Smash Mouth Lead Singer Steve Harwell Retires After Wild Onstage Rant
Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell has announcement he is leaving the band following a performance in which he seemed to lose control.
During a Smash Mouth performance at the Big Sip music festival in upstate New York, lead singer Steve Harwell was seen slurring his words and threatening people in the audience. He even gave a gesture that seemed to look like the Nazi salute. Videos of the incident have since circled online and people have described Harwell’s performance as ‘chaotic’.
Now, following the incident and the public backlash, Harwell has addressed the performance and said he’s leaving the band.
A representative for Harwell announced his departure from Smash Mouth and gave insight into what the singer has been dealing with:
Steve has been dealing with long-term medical issues over the last eight years and during his last performance at the Big Sip stage, he suffered numerous symptoms directly linked with his current medical situation. As of today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health.
The New York Post received information from a source who is close to Harwell, who said the singer had one of his ‘episodes’ during a performance. Although many fans and the general public might not be aware of Harwell’s mental health issues, the rep said the videos of the performance have been ‘taken out of context’.
‘This unfortunate recording has now been taken out of context and his ailments used against him to paint him as someone who he isn’t,’ the source said.
Eight years ago, Harwell was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. He has also had issues with heart failure, as well as acute Wernicke encephalopathy. The acute Wernicke encephalopathy has resulted in motor function issues for Harwell, impacting his speech as well as his memory.
Harwell’s rep continued by saying, ‘Despite Steve’s best efforts to work through these ailments, he is heartbroken to share that it has become impossible for him to continue doing what he loves most, performing in front of the band’s millions of fans around the world.’
Harwell then released a statement announcing his retirement, thanking his fans and bandmates:
Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rock star, performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream. To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.
To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to.
He concluded, ‘I am so grateful to each and every one of you who has helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, put us on top of radio charts and those who have kept ‘All Star’ relevant as one of the top memes on the internet today.’
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