Former THE AGONIST frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz has shot down accusations that she has tried to prevent the release of the band's latest album, explaining that she does not "have any time, energy or interest to invest in trying to control someone else."
Earlier this month, THE AGONIST's current singer, Vicky Psarakis, gave an interview to Rock Confidential in which she claimed that Alissa had been trying to hold the band back. "In the beginning, she was doing it a lot through interviews and just talking very badly about the band members," she said. "That is super awkward for me, because this is a person I've never met in my life, so it's weird for me to be talking about it. There's no knowing how far and to what extent her reach could be to hold this band back. I definitely know some stuff that she's done and other things are just speculation. So, I don't wanna throw that out there, but I will say that she has been trying to kill this band ever since she was fired."
Now Alissa, who has fronted ARCH ENEMY for the past five and a half years, has responded to Vicky's comments, calling her claims "completely untrue, false and unsubstantiated" and saying that she has not talked about her former band "or even thought about them in years."
In a statement released by Alissa's management, Kult Management — which is run by former ARCH ENEMY singer Angela Gossow — Alissa has denied ever having spoken ill of Vicky or even mentioning her successor's name in public. "We welcome people to look through the entire history of all her social media and find a single instance in which she speaks about her or the band she is in," the management states.
Alissa confirms: "I do not and have not talked about them or even thought about them in years. I am more than happy to talk to Vicky and put her concerns to rest because I know for a fact they are completely untrue. I have nothing but good luck to give her since I know I really enjoyed the music I made in that band and I'm sure she is making great music now too. She is welcome to contact me and always has been welcome to do so, but never has."
According to Kult Management, Alissa has never met Vicky before and she "has never had any contact with her whatsoever, in writing, in conversation, or otherwise. They are complete strangers, and Vicky does indeed admit that herself, as well as the fact that her statements against Alissa are merely speculative."
Alissa adds: "I want to give her the benefit of the doubt that she is just confused or misinformed. I don't know anything about her and as such, don't have any ill will towards her."
The management goes on to say that "Alissa has had ZERO contact with the rest of the band since 2013 and has more than moved on for years now."
Alissa adds: "The only contact I've had with them in any way was when I encountered the bass player at a metal show in Montreal a few years back and had nothing but a handshake with him. That was the ONLY contact I have had with that band in any way shape or form since we parted ways. I cannot stress enough that I am extremely happy and extremely busy with my current projects and don't have time to dwell on the activities of others."
According to Kult, "Alissa does not work for a record label, agency, management, promoter or any other position in the music industry. The only role she has is that of a freelance singer and she has no power over what paths other bands take in their careers."
Alissa confirms: "I do not have any time, energy or interest to invest in trying to control someone else." She adds: "Women in metal ALL stick together, no matter what. She and I are both just trying to have our music heard and I know firsthand how emotional and difficult it can be because I've been through it all, working my way from the ground up for years.
"I have no negative feelings towards her. I think she just misspoke and got emotionally carried away.
"She is welcome to contact me at any time. I am happy to help her in any way she needs and I sincerely wish her the best.
"I am proud of my fans for taking the high road and not engaging in harassing others. Please do NOT harass Vicky or her band. People make mistakes and we can forgive them. Thank you."
Kult Management also adds that it feels "compelled to make sure the public knows that ALL of these accusations are completely false. For decades now, we have championed the unity between women in metal and within the metal scene in general and we will continue to do so, here.
"It seems Vicky has gotten quite emotional over things she either believes to be true or has invented for some reason. We are not angry at her; we are here to help her and clarify anything she needs. We are happy to jump on a phone call with her to set her mind at ease and we are sorry she is dealing with a lot of stress at the moment. So far she has not responded, but the offer still stands."
Kult also provided statements from THE AGONIST's current and former record labels, both of whom have also denied Vicky's claims of interference from Alissa.
Napalm says: "Alissa has never interfered, commented nor was she involved in or was the reason for any business decision. THE AGONIST's current album has been licenced to Rodeostar Records, a company that is a completely separated and independent entity from Napalm Records."
Century Media states: "THE AGONIST were signed to Century Media for four albums, all of which have been delivered by the band and released by the label. With the delivery of the fourth contractual album, 'Eye Of Providence' (featuring the band’s new singer Vicky Psarakis, released in February 2015), the deal was fulfilled. The decision not to renew the contract was not in any way influenced by ARCH ENEMY, the band's management or their singer Alissa White-Gluz."
White-Gluz was announced as the new singer of ARCH ENEMY on March 17, 2014. That same day, THE AGONIST revealed that they had recruited Psarakis as Alissa's replacement, saying in a statement that they wished White-Gluz "all the best with ARCH ENEMY and her future endeavors." A day later, Alissa released her own statement in which she claimed that she "had every intention of (and had even started) writing and recording yet another killer album [with THE AGONIST] this year," but explained that her "former bandmates decided to choose a different path." She also said that "the unfortunate decision" to part ways "was made beyond [her] control" and added that she would "always be proud of the three albums [she and THE AGONIST] created since 2005."
Alissa, who co-founded THE AGONIST in 2004 (then known as TEMPEST), had been largely quiet about the circumstances that led to her departure from the band, choosing instead to focus on the touring activities in support of ARCH ENEMY's 2014 album "War Eternal", which marked her recording debut with the latter group. But during an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta's official podcast, "The Jasta Show", Alissa aired her side of THE AGONIST split for the first time, saying that she "never in a million fucking years" suspected that she would get kicked out of her own band. She added, "I don't agree with what they did. I don't have respect for what they did," and vowed to never mend fences with her former bandmates. "I'll never talk to them again — ever!" she said. "That was the worst betrayal I've ever felt in my life. They stole a lot from me. It was not right."
THE AGONIST guitarist Danny Marino later responded to Alissa's comments, claiming that "she was playing both sides to have her cake and eat it too" and accusing her of not "factoring in the other four lives in the band and their aspirations."