American post hardcore Outline In Color have just dropped a message to fans. Read the official statement from the band;
As you may or may not know, being in an active touring band includes many many factors other than just the music that the average fan hears or the music videos they watch.
We spend a probably unhealthy amount of time together on the road, we leave our homes, families, friends, etc for a chance to reach a bigger audience and to grow larger as a whole. For me personally, when I am on the road, I am the happiest.
There are a ton of behind the scenes things that must come together for a band to make it on the road, make it through multiple album cycles, and continue growing without it all slowly crumbling. We started this band in late 2009 and had no idea where those first songs we wrote would take us.
As many of you know, our original singer, Jonathan Grimes was the vocalist for our first self titled EP. In 2011 we had replaced him with K.C Simonsen (as at the time Jonathan was not interested in touring). We were super happy about K.C. joining, as was he. He is the singer you have heard on every record since Jury Of Wolves.
Once we started touring in winter 2012, we started to grasp an idea of what it took to be a “band” outside of just writing songs and recording them. We soon learned that personalities were a huge part of it. We soon learned that money was probably an even bigger part of it in the sense that it costs a lot of money to constantly drive thousands of miles, maintain vehicles and trailers, etc over and over for each tour.
Unfortunetly, over time we’d find ourself dealing with one repeating issue. The person behind this issue was K.C. Simonsen.
K.C. can be one of the funnest, most talented, amazing dudes you will ever meet until just about every single night of tour (and off tour) he decides to drown his sorrows with alcohol. I personally have dabbled in using alcohol as a crutch in the past and probably even currently do so from time to time, so I get that.
Although, this issue kept getting out of hand night and night again. Being on tour and not being 100 percent with each other plays a huge role in how we perform and if we even want to continue touring. We have spent more times than I can personally remember asking K.C. to either stop drinking, try to drink less, or go get the help he needs for his mental issues so he doesn’t feel like he needs this crutch called alcohol. Just to list a few thing that have been ruined due to his drinking issue so you can hopefully get a better understanding:
1. As a young band we got the oppurtunity to showcase for some huge record labels. The night before 2 of the showcases, K.C. decides to get black out drunk to the point to where he is begging our current drummer Austin to punch him in the stomach repeatedly until he passes out or else he wont sleep.
2. Nearly everytime we are together and he hits “black out” he will constantly act as if the band is out to get him. Specifically our bassist Skaggs is out to get him. He believes Skaggs embezzeles money from our band simply because Skaggs is the more business savy of the band. Obviously if this were true, I think we would all be fighting with him. Skaggs and his family have on numerous occasions paid for things the band has needed desperately to continue on the road. The band is forever indebted to the Skaggs family, and is unbelievably gracious for everything they have done to help us. Especially Jeff Skaggs.
3. The routine on the road has become all of us making sure tour happens smoothly and we get to venues on time, load in on time, etc. And then there’s KC, who gets black out every night and sleeps until it’s time to wake up to go on stage. Not taking care of his voice, not taking shows seriously, not caring one bit about the band as a whole at all, but somehow still complaining about tour and constantly having the worst attitude overall. Even going so far as to completely blow out his voice on a previous tour from not caring or trying to take care of himself at all.
4. It has gotten to the point to where a few of us have constant anxiety over which big band or important industry contact he has lashed out to via social media over the course of a drunken night, while we are all sleeping. I personally am actually so scared to see what he has been saying, I have had to unfriend him on all social media and convince myself that its no longer worth it. The amount of apologies we have had to give out is ridiculous.
5. It’s become way too common for K.C. to get black out and start talking to members of the other bands in the tour package about how bad things are with his band, about how we are embezzling money, about how we care about how we dress and look on stage, etc. Which obviously makes the entire band look like a trainwreck as a whole.
6. As you probably know, our band is spread out in various states. In the beginning we found K.C. a few different places to live in Oklahoma. We used band money to help him pay for these places so we could all be closer. K.C. has ruined every place we have provided fo him with drunken actions. He is very rarely or not at all allowed at Trevor, Skaggs, Or C.J.’s house at all anymore because of his previous actions. Just for the record, on the embezzelment topic, we have spent more money on him with flights, housing, etc than anyone else in the band.
7. K.C. has stolen medication from other band members during tours and often abuses his own perscriptions, staying awake sometimes for days at a time.
8. K.C. has gone as far as stating he was just acting how he is acting (like a drunken child) to make Skaggs mad. Personally, I don’t really see how devoting your life to doing something and then tearing it all down just to make a band mate mad is productive.
Fast forward to the present and the band is terrified of what K.C. may write on social media about the band, other bands, etc. We are terrified of what he may do to himself and wish he could get the help that he needs.
We are terrified to see what mood he’s in when he wakes up each day on tour. We are terrified to continue doing something we all pour our lives in to every day when we have one memember so easily tearing down everything we build. It’s hard to continue being in a band with someone that will not try and obviously does not care about this band at all.
I personally am so greatful for every single oppurtunity that has come from this band. I cannot believe that I’ve even gotten to tour basically the entire US on several occasions. The fact that I have been a part of a group that helped create something that has changed even 1 kids life is truly amazing to me.
Personally, that is what music is to me and that is why I choose to leave home, I choose to sacrifice a normal life to get that 30 minute slot playing to sometimes 2 kids that may not know us or maybe the are screaming every lyric to every song. It truly makes me happy and means the world to me.
We as a band could no longer stand on stage and pretend like K.C.’s decisions and actions haven’t messed up a lot for us and haven’t messed us up mentally. After one final night in Dallas, TX where K.C. once again got black out and started making fun of his own band members to other bands), we decided we could do this no more. We changed his flight to the soonest flight we could and we sent him on an uber to the airport and we truly feel like this was the right thing to do. We cannot let one person drag this entire thing we’ve spent years creating. K.C. is an amazing singer and songwriter and honestly the best guitar player in the band, we will not deny that. But, it is physically impossible to continue at this moment with him.
As I stated in the beginning, keep in mind that there is much more that makes a band besides the music you hear, the pictures you see, and the videos you watch. Please do not think this is an easy choice and we have not tried for years to make this something that can work. At this point in our lives, the band as a whole agrees that Outline In Color cannot work with K.C. in the state he is currently in. We can not deal with the hatefulness, the bitterness, the overwhelming amount of talks we have to have with him. We hope he is able to get the proper help he needs and can become that funny and amazing dude we all know he can be. For a lack of a better term, at this moment in time we are just exhausted.
This does not mean this is the end. We are currently working on something for you guys. Hopefully this answers any questions you had and you can understand where we’re coming from.
Thanks for reading,
Seejay (and the rest of OIC)