EARLY MAN LOSES TWO EARLY MEN, CONTINUED: MIKE CONTE SPEAKS OUT
On Wednesday, we broke the news that drummer Adam Bennati and bassist Tim Rampage have departed Early Man due to an unspecified “incident.” Now vocalist/guitarist Mike Conte has released his own statement on the matter, and while it also doesn’t specify the details of the split with 50% of the band, it doesn’t basically emphasize what we said earlier this week — that as long as Conte is at the helm, there will be an Early Man.
Here’s Conte’s statement in full:
“Hello shredders! I hope you’re all well. I’m writing to you from a classy Holiday Inn in the always exciting city of Newport News, Virginia. We are currently 1 week into our U.S. tour with Evile and Bonded By Blood. I haven’t had a chance to get to a computer until now so here’s a much needed update for you.
It’s been a crazy few weeks to say the least. About 5 days before this tour started I made the decision to part ways with Adam, our drummer of the past 7 years. A plethora of things were taken into consideration before making this difficult decision but as the leader and founding member of the band it is my responsibility to make decisions based on what I feel is best for myself and the band in both the short term and long term.
I wish Adam the best in the future and have some fond memories of his time spent in the band. That being said, my number one interest as always is to take Early Man to the next level, and that process continues. Early Man has been my musical creative outlet for nearly 15 years, the band is essentially an extension of me.
As always, the creative vision and everything that the band has been about since it’s inception continues to be steered by me and remains unchanged. There have been numerous musicians involved with the band over the years and there will be more in the future and I appreciate the time spent with all of them. For me, the beat goes on. I’ve already recently turned my attention to writing songs for the next Early Man record and am eagerly looking towards the future with new found interest.
Speaking of time, I realize parting ways with a band member 5 days before the start of a U.S. tour is far from ideal, but it is what it is. We’ll soon have another permanent drummer. In the meantime and in order to salvage this tour, I found a drummer through a good friend by the name of Jabari Parker in Los Angeles who learned 6 of our songs in one day, something that I would’ve thought was impossible when I started spreading the word that I was looking for a fill in for this tour.
Rather than cancelling any dates, I practiced with Pete (our other guitarist) and the new drummer for about 5 hours and then we got into a van and drove 24 straight hours to Tulsa Oklahoma to start our current tour. We played 4 shows without a bass player and then we picked up an old friend of mine [Ryan Chamberlain] in Austin Texas who is the guitarist and singer of a band called Lions of Tsavo to play bass.
Although it’s been a whirlwind of insanity, we are having a fucking blast! I honesty haven’t laughed this much in years. I can’t remember a time in the recent past where I was having this much fun on a tour, something that has been missing in the band at least for me for many years now. Everyone from the fans to the bands have been such a huge support and they’ve made it easy to keep the fire burning.
So if we’re hitting your city over the next few weeks, come out and say hello, share a drink and bang your head. I apologize for the fact that we are playing an abbreviated set (6-8 songs a night) but the important thing is we’re making it happen and to be honest, it sounds pretty goddamn amazing given the circumstances, which attests to the talent and ability of the the fill in drummer and bassist…”
And, uh, what else is there to say? I imagine the first few dates of this current tour will be a little rocky while the new (and possibly temporary) members continue to learn their parts, but you gotta admire Conte and guitarist Pete Macy for keepin’ on keepin’ despite everything, and you gotta admire Ryan Chamberlain and Jabari Parker for jumping in so last minute, and you gotta admire all parties involved for continuing to stay civil about the split. So do like Mike says — get tour dates here, then go to a show and share a drink and bang your head.