Drummer Pete Parada says that was fired by THE OFFSPRING for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Parada, who had been in THE OFFSPRING for nearly a decade and a half, claims to be following the advice of his doctor who said that he should not get the jab due to his pre-existing conditions.
Pete broke the news of his exit from THE OFFSPRING in a social media post on Monday (August 2). He wrote: "I've got some unfortunate and difficult news to share. I know many of my close friends and family would've preferred to hear this privately first — and I apologize for the public nature of my disclosure, but I don't know how to have this conversation multiple times.
"Given my personal medical history and the side-effect profile of these jabs, my doctor has advised me not to get a shot at this time.
"I caught the virus over a year ago, it was mild for me — so I am confident I'd be able to handle it again, but I'm not so certain I'd survive another post-vaccination round of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which dates back to my childhood and has evolved to be progressively worse over my lifetime. Unfortunately for me, (and my family — who is hoping to keep me around a bit longer) the risks far outweigh the benefits.
"Since I am unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate — it has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the studio, and on tour. I mention this because you won't be seeing me at these upcoming shows.
"I also want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now — knows they're not entirely alone.
"I have no negative feelings towards my band. They're doing what they believe is best for them, while I am doing the same. Wishing the entire OFFSPRING family all the best as they get back at it!
"I'm heartbroken not to be seeing my road community, and I will miss connecting with the fans more than I can express in words.
"While my reason for not getting this jab is medical, I want to make sure I'm not carving out a space that is only big enough for me. I need to state, unequivocally, that I support informed consent — which necessitates choice unburdened by coercion.
"I do not find it ethical or wise to allow those with the most power (government, corporations, organizations, employers) to dictate medical procedures to those with the least power.
"There are countless folks (like me) for whom these shots carry a greater risk than the virus. Most of us don't publicly share a private decision we made in careful consideration with our doctors. We know it's not an easy conversation to unfold.
"If it looks like half the population is having a shockingly different reaction to these jabs than was expected — it's probably because their life experiences have actually been shockingly different, and their reasons range from a conscientious risk/benefit analysis, to the financial inability to take time off work/lack of health care in the event of potential side-effects, to an understandable distrust in a system that has never prioritized the health or well-being of their communities.
"I hope we can learn to make room for all the perspectives and fears that are happening currently. Let's avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanize and shout down at each other. The hesitant population is not a monolithic group. All voices deserve to be heard.
"In the meantime, I'm in the midst of launching a project and releasing some music with my daughter, so please stay tuned for all of that. I deeply appreciate your understanding and support as my family and I find a new way forward.
"Sending love to everyone who has been impacted by this pandemic, in all the ways lives have been lost and altered."
Three months ago, THE OFFSPRING singer Bryan "Dexter" Holland spoke to Tom Power, host of "Q" on Canada's CBC Radio One, about his band's decision to encourage fans to receive their COVID-19 vaccines by reworking the chorus of their 1994 classic "Come Out And Play" to say "you gotta go get vaccinated." The new version of the song was shared in March on THE OFFSPRING's Instagram, featuring a snippet from the song's music video with the reworked lyrics.
Holland said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I went to school for this. I feel like I have a little bit of a background in it, and I do think it's a good idea [to get the COVID-19 vaccine]. And whatever you think about all this, the truth is that we're not gonna get back to normal until people get vaccinated; that's just the reality of it. So why don't we just get this done with so that we can all go to shows again and do the things that we love to do. That was kind of the reasoning behind it. And I do feel like it's the right thing to do. I felt strongly enough to put this out."
Asked about the fan response to the new version of "Come Out And Play", Dexter said: "There's been a little bit of a mixed reaction. I was a little more surprised than I thought I would be… There were a lot of people that were surprisingly kind of angry about it. But that's where we're at — we are in maybe the most divisive period in our nation's history, if not the world's history, and this is kind of par for the course.
"On a scientific or factual level, it's frustrating [to see people who are vaccine hesitant]," he continued. "On a personal level, I understand. People are unsure about certain things. And there could still be some sort of crazy side effect that we don't know about. I think that's unlikely, given how many millions of doses have been administered. But besides that, there's all this conflicting information on the Internet. Again, another sign of our times where people are getting just bombarded with all this conflicting information, and it's hard to know what to do sometimes."
Although the COVID-19 vaccine was produced quickly because of the urgency of the health crisis and the number of clinical trial volunteers, Holland says the vaccine was not rushed, and it relies on years of research.
"With the vaccine, I know there's a lot of belief out there that, 'Well, these were developed too quickly,'" he said. "I think part of the story that's not out there is that there's a whole platform of technology that's been developed over the last five years or so that was happening — the mRNA vaccines. They were working on this for flu vaccines over the last five — really, almost 10 years — but the last five years. So this great technology happened to be right on deck when this happened. And that's what allowed it to be quickly adapted to the coronavirus. So it's not as quick as everyone thinks."
Holland has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and wrote his thesis on microRNA in HIV genomes. The 175-page research paper, titled "Identification of Human MicroRNA-Like Sequences Embedded within the Protein-Encoding Genes of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus", had been published in PLoS One. Holland had received his Ph.D. from University of Southern California in 2017.
Released in 1994, "Come Out And Play" was THE OFFSPRING's alternative radio and MTV breakthrough hit, kicking off a mid-to-late nineties streak of success, including albums "Smash", "Ixnay On The Hombre" and "Americana", which have helped the band shift more than 17 million albums to date, per MRC Data.
THE OFFSPRING's tenth studio album, "Let The Bad Times Roll", arrived on April 16 via Concord Records. The follow-up to 2012's "Days Go By" was once again produced by Bob Rock, who also worked on the band's previous two LPs.
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