Guitarist Nick Hipa has confimed his departure from AS I LAY DYING, explaining that he can no longer justify being part of "a superficial pursuit" of the "story and meaning" that the band's 2018 reunion was built upon.
Although Hipa's exit was originally rumored in August 2020, neither he nor his bandmates had publicly spoken out about the split until now.
Earlier today, Nick took to his Instagram to share the following statement: "I am deeply appreciative for the love, care, and concern I have been messaged with over the past year while being largely absent from social activity. My days have been occupied with a motion design career, deep focus on my family, taking care of my health, and working on other creative projects. Real life has a way of crowding out time for things like social media, so I apologize to those of you who reached out to me for answers regarding my disassociation from AS I LAY DYING and never heard back. I've been trying to move on peacefully in life.
"At this point though, it has been well over a year since I have distanced myself from them on a personal and professional level. In that time they have only given fans merchandising posts and show announcements. This sort of activity highlights and reinforces our differences.
"Respectfully, I left because the story and meaning we built our reunion upon decayed considerably over time. What primarily endures is a superficial pursuit I cannot justify supporting or being part of. This is not an indictment on any who choose to remain or be involved. There is tremendous good that can be accomplished through singular focus on the power of music. However to my memory and recent experience, it comes at the cost of tolerating behavior which at times mistreats, disrespects, and hurts other people. I do not have it in me to walk that road again.
"The talent and unshakeable ambition of the band is undeniable. They will continue to release successful music and do great business. On a human level, I hope everything else fares well for them.
"I am grateful for the lessons I've learned and the incredible people I've been able to meet and connect with the past 17 years.
"I'll still be around.
"Love to all, Nick Hipa".
AS I LAY DYING frontman Tim Lambesis was famously convicted in 2014 for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife.
In May 2014, Lambesis was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to paying a San Diego police officer posing as a hitman $1,000 to kill his wife. Approximately two and a half years later — on December 17, 2016 — he was discharged from a California detention facility and was transferred to the Division of Adult Parole Operations.
In June 2018, AS I LAY DYING played its first show with Lambesis in five years and released a new single. Lambesis also owned up to his crimes in a long apology on the band's Facebook page after his release.
In September 2019, AS I LAY DYING released its seventh full-length album, "Shaped By Fire", via Nuclear Blast.
The return of AS I LAY DYING raised some questions, particularly since Hipa categorically denounced the band's disgraced frontman as a "sociopathic narcissist in definite need of rehabilitation" in a social-media post back in 2014.