THE AGONIST singer Vicky Psarakis says that she is open to having a conversation with her predecessor, Alissa White-Gluz, less than three months after she accused the current ARCH ENEMY frontwoman of trying to prevent the release of THE AGONIST's latest album.
This past September, Psarakis gave an interview to Rock Confidential in which she claimed that Alissa had been trying to hold THE AGONIST back. "In the beginning, she was doing it a lot through interviews and just talking very badly about the bandmembers," she said. "That is super awkward for me, because this is a person I've never met in my life, so it's weird for me to be talking about it. There's no knowing how far and to what extent her reach could be to hold this band back. I definitely know some stuff that she's done and other things are just speculation. So, I don't wanna throw that out there, but I will say that she has been trying to kill this band ever since she was fired."
A couple of weeks later, Alissa, who has fronted ARCH ENEMY for the past five and a half years, responded to Vicky's comments, calling her claims "completely untrue, false and unsubstantiated" and saying that she has not talked about her former band "or even thought about them in years." She also said that would be "more than happy to talk to Vicky and put her concerns to rest because I know for a fact they are completely untrue."
Psarakis addressed her issues with White-Gluz during a recent appearance on "Vox&Hops", the podcast hosted by Matt McGachy, frontman of extreme metal band CRYPTOPSY. Speaking about the original Rock Confidential interview which resulted in her opening up for the first time about Alissa's alleged attempts to sabotage her former band, Vicky said: "When that happened, in the back of my head, I kind of let it happen. And it was simply because — you know how it is when there's an album release and the interviews are scheduled back to back. So there were some days where I had four or five interviews in a row. And lot of times, those questions coincided — same questions over and over again. So I reached, I guess, my boiling point, where I was, like, 'You know what? This is it.' And I kind of let it out. And it did kind of get blown out of proportion. But I kind of knew it was gonna happen. I didn't expect the full extent of what happened, to be honest, and it wasn't my intention. It was just more, like, I've been in the band for five years. Every single time anything remotely close to that is brought up, I just shut down and don't say anything or avoid or redirect. And I just reached that point where it's, like, 'I'm done.' And I just let it out. And in the moment, it felt really good. And it actually felt good afterwards too; it just felt like, 'Ah. I can breathe again.' And, of course, I got asked [about it] afterwards [by] other interviewers, just like you're asking me now, I guess. But it felt good in that I didn't feel that need anymore to talk about it anymore. It's, like, well, it's out there. Anyone can go and read it, if they want."
Asked how she felt when she read Alissa's response to her Rock Confidential interview, Vicky said: "How did I feel? It felt a bit underwhelmed. I was not anticipating it. I wasn't anticipating a response at all, to be honest. I thought [they] would just let it die down. And then I read the response and I was, like, 'Okay. They responded…'"
Pressed about whether she would take Alissa up on the offer to have a phone conversation and put everything to rest, Vicky said: "Sure. If she really wanted to, I'm here… It's always been a bit weird for me in that, obviously, they have some beef. They were in a band together for 10 years or so. And not anymore, but I was 'the new girl'… "
When McGachy suggested that White-Gluz could one day join THE AGONIST on stage for a guest appearance at a festival and officially bury the hatchet, Psarakis said: "I'm sure it would be appreciated [by the fans]. On my end, I'm totally okay. Like I said, it was just a bit of a weird place for me, because I had nothing to do with this. I'm just the new person — or was the new person in the band. And if it wasn't me, it would be someone else. So I felt a bit, like, 'Why am I caught up in the middle of all this?' So, obviously, if something good were to happen, why not let it happen?"
White-Gluz was announced as the new singer of ARCH ENEMY on March 17, 2014. That same day, THE AGONIST revealed that they had recruited Psarakis as Alissa's replacement, saying in a statement that they wished White-Gluz "all the best with ARCH ENEMY and her future endeavors." A day later, Alissa released her own statement in which she claimed that she "had every intention of (and had even started) writing and recording yet another killer album [with THE AGONIST] this year," but explained that her "former bandmates decided to choose a different path." She also said that "the unfortunate decision" to part ways "was made beyond [her] control" and added that she would "always be proud of the three albums [she and THE AGONIST] created since 2005."
Alissa, who co-founded THE AGONIST in 2004 (then known as TEMPEST), had been largely quiet about the circumstances that led to her departure from the band, choosing instead to focus on the touring activities in support of ARCH ENEMY's 2014 album "War Eternal", which marked her recording debut with the latter group. But during an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta's official podcast, "The Jasta Show", Alissa aired her side of THE AGONIST split for the first time, saying that she "never in a million fucking years" suspected that she would get kicked out of her own band. She added, "I don't agree with what they did. I don't have respect for what they did," and vowed to never mend fences with her former bandmates. "I'll never talk to them again — ever!" she said. "That was the worst betrayal I've ever felt in my life. They stole a lot from me. It was not right."
THE AGONIST guitarist Danny Marino later responded to Alissa's comments, claiming that "she was playing both sides to have her cake and eat it too" and accusing her of not "factoring in the other four lives in the band and their aspirations."