NEUROSIS has released a statement in response to a social media post by the band's longtime co-frontman Scott Kelly in which he admitted to engaging in "the emotional, financial, verbal and physical abuse of my wife and younger children" and revealed that he is "100% permanently retired from being a professional musician."
According to Kelly's bandmates, they stopped working with Scott in 2019 after learning of his behavior toward his family but did not share the information out of request for his wife's request for privacy.
NEUROSIS's statement in full reads as follows: "We cannot overstate the level of disgust and disappointment we feel for a man who we once called Brother.
"As a band, we parted ways with Scott Kelly at the end of 2019 after learning about severe acts of abuse he committed towards his family over the previous years. In the past, Scott had disclosed his marital difficulties and acts of verbal abuse, as well as his intention to get help and change his behaviors. The information we learned in 2019 made it clear Scott had crossed a line and there was no way back. We did not share this information out of respect for his wife's direct request for privacy, and to honor the family's wish not to let their experience become gossip in a music magazine. With Scott's Facebook post of August 27, 2022 disclosing much of this information publicly, we can finally say what we believe needs to be said.
"For the last twenty years we have lived far apart from one another and only saw Scott when meeting up to work on music or play shows. We had no idea what the reality was for his family when we were not around. By Scott's own admission, his abuse was intentional, targeted, and a closely guarded secret - even from those of us closest to him.
"Once we learned of his abuse it was difficult to reconcile the horrible information with the person we thought we knew. It's not surprising he hid the abuse for so long because it is a betrayal of our ethics as bandmates, partners, parents, and human beings.
"Since 2019, we have made numerous attempts to contact Scott. We wanted to have an honest talk about the status of the band and find out how he and his family were doing, but he has refused to speak with us for three years. And, in what we now see clearly to be a pattern, Scott refused to take responsibility for his actions. Having been through so much with someone for more than 35 years, one would expect some amount of closure, or at the very least a response.
"Now, without returning any of the calls, texts, or e-mails of his bandmates and friends, Scott has made a public post about the situation. To us, this decision seems like another attempt at manipulation, another opportunity for his narcissism to control the narrative. Don't allow Scott to make this about himself, it's about the abuse his family has suffered.
"Usually, we would view public openness and honesty about mental illness as brave and even productive. We just don't believe that is the case here.
"There is nothing brave about systematically abusing your wife and children.
"There is nothing brave about confessing wrongdoing when you have not done the work to change your behavior.
"There is nothing brave about refusing to speak honestly, or speak at all, with one's closest friends and bandmates, people who have supported you and stuck by you for most of your life.
"Compared to the impact of Scott's actions on his family, the impact on our band pales in significance. Nevertheless, with the heartbreak and horror we also grieve for the loss of our life's work and a legacy that was sacred to us.
"Again, our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of Scott's wife and children, as well as anyone else in a similar situation. If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please reach out to one of the many local or national resources available. One national resource is:
"National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 www.thehotline.org
"If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues that could make you a danger to yourself or others, please get help before you hurt yourself or the people you love. One resource for that is www.988lifeline.org.
"This is the only statement we plan to make about this issue. In due course, when it's appropriate, we will provide more information about our future musical endeavors, but that time is not now."
Sanford Parker, Scott's bandmate in CORRECTIONS HOUSE and MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE, posted a separate statement in which he said that he "had no idea the level of abuse Scott was inflicting onto his family. He always talked about his 'mental illness' and things he did in the past he regretted, but nothing like this." He also revealed that Kelly "cut off all contact with me for no reason" in January 2020. "I tried repeatedly reaching out via text, emails and phone calls and nothing. I tried several times reaching out to his wife but was told everything was ok. Then in March of 2021 she sent me a lengthy detailed email about the abuse she and the kids had experienced and it was honestly the most disturbing thing I have ever read, it made me physically ill. I wish I could unsee it. By that point though the damage had been done and as far as I knew they were away from him and safe." He went on to say: "I see a lot of people praising him for his honesty and that's total bullshit, he deserves no praise. I have no sympathy for Scott and neither should you. I do have much love for his family and I really hope they are able to heal and move forward."
Kelly is one of three founding members of NEUROSIS. He has been writing and publishing music since 1985 with NEUROSIS, TRIBES OF NEUROT, BLOOD AND TIME and his solo acoustic project. He was also involved in a project named SHRINEBUILDER with Al Cisneros, Scott Weinrich and Dale Crover. In addition, he has guested on several studio albums by the band MASTODON.
Photo by Scott Evans (courtesy of Earsplit Public Relations)
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