"The past 10 years have been incredibly fulfilling, but also physically and emotionally draining": Jamie Lenman announces retirement from music

Jamie Lenman
(Image credit: Jen Hingley)

Ex-Reuben frontman and alt. rock solo artist Jamie Lenman has announced plans to "step back from the music industry".

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Lenman explains that although he appreciates fan support around his most recent release, 2023's The Atheist, he also has found the process "really exhausting", stretching back to his 2013 solo debut. 

"The past 10 years as a solo artist, releasing all those records on Big Scary Monsters and doing all those tours has been incredibly fulfilling, but also quite physically and emotionally draining," he explains. "So I need to take a break really and I've decided to step back from the music industry in a big way, retiring from touring and I don't have any plans to make more records in the foreseeable future". 

Lenman was the frontman of British alt. metal/post-hardcore band Reuben from their formation in 1998 to their eventual dissolution in 2008. The band had four songs reach the official UK singles chart, with 2004's Freddy Krueger peaking at no. 53. 

Becoming something of a cult phenomenon in the years following Reuben's split, Lenman eventually returned to the music industry after finding full-time work as an illustrator with 2013's Muscle Memory. He has since released three more solo records, as well as a 2019 covers album which featured straight covers of songs like Adamski's Killer and The Beatles' Hey Jude alongside curios like covers of the theme from Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver, movie skits and a grindcore cover of Popeye

The news of Lenman's retirement doesn't mean a cessation of activity, however. As part of the announcement, Lenman admits he may still release songs from time to time, or continue to make festival appearances - having appeared at UK festivals including Download, Boomtown, ArcTanGent and 2000 Trees in recent years - but will no longer be playing his own shows. 

"I realise that's going to be a bummer for a lot of you, but honestly, personally it feels like a huge positive," he says. 

Lenman has also announced plans to launch a Patreon page, where he will be hosting a monthly newsletter and releasing demos of both solo and Reuben songs, some of which may never have been officially released, as well as potentially hosting livestream events for acoustic performances. 

Watch the full video below. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.