Gaze: How could we have known Watkins truth?

Former Lostprophets guitarist Lee Gaze says Ian Watkins would have been "killed on the spot" if he had come clean about his horrendous crimes.

The remaining members of the band – Gaze, fellow guitarist Mike Lewis, keyboard player Jamie Oliver, drummer Luke Johnson and bass player Stuart Richardson – have started a new band called No Devotion, featuring Geoff Rickly on vocals.

But despite trying to make a fresh start in the industry, the musicians know they will always be associated with and asked about Watkins, who last year was jailed for 35 years for a string of horrific child sex offences.

They are often asked how they could not have known what Watkins was up to. Gaze tells the BBC: “How could you know? How would you know? Who would disclose such a thing to five people, who between them have eight children? You just wouldn’t because they would be killed on the spot.”

Richardson adds that, even though the band were done with Watkins once the allegations had been made, he hoped the shamed singer would be found innocent.

He says: “Even though I was completely done with him, I hoped it was all a mistake, he was innocent, he had to be. The first time, we knew the band was done. You can’t go back from that.”

Leading up to Watkins’ arrest, the band had all but decided to call it a day, says Gaze.

He adds: “He was doing his own thing. That just grew worse over the years, the more he was using drugs. He could be in the same city as me and I wouldn’t hang out with him, even if we weren’t playing shows.

“We shot a video for what was to be our last single for the record, which was probably nine days before he got arrested. He was talking about the next record and how it’s going to do really well and get back on our feet. It goes to show how deluded he was.

“He is just completely on a different level to everybody, happy and positive and convinced we were going to be successful again.”

In the rest of the interview, the band discuss their hopes for No Devotion and moving on from the past.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.