Former BROKEN HOPE guitarist Jeremy Wagner, who left the group last week amid internal turmoil over the band's musical direction and professional priorities, has contacted BLABBERMOUTH.NET to offer his version of the events that led to the act's untimely split. Here is Wagner's statement in its entirety:
“Seeing as I formed the band and ultimately left last week, I figured I'd better put my own two cents' worth in regarding BROKEN HOPE:
“For the last year, BROKEN HOPE has been in a state of limbo. We did a great European tour last year and when we returned, we began writing material for our 6th album. As time went on, however, everyone started drifting apart. I moved out of state temporarily, but recorded all of my new material in pre-production before doing so, [while] our bassist moved back home to Nebraska, and [guitarist] Brian Griffin began touring constantly as a soundman for SOIL.
“When I moved back to Illinois last December, we began rehearsing the new material, and then began recording on and off during the following months. I had written about half of the new album musically, all of the lyrics, and I dubbed the new album Flesh Mechanic. I was pretty enthusiastic about the new album, but it didn't take long to see that we were spinning our wheels. Brian was never around, as he had touring obligations with SOIL, our bassist was still living in Nebraska, and our drummer wasn't able to rehearse on a regular basis. Plus, we still didn't have enough material to complete the album, and I certainly didn't want to put any filler on it just to wrap it up.
“For our singer, Scott Creekmore, and myself, this was turning out to be a no-win situation. We like being in a band, writing music, rehearsing hard, playing shows, and enjoying the camaraderie of our band-mates. Unfortunately, Scott and I felt that the other guys had different priorities and had unrealistic expectations. As a hungry guitarist this was very frustrating and difficult because a 'once-in-a-while' band just isn't rewarding enough.
“After a lengthy discussion last week, Scott, our drummer Jeff, and myself decided to call it a day with BROKEN HOPE and move on.
“Scott and I plan on using all of the music and lyrics I wrote for Flesh Mechanic for an extreme death/grind project (unnamed as of now). We will be recording that material soon at Scott's 24-track, digital studio, Mercenary Digital. I'll also be focusing more on my non-death-metal, LURCH musical project—which I already have an album's worth of material for—and I'll be concentrating more on my fiction-writing with hopes of seeing my second, unpublished novel seeing publication sometime soon.
“As for the other guys, our drummer Jeff is quitting music and moving to Virginia, and Brian Griffin apparently is going to do his own thing.
“After originally forming the band, and doing BROKEN HOPE for 12 years—since high-school—it's hard to call it quits after all the stuff we've been through as a group. Sometimes it's best to lay a band to rest rather than trying to make it something it's not. It's not any easy decision, but like Ronnie Van Zant said, 'Follow your heart and nothing else.'
“I'd like to thank all of the BROKEN HOPE fans who have stuck with us through all these years and all of the friends we've made along the way. I look forward to seeing you all again with something new from my world.
“Eternally swamped in gore, Jeremy Wagner”
In related news, Metal Blade Records Europe is re-releasing BROKEN HOPE's first four albums as double CDs later this month. Swamped in Gore and The Bowels of Repugnance will be released as one double CD, while Repulsive Conception and Loathing will make up another double CD. These special re-releases will include new pictures, layouts, and band biographies.