Former AMEN and current GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin has posted a statement on AMEN's message board defending AMEN mainman Casey Chaos against accusations of fraud and mishandling of funds by other ex-members of the group. His message reads as follows:
"Hello, humans. Larkin here. Remember me? I'm the drummer on 95 percent of everything since the self titled 'Amen' record, and yes, that includes 'Join or Die' and 'Death Before Musick'. I agreed with Chaos that out of respect to the new members of the band, we didn't need to list me as doing the tracks because who really cares, right? AMEN has [been], and always will be, about the music and attitude anyway. The fact is, Casey pretty much played everything else (particularly on the last two releases) anyway. The simple reason is: he has a unique style that cannot be duplicated...he's one of the few that can make attitude into a sound, by whatever fucked up way he plays. Don't ask me how, I'm just a drummer. What I do know is Casey, and the five years I spent in AMEN.
"The reason I left the band is also simple: my wife had our first child. Did I feel like I could be a punk, in a real punk band, and be a family man on the side? HELL NO! Not only could I not afford it, but let's face it... AMEN is dangerous! Before I became a dad, that's what I loved about it! Alas, reality always has a price. So this is what has lead me to write this letter. I'm irritated with the antics and shit-talk of former members of the band, and I'm not talking about the original line-up here.
"Look, when Fig quit, he was really unhappy with all aspects of being in AMEN (except possibly the actual music), but did he run his mouth to the press or try to discredit what AMEN has accomplished? HELL NO! Same with Sonny, Tumor, and myself. Too many great moments to cry over spilt milk. Anyone who has been in a band knows it is no picnic. Now try being in a real punk band...fuckin' hard sometimes.
"Wait, let's do a quick cred check: lots of real blood and bruises, virtually unknown except by a very loyal fan base, lots of drugs and alcohol abuse, lawsuits, little to no money, destruction of tons of gear (and in some countries, public property), thrown off independent labels and major labels, no chance of airplay, kicked off tours, sunk any profits back into the band...yep, sounds like a fucking real punk band to me. Nothing against GOOD CHARLOTTE and the like, but if you join Casey Chaos and AMEN, you certainly don't do it for fame or money. What you get is a feeling of being against the world, just you and the fans, doing something important. I felt as if I was a part, however small, of something that will be remembered for never compromising its integrity. It will age gracefully and be as hard 20 years from now as it is today.
"So why fuck with that? When the original line-up disbanded, Casey wished us all good luck, and we've kept in touch and remained brothers. You think he doesn't know what kind of monster AMEN is? He's Dr. Frankenstein! He created it, and can be the only one to destroy it! Besides, being in a band should be like Vegas...what happens there STAYS there. And that contract on the website fuckin KILLED me! God, the blood and bruises and cuts and trying to put together the drums for the encore...we loved that shit! Who wants to see Casey up there lip-syncing, going through the motions? NOT ME! Not the AMEN fans I know! I want to be nervous, wondering what the fuck is gonna happen next! I want the Tasmanian devil! I want ACTION!!! And to talk personal, trivial shit (i.e. Casey's real name, age, cock size, etc)...who fucking cares? GODSMACK opened for THE STOOGES last year in NYC and I watched Iggy from the side of the stage, and guess what...I was fucking nervous, not knowing what the crazy fucker was gonna DO!! Was I thinking of his real name, his age, or his cock size (huge)??? Fuck no. Look here shit-talkers, when you all were listening to fucking Scooby-Doo, Casey and I were at BLACK FLAG. In the PIT, motherfuckers.
"Am I some punk rock guy? Well, no. Not anymore. I'm a 37-year-old daddy. But you know what? Ethics don't change, just lifestyles do. I guess my point is, you guys were fans before you joined the band. What did you expect to get? Fame and fortune? Ha fucking ha! And if you say that's what Casey Chaos promised you, you're fucking liars. The huge point is: if you didn't get what you wanted or expected, you simply finish your obligations and responsibilities (it's a small world in this business), and then you quit. I know for a fact (through experience) that Casey is cool in that regard. Again, he knows what AMEN is about. Like he said to Rolling Stone (issue 863, Mar 1, 2001), he was lucky enough to have made some dough to invest in real estate at a young age. Nice!!! If I had that, I would live exactly like Chaos. And Casey fucking UNDERSTANDS this, and again, harbored no hard feelings when it was time for me to move on (and if I was 10 years younger...).
"Anyway, I had no illusions of grandeur when I joined AMEN, and that is why it is still so close to my heart. The tours alone were worth it! Didn't you guys FEEL it? Rich? Big Day Out?? Isn't that worth some kind of loyalty INSIDE? Again, fucking quit, but don't try to act like your girlfriend fucked around on you, so you have to fuck her best friend to get even. We are musicians, not football players. What's done is done, what's said is said, but do move on with your lives and careers, go and be stars, make tons of dough, and best of luck to you all...but shut the fuck up already. Don't burn too many bridges...i know you are all invincible and everything, but karma is real...and that goes both ways. And that isn't hippy shit, that straight-up music business shit. Christ, I heard there was an anti-AMEN web site! SO, is that anti-me, sonny, and tumor, too? Was AMEN your first band or something? Do you know what it's like to tour in a van for 10 years before even getting signed? Do you know what it's like to sleep on floors at fan's houses 'cause you cant afford a motel on tour? To have to steal booze and cigs and condoms, eating Ramen fuckin noodles for months on end? To sell things you love just to pay the rent? Well, I fucking do.
"To the fans of AMEN: listen to the music, shut your eyes and picture the chaos that AMEN is on the stage, and don't worry yourselves over what some bitter ex-member might have said about Casey or AMEN. And especially what some ex-roadie says!! You gonna believe some 'tour manager,' 'promoter' geek over me? I fuckin' hope not. Chaos is real, and up fucking front. I'm in a band that sells millions of records in America, and never have we profited on a tour. And if we did, the money just goes to other debts or back into the band.
"Look, ex-AMEN guys. I've met you all, and I'm not using names because I'm not there, I don't know which ones of you AREN'T talking shit, but Chaos is my friend, AMEN is in my heart, and I'm old enough to know that unless somebody hurts my family or fists my girlfriend, it's all just high-school bullshit. I've played with plenty dudes over the last twenty years that I didn't get on with and have never spoken to again...but I never talked shit about thier flaws because I GOT MY OWN FLAWS, you know? So unless you guys are perfect (which nobody is) let it go, and go do your thing. What are you trying to accomplish? Ruin the name of the band, or ruin Casey Chaos? And to what avail? He's the real deal, love him or hate him. I should think you are all above barbing ex-bandmates on the Internet (or to the 'metal' mags, for that matter), but live and learn...enjoy life while you're young and rad. We play music for fuck's sake. GET WHAT YOU CAN...BUT DON'T FUCK WITH AMEN!!!!
"To the fans...Fuck what you hear: Chaos is no liar, no thief...he was punk before half of you were born, so RESPECT, REVOLT, REFUSE!!!!
"P.S. to Blake 'Poochie' (who got fired and took it like a man), and Scott S. Sorry (who quit, but didn't run his mouth, like a man), you guys are special officers, respect and luck to you both, along with FIG, Sonny, and Tumor.
"P.S.S. Matt...give Casey the AMEN video tapes back. I need copies, and Casey is gonna make them for me, so give them back or you'll get on my bad side, and you don't want that, OK?"