Copy Pasta from Blabbermouth:
ATHEIST, the legendary technical metal band, has announced a hometown headline show and warm-up to their "Death To All" tour appearance. The concert will take place on June 29 in Sarasota, Florida at Jake's Tavern and will mark the return of bassist Tony Choy to ATHEIST.
Commented ATHEIST founder Kelly Shaefer: "We're very excited to announce that Tony Choy will be appearing on our upcoming dates; a headlining club gig at Jake's Tavern in Sarasota, Florida and the Orlando date of the 'Death To All Tour' 2012. It's been more than two years since Tony has played live with us. Just having him along will make this 'Death To All' show with the CYNIC guys, Gene Hoglan, Steve DiGiorgio, and everyone else a night to remember."
ATHEIST last year announced the addition of guitarist Jason Holloway to the group's ranks following the departure of Jonathan Thompson, who took a job in the medical field.
Abridged Quote from Travis (Ex-Bassis) who just found out about his departure from the band via blabbermouth:
Ehhhhhhhhh...had a big post written, been hovering over the "add reply" button for an hour. Realllly tempted to just air all the fucking dirty laundry. I don't know if I give a fuck anymore.
EDIT: Fuck it. I'm in a bit of a mood lately and frankly I don't give a fuck about being "professional" or maintaining networking vs being honest.
Alright, so real talk for a minute? They screwed me on money, didn't take their craft seriously whatsoever, and were just general assholes overall.
Kelly Shaefer is literally the most negative person I've ever met. In a room full of perfectly happy people, he will actively go out of his way to find something to bitch about - to the extent of blowing up at a few show promoters in Germany and Quebec for "not having water or towels" (even though they did, indeed have these things, he just didn't bother looking around to find them), where a few of us would then have to apologize and play damage control behind his back. I remember when we were in Greece, as soon as we arrived to the hotel in the morning, he immediately went to his room and passed out. Baker and I decided we didn't want to be bums and sit inside while we were in a foreign country, so to go out to check out downtown Athens, the Parthenon, etc...and when we get back, he greets us with this really snide, "Oh, thanks for the invitation to the Parthenon, guys!" There was this constant vendetta he and Flynn had against Baker, constantly making little insults wherever they could (including in front of fans), it was so childish. I could go on for quite awhile, but pretty much anyone who has worked with him this closely will tell you the same thing (Johnathan Thompson, Chris Baker, Travis Morgan, hmm I wonder why they're not all in the band anymore?).
Steve Flynn is a very fake and manipulative person. He has a masters degree in Psychology and knows exactly what to say to anyone to get what he wants out of them. In the year and a half that I was in the band, I never once saw a copy of our tech rider, knew any numbers regarding travel or accommodation costs, payment from shows, the label, merch sales, etc. He handles all the business of the band and keeps it very much in the dark for a reason. To the extent of cancelling a tour 4 days before we were supposed to leave and literally not even giving a reason, then exploding when I called him out on it. After this incident, Baker told me that Flynn was planning on replacing me (you know, rather than being a 40-something year old man and calling me up to talk to me man-to-man); only reason that didn't happen is because Baker was fed up with him too and didn't want to deal with more lineup changes. Baker actually pretty much quit the band at one point, and Steve tried telling him that he was his "best friend in the band", even though he would badmouth him behind his back every day on tour (caught him doing this once to me in a hotel in Italy when he didn't know I was on the other side of the door). One of Baker's gripes was that Steve owed him $500 from the Trois-Rivieres Metalfest we played last October (I hadn't gotten paid either), and there was a big back-and-forth via email...so then in FEBRURARY of this year, when he finally sent us checks for both Trois-Rivieres and the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, Baker magically gets his $500 and I only get $300. I could understand if they had pulled me aside at the beginning of the whole thing and said, "hey look, here's how much we're making, we're only going to pay you X amount because we've been in the band way longer than you", but considering I was told nothing on the matter whatsoever until after I tracked him down (he was avoiding my phone calls) - and was then given the bullshit excuse of "seniority" (we had gotten paid the same amount on a previous tour), that's just downright shady. Not to mention that I had to wait 4 months for a payment that could have been made in 30 seconds via paypal on his blackberry (which he literally had in his hands on stage in between songs, to give you an idea of how easy it would have been for him).
Chris Baker and I were on decent terms for awhile, but he said some pretty rude shit in Quebec that kinda made me stop giving a blind eye to his dramatic attitude. A perfect example of said attitude is when we were on a flight from Atlanta, GA to Seattle, WA to kick off our North American tour last year...it was a big plane with a ton of people, and there was a young couple with two loud kids. Personally, I see flying as no different than other methods of public transportation such as taking a bus or a train - it's granted that you're probably gonna run into a screaming kid here and there, and you need to be prepared. He, of course, didn't bring any music or earplugs, so he sat there stewing and bitching the whole time - and eventually started making some nasty comments to the parents. The attendants went down the aisle with the food trays, and the mother asked her little girl, "Do you want some chips?" and Baker has the nerve to literally shout across the plane, "YEAH, SURE, GET ME SOME CHIPS!" Then of course, as we're exiting the plane, the woman comes up to Baker and starts cursing him out, tells him that they've been flying for 28 hours from South Africa because her father is dying. He responds with "Oh, don't swear in front of your kids! That's disgusting!" Really bro? Grow the fuck up. (Not to mention that he can't play his fucking instrument...)
The last straw after not getting paid was getting a message from Kelly a few months ago saying they wanted to kick out Baker. I stuck up for him and told Kelly, basically, that I felt that they needed to be face-to-face with him on whatever problems they had with him, rather than do all this behind his back. He then flipped out and started refusing to use email (I was in Quebec and couldn't use my phone). After three separate occasions of making myself available for a phone call from Flynn on someone else's phone that never came, I finally got an email saying they were planning on continuing without me. I didn't bother trying to save myself. And honestly, I don't regret my decision whatsoever - it's been a weight lifted off my shoulders. I was planning on quitting after the Death To All tour, considering if there were this many problems just touring with these guys, there was no way in hell writing and recording a full length album was gonna happen.
I think, at least on a musical level, I knew what I was getting myself into when I joined Atheist. You can't join a band that's been around for ~20 years and expect to have much say in any decision making. They were indeed a band that I listened to a lot in high school, but truth be told (as shitty as this might make me sound), I joined for the travel more than anything. And truthfully, the travel was amazing while it lasted, but it got to the point that the travel wasn't worth putting on a fake smile for the fans and turning my head to the absurd level of bullshit these guys throw around anymore.
It's pretty embarrassing when a band touted as "pioneers of technical metal" has a drummer that can't keep a beat. Or even play their songs all the way through without causing trainwrecks. Or have an ounce or work ethic to make a single change to their setlist over the course of a year so that fans don't have to see the same exact show twice. You know, the kind of work ethic where you're willing to play your drums for a little more than an hour at a practice before you call it a night. But hey - they're legends, right? Oh well, their old bassist they got back is pretty much at their skill level anyway, so I suppose the current Atheist lineup really is a match made in heaven.
Good fucking riddance.