Dance Gavin Dance Dismiss Drummer Mid-Tour Due to Substance Abuse Issues and Sloppy Detroit Performance


Dance Gavin Dance are currently out on tour with Polyphia, Veil of Maya, Eidola, and Wolf & Bear. Originally scheduled for spring 2020 and since rescheduled at least twice (maybe more, I lost count) and having undergone several lineup changes (including Animals as Leaders dropping off), the run, which kicked off on September 7, should come as a momentous and triumphant return to live music. Instead, it’s been marred by an issue with drummer Matt Mingus, who has now left the band mid-tour.

The trouble began at the Detroit show on Saturday night, September 25. We’re not sure of any issues that may have been leading up to that night — what happened likely wasn’t in a vacuum — but Mingus’s problems spilled into the public spotlight that evening when he audibly struggled on stage to keep up with the band. One Reddit user at the show described the band’s song “Son of Robot” as “an absolute mess,” while another said that frontman Tilian Pearson “started throwing water bottles and slamming his mic stand” in frustration. At some point Pearson decided he’d had enough, telling the crowd, “this is un-fucking-believable guys, our drummer can’t play,” (embed below) after which he ejected Mingus from the stage. Following a brief break, the band’s drum tech, Dakota Sammons, took Mingus’s spot and finished the show.

Shortly after the show ended, in the early hours of September 26, the band issued a statement saying simply that Mingus was “unable to perform” due to reasons unrelated to Covid and thanking Sammons for stepping in. The following day they issued a more detailed statement indicating that Mingus would be checking in to an in-patient facility to address substance abuse issues, wishing him well, giving him their full support, and indicating he’d re-join the band when he’s ready.

The band’s first statement reads:

“Shortly after our set began in Detroit, it became apparent that Matt was unable to properly perform the show the way we intended for our audience. Collectively, on stage, the rest of the band decided it would be best to have his drum tech fill in immediately instead of shutting down the show.

“This was a decision made in the interest of the fans so that they could enjoy the show and we are grateful that Dakota (drum tech) was able to do a great job.

“Matt is OK, and this is not COVID related

“All shows are continuing forward and we will have a more detailed statement soon.”

The follow-up statement reads:

“Following the events that occurred at our Detroit show on Saturday, we wanted to share some further info with our fans. Matt is unfortunately battling with substance use issues. Matt, along with the band and our team, has decided that the best course of action is for him to immediately go to an in-patient rehabilitation facility to allow him to recover. Matt is and has always been an integral part of Dance Gavin Dance. He is our brother and his health and well-being will always be our first priority.

“Our drum tech, Dakota Sammons, will fill in, with Matt‘s blessing, for the rest of this tour. We can’t wait to have Matt back, fit and healthy, on the road with us once he’s made a full recovery.

“As everyone knows, the pandemic has been exceptionally hard on everyone, but especially musicians and touring crews. Being back on the road and getting to share our music with our incredible fans once again after such a long period of emotional and financial uncertainty, has been such a gift. So many fans have reached out to tell us about the catharsis these Afterburner shoes have provided, following the incredibly trying 18 months we have all just endured.

“We all need this. Dance Gavin Dance are no strangers to adversity, but our incredible and unique connection we share with our fans means that we always prevail. This will be no different. We appreciate your love and support so much and we know you’ll join us in sending Matt much love and wishes for a speedy recovery.

“See you at the next show.

“Will, Jon, Tilian, Tim and Andrew.”

On behalf of everyone at MetalSucks, we wish Matt a speedy and healthy recovery.

Pearson himself previously missed several dates of the tour due to contracting Covid-19

Remaining tour dates:

09/29 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore [tickets]
09/30 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues [tickets]
10/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall [tickets]
10/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall [tickets]
10/03 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom [tickets]
10/05 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues [tickets]
10/06 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live [tickets]
10/08 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works [tickets]
10/09 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade [tickets]
10/10 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade [tickets]
10/12 – Dallas, TX @ Bomb Factory [tickets]
10/13 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live [tickets]
10/14 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live [tickets]
10/15 – San Antonio, TX @ Vibes Event Center [tickets]
10/16 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion [tickets]
10/18 – Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theater [tickets]
10/19 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee [tickets]
10/20 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl [tickets]

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