Keith and Jordan Buckley offer conflicting accounts of Every Time I Die split

(Image credit: Press)

Keith Buckley has challenged his former bandmates’ account of the reasons behind the shock break-up of Every Time I Die, and criticised his brother Jordan, guitarist Andy Williams, bassist Stephen Micciche and drummer Clayton Holyoak for what he claims are malicious attempts to “manipulate and blur the narrative” around the split.

The Buffalo quintet’s break-up was announced in a joint statement issued by the singer’s ex-bandmates on January 17. The four musicians declared that they played their last show as Every Time I Die on December 11, 2021.

“While we hoped to come to an agreed upon legal statement that outlined the truth, we were informed today of something planned to be released not mutually agreed upon that consists of inaccuracies and controls a narrative to benefit one,” the statement read.

“There has been no direct communication with Keith, because it’s either impossible for direct communication with him solely or we’ve been cut off to any and all communication by him himself.”

The statement also flatly denied that the group had been seeking to replace Keith Buckley as their frontman, as the singer claimed in early December.

“Every Time I Die was these 5 members,” the statement continued, “and we were never budging or accepting any changes. Simply, there is zero truth about the band continuing on with a new singer.”

In response, Keith Buckley shared a legal letter he received from Savur Law on December 20, 2021, wherein it was stated that their lawyers were representing the four exiting band members “in connection with a separation agreement”.

In a lengthy, often emotional, statement of his own, posted on his Twitter page on the morning of January 19, Keith Buckley challenged the official line on the group’s dissolution, expressed his dismay that he learned about the split only after the statement was posted on Twitter, and hit out at his brother and former friends  for depriving him of the opportunity “to say goodbye to 20 years’ worth of sacrifice.”

“This is how I found out that the band I started when I was 19 years old was publicly over,” he wrote. “In posting that without prior conversation, without legal consultation, without any personal sense of honor for the band we built, these men took away my ability to say goodbye to 20 years’ worth of sacrifice. That is one of the hardest things to stomach. After half my life in a van, I don’t even get access to an IG page worth of memories. That, coupled with the incongruous stories that are being told to manipulate and blur the narrative for anyone that might one day look back on this, are to me a wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Buckley’s statement repeats his accusation that the band were seeking to oust him from the line-up, a course of action which left him feeling “fucking devastated” and states that he sought, in vain, to discuss the situation with his bandmates in early December last year, but received no response from the four musicians.

“This was inevitable,” he writes of the split. “In all of its ugly confusion and negativity and rumor, our own deep familial dysfunction manicured it perfectly… We should have broken up in 2014 to be honest.”

Referencing the quintet’s most recent, and seemingly final album, Buckley writes “I still sense Radical gaining importance, but the firm spiritual and political stance I took on that record, became an insurmountable point of contention between Jordan and I. I, however, make no apologies for a single word.”

Buckley also stresses that he holds “no hate in my heart” for his former bandmates, and states that he wishes them “everything they deserve.”

Responding to fans’ questions on Twitter, Jordan Buckley once again insisted that there were no inter-band discussions about sacking his brother, who he hails as a “tremendous talent” and revealed that he and the other three musicians plan to continue working together. 

“This is just 4 people doing what is best for them,” the guitarist posted. “Maybe one day we’ll tell our side of the story, but we’re still grieving. It’s only been a month.”

Though ETID announced the cancellation of their 2022 European tour ahead of the release of the break-up statement, Keith Buckley will still be undertaking his own solo speaking tour of the UK next month. The singer is teaming up with popular podcaster/DJ/writer Matt Stocks for a six-date An Evening With… trek, beginning in London on February 7 and running through to February 12 in Dublin.

The show will include an in-depth, no-holds-barred interview, an audience Q&A session and a live book reading, in addition to nightly signing sessions.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.