THE AGONIST quits
Canadian metallers THE AGONIST have officially called it quits after a nearly two-decade run.
Earlier this week (Wednesday, May 10),the band released the following statement via social media: “Dear friends, it’s time to make a very difficult but necessary announcement. We have decided that THE AGONIST as a band, has come to an end. Much deliberation and care has been put into making this decision, and unfortunately, given the circumstances, this is the conclusion that makes the most sense for the band and us as individuals.
“There are many factors that led to this decision. It is a mix of personal, financial and industry related issues, but in the end the 5 of us are no longer able to agree on a way forward that would benefit THE AGONIST business as a whole, while respecting each member’s personal lives and wishes.
“We want to express our deepest gratitude to the fans for coming out to the shows, buying our merch, and supporting us over the years. Nothing is more satisfying than connecting with our fellow human beings via the gift of music. It is the number one factor that has always driven us- to make you, the listener, feel something. In the end, we know that we’ve accomplished this together.
“Some members of the band will continue to work on music in various ways, others will focus on personal projects and family. We kindly ask you to respect their privacy on this particular matter and encourage you to follow them on their individual social media accounts to support their future endeavors.
“Vicky Psarakis (vocals) will be carrying on with her band, SICKSENSE. They have a new EP coming out this summer and she will be playing 2 live shows with them in Montreal, in June. You can also directly support her by following her on Patreon and Twitch.
“Simon McKay (drums) is currently looking to join a new band full-time, while offering session work for studio and live gigs. Also, keep an eye out for new music coming soon from his solo project.
“Chris Kells (bass) will be focusing on his career as a videographer. Since 2015, he has directed all of THE AGONIST‘s music videos, as well as many other established bands.
“Danny Marino (guitar) is currently writing music for 2 new projects.
Pascal ‘Paco’ Jobin (guitar) will be releasing new music with his project LEADING THE BETRAYED.
“Our US-based merch store with Sound Escape Agency will remain open. We have also put together an EU-based store for our European fans. Inventory is final and there will be no restocks. Proceeds will go directly to the band to help us pay off our remaining debt.
“We will survive. At the end of the tunnel there’s always a light.”
THE AGONIST performed live for the first time in nearly two years in December 2021 at Théâtre Corona in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
THE AGONIST released an EP, “Days Before The World Wept”, in October 2021 via Napalm Records. The effort was produced by Christian Donaldson, who has previously worked with BEYOND CREATION, CRYPTOPSY and DESPISED ICON.
Alissa White-Gluz, who co-founded THE AGONIST in 2004 (then known as TEMPEST),was announced as the new singer of ARCH ENEMY on March 17, 2014. That same day, THE AGONIST revealed that they had recruited Psarakis as Alissa‘s replacement, saying in a statement that they wished White-Gluz “all the best with ARCH ENEMY and her future endeavors.” A day later, Alissa released her own statement in which she claimed that she “had every intention of and had even started writing and recording yet another killer album with THE AGONIST this year,” but explained that her “former bandmates decided to choose a different path.” She also said that “the unfortunate decision” to part ways “was made beyond her control” and added that she would “always be proud of the three albums she and THE AGONIST created since 2005.”
Alissa had been largely quiet about the circumstances that led to her departure from the band, choosing instead to focus on the touring activities in support of ARCH ENEMY‘s 2014 album “War Eternal”, which marked her recording debut with the latter group. But during an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta’s official podcast, “The Jasta Show”, Alissa aired her side of THE AGONIST split for the first time, saying that she “never in a million fucking years” suspected that she would get kicked out of her own band. She added, “I don’t agree with what they did. I don’t have respect for what they did,” and vowed to never mend fences with her former bandmates. “I’ll never talk to them again — ever!” she said. “That was the worst betrayal I’ve ever felt in my life. They stole a lot from me. It was not right.”
Marino later responded to Alissa‘s comments, claiming that “she was playing both sides to have her cake and eat it too” and accusing her of not “factoring in the other four lives in the band and their aspirations.”