Jeff Loomis Gives His Side of the NEVERMORE Breakup
We were shocked when the remaining members of Nevermore announced that guitarist Jeff Loomis and drummer Van Williams were out of the band. But we never seemed to hear their side of the story. My buddy Axl Rosenberg of MetalSucks got on the horn with Jeff Loomis and wasted no time getting to the bottom of this, asking him right away what the deal was. Here is Lommis' response:
Let’s dive right in with the obvious question: From your perspective, what happened with Nevermore?
Van and I started discussing leaving Nevermore when we were on our last tour with Symphony X in Europe. Obviously, as everyone knows, Nevermore had been together since 1993, and we were very happy for many years. I think that over a period of time, with excessive touring and doing records together, we just got burnt out from one another. There were also many issues with drinking and alcohol abuse [my own] included. I’m not out to do interviews about the end of Nevermore and just zero out particular people in the band, that would be wrong and false information anyway.
We were on the last leg of the Symphony X tour and Van and I had a talk with Warrel backstage and we told him we didn’t want to continue on with the next tour with Symphony X in the States. We wanted to take some time and regroup, so to speak, and wait for Jim to come back, since he was recovering from brain surgery. Warrel really did not like that idea, but Van and I stuck with it, thinking it was a smart move to maybe start fresh at a later date. All hell kind of broke from that [discussion], because the concert promoter [in the U.S.] got pissed off, and I heard through the grapevine that we might get sued because of it. That’s pretty much when Van and I issued a statement that we were going to depart from the band.
I really just had had enough at the end. I want to do different things musically, and I think it was just better that we left. It was quite amazing, though, with all the response we got from our fans. It’s really nice to know that we affected so many people in a positive way with our music.
So you started discussing leaving the band during that tour… at that point, for how long had you known that there were serious problems within the band?
For quite some time actually… there were many problems health-wise that were kinda getting scary. Warrel had a problem with his pancreas and diabetes back in ’05, and Jim recently underwent brain surgery to remove a small brain tumor, plus he had issues with Crohn’s disease. Sometimes Jim wasn’t able to tour because of that, and we would always have to find a replacement. Troubles happen all the time in bands, and we always dealt with them. I think that over a period of time, though, that started to kind of take a toll with never having the whole original band onstage at certain times when we were on tour. People were asking tons of questions about it, and we would do the best we could with trying to explain everything, but sometimes fans wouldn’t understand or get the real picture of what was going on. So, yes, I would say from as early on as 2005, there were issues we had to deal with, medical-wise.
I highly recommend heading over to MetalSucks and reading the full interview to hear his whole side of the story. Loomis is of course also working on a solo record, which will hopefully be out soon.