Okay, so last week, in the comments section of an item we posted about Battleship Agenda's search for a new singer, there was talk that Kyle Simmons, who fronts Speakeasy Tiger, had parted ways with the act.
This claim seemed to be supported by vague comments on keytar player Pete Schmidt's personal Facebook page, presumably in response to a fan generated page launched with the intent of persuading the band to "Keep Kyle."
"That's the thing -- everybody is out of the loop yet everybody feels the need to support an issue they don't understand," Schmidt wrote. "It's simply no longer an option to keep everybody. And things haven't gotten better despite 5 years of 'one more chance' and 'one more chance.'"
Schmidt's comments were preceded by what turned out to be an erroneous post on the part of guitarist Tavis Alley on AbsolutePunk.net, essentially confirming that Speakeasy Tiger was indeed searching for a new vocalist.
Hey, this is Tavis from Speakeasy Tiger here. We have had some changes in our band as of recently, and we are currently seeking out a new female vocalist.
We are playing this year's Warped Tour so obviously we are actively searching for a new vocalist to be ready in the coming months.
It would be much appreciated if you could post that we are on the search, and that any inquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our myspace can be found here: www.myspace.com/speakeasytiger And we're also on AP.net: www.absolutepunk.net/speakeasytiger
Alley's post immediately drew criticism from a few commenters:
Well, way to fuck it up Speakeasy. I loved you guys and you broke my heart. Yes, you are all great musicians, but Kyle has one of THE most unique and amazing voices to come out of Denver in recent memory. You were on the fast track to huge success, and people coming to see you at Warped Tour who aren't familiar with the band are expecting to hear HER voice, not some imitator. Every band has issues from time to time. Work out your shit, because with Kyle as your vocalist, you have the chance to blow up in a huge way. Without her, it's just not the band I fell in love with, and I'm sure a lot of fans agree with me. -- Melissa 2188
That response was followed by this passionate missive:
Ive heard the buzz that the band is kicking Kyle out of the band! Is this band serious? I mean really Tavis, you just flushed your career down the toilet! I hope this is some sick late April fools joke because you guys are complete and total idiots to think that you will go anywhere without Kyle lighting the way for you. If there is a problem with Kyle, I think we all know its not her voice so why dont you think about kicking someone else out? A word to the wise, do not try out for this band because they clearly treat their singers like dirt. Good luck in your future endeavors but sorry to say that your career and dream is about to crash and burn. -- Discount Cinema
All of this, of course, sent the rumor mill into overdrive, fueled by a slew of unanswered questions: Was Simmons booted from the band, or wasn't she? What the heck happened? Does anyone know what's going on? Later in the week, someone else posted on our blog disputing any such notion of Simmons leaving the band, while the band itself touted a big announcement at noon today as an attempt to quell all of the seemingly unfounded rumors.
Which brings us to today: As promised, just after lunch, the group posted the above clip, reassuring fans that Simmons has not left the band. All is well within the Speakeasy Tiger camp, they insist, and the members are looking forward to the Warped Tour and have even made a track available for free download to thank everyone for their concern and support. As you can see in the clip, everybody's smiling like nothing ever happened.
Confused? Don't worry. So is everybody else.
Turns out, it's not all that simple. Look closer at the clip: Notice somebody missing? Uh-huh. Pete Schmidt. While the intimate details are best left to the band, here's what actually happened: Like any dysfunctional family -- as anyone who's been in a band can attest, playing in a band breeds dysfunction -- there's been some internal strife between the players compounded by miscommunication.
The discord the group experienced is nothing that countless other groups haven't experienced. Unfortunately, though, in this case, thanks to the invasive nature of social media -- in which we all inexplicably choose to live our lives out loud, literally tracing our every breath, thoughts and interactions -- this whole thing (or at least the surface level drama) has been played out in public (ironically -- or maybe not so ironically -- Speakeasy's latest effort is titled The Public).
Ultimately, Simmons and company are aware of what's at stake here and have found a way to work through their differences. According to bassist Lauren Gale, despite the recent rift, Simmons is completely committed to the band and the group is forging ahead as scheduled. As for Schmidt, he's signed on at least through the Warped Tour. Good news for Speakeasy Tiger fans like Melissa2188 and Discount Cinema.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the timing of the announcement is anything but coincidental: Tonight the band is slated to perform at the Marquis Theater in support of Foxy Shazam, the Young Veins and Bad Rabbits.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.