our original story follows below.

This week’s drama surrounding the dissolution of The Faceless’ latest line-up has taken a turn for the nasty.

Not that anyone doubted that the band’s inner conflict stemmed from founder/mastermind Michael Keene, who is currently also the band’s only member. When EVERYONE save for one guy quits a band at once, and, furthermore, release statements praising one another but not the one guy who remains in the group — which is exactly what Keene’s now-former bandmates did — fans will receive the message loud and clear.

Still, all parties involved were doing a pretty decent job of not letting things turn ugly in public… until last night, when, for reasons that aren’t currently clear, Keene took to social media to deride the band’s departed members, claiming that if fans knew “the betrayal and disrespect I’ve received in the past few months, your jaw would hit the floor.”

In a since-deleted Instagram post (screencaps below), Keene wrote:

“Let me begin by saying, naturally there are two sides to every story and if you knew the events that transpired and the betrayal and disrespect I’ve received in the past few months, your jaw would hit the floor. It’s a miracle I’m still standing. Next just let me tell you that this honestly a fantastic thing for The Faceless. Not only the morale, but the music and show. This year’s touring cycle is going to be a pleasure and it ing to be a Faceless show like you’ve NEVER seen before. I cannot wait for everyone to see it. Also the confirmed players I’m working with are absolute ANIMALS and I’m honored to have them working with me. We are going to have a blast. Many exciting announcements in the coming weeks.”

Guitarist Justin McKinney (also of The Zenith Passage), one of the musicians who quit The Faceless this week, subsequently fired back, accusing Keene of “shifting blame” and continuing to lose his struggle with heroin addiction. McKinney further insinuated that the reason for last year’s abrupt, day-of cancellation of an Australian tour was not stolen equipment and airline drama that was beyond their control, as they initially claimed, but, rather, Keene selling the band’s equipment and being too strung out to make the flights (one big [SIC] around all of this):

“Here you go again shifting blame away from yourself And towards the last 18 people who have quit the band. stealing money from the band stealing money from fans. Telling fans the reason why you can’t play your guitar is because of me being ‘nervous’ not because of your heroin addiction and the fact that you never practice. Back tracking your solo in spiraling, getting the bands equipment sold from your storage unit from non payment and using the money [Faceless manager EJ Shannon] sent you to pay for the unit was used to by heroin. Getting so high that you can’t even make flights on time. Ya we sure betrayed you dude. Get your fucking life together and take responsibility for your shitty actions.”

So who is telling the truth here? Obviously, we can’t say for sure, being that we’re not in The Faceless. It could be the guy who rarely releases new music, constantly misses shows, and has been surrounded by rumors of substance abuse for years. Or could be the other guy. Tough to say, really.

Thanks: Ricky B.

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