The members of metal band Neurosis have issued a collective statement following singer Scott Kelly’s public admission of abuse and subsequent retirement from music.
As reported this past weekend, Kelly admitted to engaging in “emotional, financial, verbal and physical abuse” of his wife and children and announced his “100%” permanent retirement from being a professional musician, adding that, “My sole focus for the rest of my life is on taking care of my family, allowing them safe space to heal and rebuilding their trust.”
In the aftermath of Kelly’s admission, the other members of Neurosis took to the band’s official Facebook page to issue a lengthy statement condemning Kelly’s actions and blaming the singer for continuing to make the situation “about himself.”
The statement also implied that Neurosis are effectively done, with the other band members having already parted ways with Kelly in 2019 after first learning of the abuse. They chose to keep the matter private “out of respect for his wife’s direct request for privacy, and to honor the family’s wish not to let their experience become gossip in a music magazine.”
However, after Kelly went public with his admission on Facebook — “without returning any of the calls, texts, or e-mails of his bandmates and friends” — the band members state that they can finally say what “needs to be said.”
The full statement reads as follows:
“We cannot overstate the level of disgust and disappointment we feel for a man who we once called Brother.
As a band, we parted ways with Scott Kelly at the end of 2019 after learning about severe acts of abuse he committed towards his family over the previous years. In the past, Scott had disclosed his marital difficulties and acts of verbal abuse, as well as his intention to get help and change his behaviors. The information we learned in 2019 made it clear Scott had crossed a line and there was no way back. We did not share this information out of respect for his wife’s direct request for privacy, and to honor the family’s wish not to let their experience become gossip in a music magazine. With Scott’s Facebook post of August 27, 2022 disclosing much of this information publicly, we can finally say what we believe needs to be said.
For the last twenty years we have lived far apart from one another and only saw Scott when meeting up to work on music or play shows. We had no idea what the reality was for his family when we were not around. By Scott’s own admission, his abuse was intentional, targeted, and a closely guarded secret – even from those of us closest to him.
Once we learned of his abuse it was difficult to reconcile the horrible information with the person we thought we knew. It’s not surprising he hid the abuse for so long because it is a betrayal of our ethics as bandmates, partners, parents, and human beings.
Since 2019, we have made numerous attempts to contact Scott. We wanted to have an honest talk about the status of the band and find out how he and his family were doing, but he has refused to speak with us for three years. And, in what we now see clearly to be a pattern, Scott refused to take responsibility for his actions. Having been through so much with someone for more than 35 years, one would expect some amount of closure, or at the very least a response.
Now, without returning any of the calls, texts, or e-mails of his bandmates and friends, Scott has made a public post about the situation. To us, this decision seems like another attempt at manipulation, another opportunity for his narcissism to control the narrative. Don’t allow Scott to make this about himself, it’s about the abuse his family has suffered.
Usually, we would view public openness and honesty about mental illness as brave and even productive. We just don’t believe that is the case here.
There is nothing brave about systematically abusing your wife and children.
There is nothing brave about confessing wrongdoing when you have not done the work to change your behavior.
There is nothing brave about refusing to speak honestly, or speak at all, with one’s closest friends and bandmates, people who have supported you and stuck by you for most of your life.
Compared to the impact of Scott’s actions on his family, the impact on our band pales in significance. Nevertheless, with the heartbreak and horror we also grieve for the loss of our life’s work and a legacy that was sacred to us.
Again, our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of Scott’s wife and children, as well as anyone else in a similar situation. If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please reach out to one of the many local or national resources available.
One national resource is: National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 http://www.thehotline.org
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues that could make you a danger to yourself or others, please get help before you hurt yourself or the people you love. One resource for that is: http://www.988lifeline.org
This is the only statement we plan to make about this issue. In due course, when it’s appropriate, we will provide more information about our future musical endeavors, but that time is not now.”
View the Facebook post from Neurosis below.