Yes, There are Tim Lambesis Sympathizers, and This is Who They Are
In 2014, As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis was sentenced to six years in prison for attempting to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife a year earlier. The story had the metal world (and beyond) riveted and united in condemnation.
Or so it seemed. Following Lambesis’s early release from prison several months ago, yesterday’s news blip in which ex-As I Lay Dying guitarist Nick Hipa commented on the possibility of an As I Lay Dying reunion (tl;dr version: it’s not happening) brought out the worst in our community.
We’re utterly shocked at how many people out there are willing to defend Lambesis’s actions, give him a pass (“he did the time”), or look beyond his crime and “separate the artist from the art,” as the saying goes.
Then again, this is Trump’s America where it’s OK to grab women by the pussy and sympathize with “both sides” of a clash between white supremacists and civil rights protesters but it’s not OK for black NFL players to simply take a knee in protest of police brutality. Anything goes, and people are no longer afraid to share their fucked up viewpoints.
So: culled from posts about yesterday’s Hipa interview on both the MetalSucks and Metal Injection Facebook pages, here are some of the worst comments we’ve seen defending Lambesis and his actions, as well as our own comments on those comments. Most of these were posted, for what it’s worth, by white men who have never had to deal with being in a position of true oppression in their lives.
We don’t really subscribe to the “separate art from the artist” concept here at MetalSucks; even if the subject matter of songs has nothing to do with the writer’s belief system, by supporting that artist we are implicitly condoning and enabling that belief system and behavior, thereby allowing hatred to live on.
But for the sake of argument, we’ll pretend we do buy the whole “separate art from the artist” assertion… and point out that it doesn’t really apply here. Lambesis’ persona, and many of his lyrics, are specifically tied to his belief system — in this case, Christianity. Lambesis is clearly aware of this: in a 2014 interview with Alternative Press, Lambesis admitted that even after he lost his faith, he didn’t announce it publicly for fear of alienating a portion of his fan base (asked if he was “lying by omission,” Lambesis replied bluntly, “Yes.”). Additionally, after he was arrested, Lambesis made it clear that he was re-devoting himself to Christianity in both the AP interview and this statement, which he released online:
I grew up in a Christian home and held that belief myself for many years. In the process of sincerely trying to defend that belief in a scholarly way and shortly after finishing my degree, I felt that it was unreasonable to call myself a Christian in light of the evidence.
Many AILD fans picked up on the not-so-subtle hints at my worldview change in a couple songs on Awakened. It was never really hidden. Anyway, after my incarceration I found myself re-evaluating topics that I had previously sworn I would never waste my time looking at again.
Many can chalk that up as one point for pure boredom in an isolation cell, or you can look at it providentially as the needed circumstance and only possible way to get me to humble my mind.
In this instance, there is clearly no detaching the messenger from the message. Lambesis’ transgression is akin to, say, finding out that Tom Morello is a racist who has donated millions of dollars to the RNC. It betrays the very nature of his work.
The assertion that people deserve a second chance might be valid… if Lambesis had demonstrated any remorse for his actions. In a statement released after his arrest, Lambesis claimed that there are “many sides to this fairly complex story,” which is right up there with Donald Trump’s infamous “violence on many sides” remark in terms of sheer self-serving nonsense. He also screwed his bandmates over by releasing a statement on their behalf without their approval, writing about himself in the third person to try and ensure that he didn’t come off as a total turd. And in the Alternative Press interview, he dodged questions about why he didn’t tell his fans who were harassing his ex online to stop, tried to shame his bandmates for not being more supportive, and generally bent over backwards to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.
Granted, this was before Lambesis served his prison sentence. Maybe now he really has changed; maybe now is truly sorry for what he did. But until he demonstrates that, we have to assume that he’s still a narcissistic, sociopathic prick.
First of all, congratulations to the women in this guy’s life. He seems like a real equal-opportunist. Nothing says “feminist” like referring to women as dogs and property in the same sentence.
Second of all, this is really neither here nor there, but this is the first time we’re hearing anything about Meggan Lambesis allegedly having cheated on Tim. As far as we can tell, this claim is completely unsubstantiated; in fact, by Tim’s own admission, it was he who cheated on Meggan. Again, that’s all ultimately irrelevant, given Tim’s actions, but if your pro-Tim argument is “His wife’s lack of fidelity,” you need a new argument.
And third of all, yes, if your partner is unfaithful, you have every right to “go ape shit.” Going “ape shit,” however, does not have to include physical violence or the threat of physical violence. “My wife cheated on me and it broke my heart and I got both really angry and really sad and yelled at her” is one thing. “My wife cheated on me so I tried to have her murdered” is another. The fact that we even have to point this out makes us sad for the human race.
Here’s another dude who seems like a real doll. Again, we should not need to explain this to anyone over the age of four, but wanting to do something and trying to do something are completely different things. Lambesis didn’t just want to kill his wife — he took steps to have her murdered. The only reason Meggan Lambesis is alive today is because of her ex-husband’s ineptitude with regards to criminal endeavors (in this case, he violated the unspoken rule that one does not find a decent hitman by asking around at the gym).
This fellow is actually advocating the trade of morality for fame. It has not occurred to him that Tim’s former bandmates might sleep better at night not being in a band with Lambesis than they would if their only objectives were money and fame. Someone put this dude in touch with Ian Watkins, that guy is probably having a hard time finding musicians who will work with him right now.
These claims are based on the notion that Lambesis is in the same category as guys like Dave Mustaine, Michael Keene, and James Malone — individual musicians who basically are their bands. These musicians achieved that status by consistently doing solid work that was consistently “of a kind” even as the line-ups around them changed time and again. There is absolutely no evidence that Lambesis falls into this category. While Lambesis retains sole credit for writing AILD’s lyrics, the songwriting credits on all of their albums are split equally between the band’s five members. The only way one could make this assumption is if one feels that Austrian Death Machine are as good as As I Lay Dying. Spoiler alert: no one feels that way.
If Lambesis really does launch As I Lay Dying with all new members, maybe a few albums down the road, someone will be able to make this argument. But for now, you’re basically rooting for a brand, not a band. We hope you enjoy As I Lay Dying’s Chinese Democracy.
If this barely-literate cretin is representative of Tim’s supporters, we are amazed that those supporters can tie their shoes and wipe their asses, let alone type what technically counts as a paragraph on the web. This post nears John Holgado levels of incomprehensible idiocy. If this twit ever paid even just a dime for his education, he deserves a full refund. Either way, he should go suck on a cloud of farts. Asshole.
Keep it classy out there, folks.