Not having publicly responded to MADBALL vocalist Freddy Cricien's comments to the press regarding drummer Jay Weinberg's departure from the band, Weinberg — the 20-year-old son of Max Weinberg (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND) — has decided to "set the record straight."
"There has been so much noise on the internet regarding my parting ways with MADBALL — largely distorted — that I wanted to take the opportunity to set the record straight as I see it," Jay says in a statement that was released to BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "Then anyone who is interested can make up their own mind.
"Freddy Cricien has most recently inaccurately described my participation in the writing and recording process of MADBALL's latest project, 'Empire'.
"Throughout the several months-long writing and rehearsing process held at MADBALL's Queens, New York workspace, I was fully engaged in the writing of the music for this album. As important as Freddy's lyrics would become when the music was finished, he was only present at those pre-recording sessions on two or three occasions.
"The recording went well, evidenced by the final release, and I am proud of my contributions to the music — live and in the studio.
"However, Freddy has grossly mischaracterized my time with the band in the press; yet I have not responded publicly to any MADBALL statements.
"I agree that MADBALL will be better served by an individual more attuned to their particular lifestyle and, occasionally, a new band member will grind gears with longtime members over non-musical issues. To each his own.
"But, let me be clear — while I really enjoyed playing the music, I do not subscribe to their choice of habits and lifestyle. This past August while on tour in Europe, disturbing events within the band indicated to me that it was time for me to move on.
"While on tour in Canada in September, I informed Freddy, Mitts, and Hoya of my decision to leave — but not before they had found a replacement.
"The very next morning came Freddy's press release and claim that he had 'released me.'
"Well, that's just not the case.
"It is true that everyone is entitled to their own opinions — but not their own facts!
"Timing is everything, and who would disagree that one cannot be fired after having quit — decisively, amicably and well in advance of Freddy's harsh and public 'spin' of the facts.
"Bottom line — check out MADBALL's new release, 'Empire' — I'm proud of it, MADBALL should be proud of it, and, I believe that MADBALL's fans will love it!"
Fans can learn the latest news on Jay Weinberg on his Facebook page.
"Empire" was recorded at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with producer Erik Rutan, who has previously worked with MISERY INDEX, CANNIBAL CORPSE and GOATWHORE, among many others.
Since forming in 1988, MADBALL has been responsible for some of the most important releases in the hardcore genre, from the seminal "Ball of Destruction" EP (1989) to the landmark albums "Set It Off" (1994), "Demonstrating My Style" (1996), "Look My Way" (1998), "Hold it Down" (2000), "Legacy" (2005), and their last release, "Infiltrate the System" (2007).
Photo credit: Angelina Melody