Former MUSHROOMHEAD vocalist, Jeffrey Nothing, speaks out against his former band members in a recent discussion on the ADHD Podcast. The full podcast can be found below.
“My issue was there was only one chief [Steve “Skinny” Felton] and that’s not how it started. That really catapulted us all backwards. I feel like we could have done so much more… I hear that classic bands that I love never got along. It makes you wonder how some things would have went, had they gone a different route. I’m lucky I get to do this different route now.”
“It’s definitely like shackles off… just in life itself. It’s like I woke up again. I really appreciate all the kind words and look forward to just keep adding to that catalog. I hope everyone feels from what’s coming up… it’s an exciting time.”
He later stated that when his past association with Mushroomhead was used on a flyer to promote a show of, Mushroomhead complained to the venue. He said of that:
“Things could have all been different and friendly, but I don’t believe my former band has that in their vocabulary. I never wanted it like that. It’s odd.
I left the band because I couldn’t do it anymore. I stayed for a long time for the fans and it just got to be like, sorry I just can’t do it anymore. I was trying to leave on semi-amicable terms and then that never happened.
They put out a tribute video—supposedly to me—which was anything but. And then a fan that runs a video company in Ohio called Stuck In Ohio put out a fan-made video and was asked twice by the powers that be over there to take it down. Then the guy sent me the video and was like ‘Here you can do whatever you want with it.’
I put it up, I don’t know why, but I was told to take it down. So in-between the first and second time I put it up he called me back and said ‘Could you do me a solid and take that back down.’ And the guy told me, so I took it down and left it private on my YouTube.
And then after awhile I was like ‘You know what, f*ck this bullshit’ so I sent it out to my team of admins for my Facebook group called ‘Nothing Matters’ and was like ‘put this everywhere’ I got to the point where I had enough.”
He went on to say of the bitterness that emerged in the wake of his exit:
“They put out rumors that my voice is f*cked, my ears are fried, and I ‘can’t do it anymore’… and I’m doing it. I’m proving them wrong with everything I do now. It’s like, your lies are blowing up in your face. It’s like what do you have to say now? I don’t even need to hear from them. I’m just happy I’m still doing it and moving forward stronger.”
“We had way other intentions when we started. I thought the guy was my friend. It’s ridiculous… I hired him as a 19 year old drummer, his brother was like, ‘No, let’s keep looking.’ and I’m like, ‘No, that’s the guy.’ That’s that pat on the back I get. Pat, stab… there’s the same letters in there somewhere.”
“It’s all good. I’m in a gigantically better place and I’m looking forward on everything to come. People are like, ‘How can you sell off your memorabilia?’ and I’m like, ‘That’s the past. I would rather have the money and use that to make my new record. It is what it is.’”
He then went on to criticize Felton‘s alleged controlling nature:
“Nobody should tell you what you’re supposed to do. That’s not music. That’s not art. Period… The guy actually put a time-clock in our studio. It’s like, when does anyone create on a schedule? It’s when it comes to you… I was thinking to myself, there’s only one way I would ever punch that. It was insane. I don’t know what happened there, but something definitely went wrong…”
Inner band power struggles in general were then touched on by the show’s hosts, including word of Metallica infamously going to the length of recruiting outside help to mend their fences. Nothingresponded:
“…I just remembered thinking how weird is it that they actually needed a therapist and then I end up in a world where I don’t even know this guy. I thought he was my great friend. I don’t even know who he is…”
When discussing touring with that kind of tension in the ranks, he commented:
“…I got to the point where I didn’t even want to go on tour anymore. There was one tour where I felt like I was in need of having every tooth pulled out of my head, the stress was so bad it felt like that. That ended up not being the case, once I got home I was fine. Sometimes a bus can feel like a prison cell or your bunk can feel like a casket…or you’re doing time or you’re not even alive anymore.
Everybody says that touring is a thing that isn’t for everybody. If it’s like the way it’s supposed to be or you expect it to be or dream of it being, it’s probably fine for most bands… it just gets to where sometimes there’s a split in the power world that never needed to happen and we should all be getting along and we’re not allowed to. That’s the hardest part of it from my experience. When it was cool, I liked it.
When it became somebody’s little game, for lack of a better word, it became very ugly and something I wanted to get out of as soon as I could. And just to watch the ‘king’, so to speak, and his minions torture a guy [Thomas Church] that you consider a really good friend and co-writer in my band now. That was the last thing I could take. When it was happening to myself it didn’t bother me so much as… I just couldn’t watch it happen to somebody I cared about.
Our original guitarist, he ended up with a substance abuse problem and it got the better of him and he’s no longer with us. The guitarist that I quit with [Thomas Church], he was a pretty hard drinker for awhile and then I ended up talking to him and saying ‘Do you want to rock or do you want to drink?’ And then he pretty much stopped drinking.
And then the sampler guy [Rick Thomas]—who doesn’t even really play anything and never really has—would just torture the guy emotionally. That’s one of the main reasons why I’m not there anymore… or him. He was still throwing it out there that he was a drunk he hasn’t to the point of drunk other than one day that I know of for two years. He would not give him his buyout, not give him his per diem, and he thought it was SO funny… and just be an asshole to him for no reason.
The guy never really has wrote a thing and he’ll push pre-programmed samples on stage and pretend to play piano now or keyboards and play with a flashlight… And just one of the biggest asshole I’ve ever met in my life and I don’t understand why that is. I’ve come to the conclusion that the people involved that really don’t have talent, go out of their way to belittle and dehumanize those that do, because they’re jealous of it is all I can think of.
That’s all that makes sense to me. And it’s from top to bottom of that project [Mushroomhead] and a large portion of the people who are still out there are the champions of that world and not really having the talent. I’ll get arguments from this, moving forward, about how much that main guy does, but, I’ve looked up songwriting in the rock format situation and playing drums and arranging—neither one is considered songwriting… The person that comes up with the melody and the lyricist are the writers. That’s not how my guitarist that quit, nor I, was paid. The royalty world is a complete sham. It’s like, ‘When do we get what we’re really due?’
One of the last things for me was, there’s a couple of them… my guitarist told two crew members on our way home from Germany that our storage unit was an hour from the airport. He said, ‘I’m gonna be sleeping. Make sure my guitars get home. Even if I have to pay for ’em.’ His guitars got left in Germany. His favorite f*cking guitars, one of ’em.
Six months later, through communicating with the people at the storage place and our first tour manager over there, I got them home personally. And then we’re in the airport, the bass player and I—the bass player lived with me for 6 years—I go, ‘Did he leave his guitars in storage?’ and the guy said, ‘F*ck him. He’ll be out of the band in a month.’ It took me until March to officially quit. I quit that day in my mind. It’s just like, how can you treat a human being so terribly?
And then I’m tracking, or getting ready to track and my buddy that I hired at 19 tells me that bass player and his [Felton‘s] girlfriend are the real assets in the band. Doesn’t say me, who’s been there since second one along with him. Or who never missed a show besides one when I came home for my daughter’s grandfather’s funeral. Or who like wrote 85% of the lyrics always… just… I’m not an asset. It’s cool.”
In the same chat, Nothing also addressed the once regularly debated question on who came first, Mushroomhead or Slipknot. It’s been a source of contention between the die hard fans of both groups which has led to some altercations over the years at shows in their respective hometowns. Speaking of that, Nothing stated in the podcast:
“[Former Roadrunner Records senior vice president of A&R] Monte Conner from Roadrunner had a guy shopping us. And at the time we were making more at local shows than they were offering us in advance and they wanted all of our merch; which was like selling crazy already, and the money just didn’t make any sense.
And he basically made his own [version of Mushroomhead] when we said no. And what’s really funny is that I have a friend that would end up backstage at all these festivals, he became friends with Corey [Taylor, Slipknot singer] and Corey said, to quote him, ‘Was I supposed to turn down a million dollars?’ So that’s what that was.”
He later went on to say:
“As far as what I know, I believe Shawn [Crahan] and Joey [Joridson] were the only ones from Des Moines. They had Anders [Anders Colsefni]—I forget what his last name is—he was the singer. And they wanted someone more commercial so they got Corey [Taylor]. I just heard a lot of stories. It’s like… Linkin Park was Hybrid Theory with the other guy rapping and until they brought in Chester [Bennington] they didn’t do anything, but they were made. They were made and some people thought that it was from our model.
And it’s also interesting, somebody that was supposedly in on their discovery made a band afterwards, named Dry Cell. And we played with them at ‘Locobazooka‘ in 2002 and their album was shelved because Linkin Park said ‘If you release them, we’re gone.’ And the singer of that band is now coincidentally the singer of Stone Temple Pilots.
They were this band called No Control at the time of 15,16,17-year-old guys and they would play benefits for firemen and all this stuff and then the guy that found Linkin Parkfound them and put this Jeff Gutt guy with them, and he was like ten years older than the oldest one of them. They were really good but their record never came out. They had a song on ‘Queen Of The Damned‘…”