I am sorry to say that I am indeed leaving God Forbid. I started playing with these guys since I was 16 years old. Now I’m 32. You do the math. To say this is difficult and a big move for me would be an understatement. It has been very emotional and very sad for me to actually follow through with this, but I feel in my heart and head that it is the right thing to do.
Let’s first remove the elephant from the room, and explain why I am leaving. I don’t want to leave the band, but there are elements of disorganization and unprofessionalism within the group that have made it impossible to be an effectively active band. I don’t feel like I’m being treated in a way that meets my standards, so I have to remove myself from the equation. I’m not going into great detail because I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus. I still love all the guys in God Forbid. They will always be my family even if there isn’t a working band. But just because you love your family doesn’t mean you can work with them in a professional sense.
Anyone who has read any of my blogs has probably heard me talk about trying to cope with confronting adulthood after living a musician’s life for my entire youth. I probably never, ever even entertained the idea of quitting God Forbid until my brother left in the spring of 2009. I always thought we were destined to “make it”. I thought we were special. Nothing existed outside of the band. Nothing else mattered. Girlfriends, financial security, real world stuff would always take a back seat to the band. Even my girlfriends pretty much knew that.
When Dallas quit, I became emboldened to carry on in spite of him. I wanted to prove that we didn’t need him. And carry on we did as God Forbid had 3 of the biggest tours we ever had all booked in a row with Kris Norris filling in on a massive tour with Lamb of God, and than Matt Wicklund finally coming in to finish a festival run in Europe and than Mayhem Fest in the states. I never really dealt with Dallas leaving on an emotional level, because we were steadily on the road. I was so angry with him. He was pretty much by my side for my entire life either on stage, binge watching movies, drawing comics, playing basketball, playing guitar together or living in the bedroom next to mine in the same house. Than just like that…..he was gone.
Things began to unravel on the Mayhem Fest 2009. The band was financially and logistically unprepared for the tour with very little label support because we were at the end of our contract with Century Media despite the efforts of A&R at the time, the eager and helpful Ray Harkins. We ended up splitting with our manager at the beginning of the tour because of the shitstorm of unpreparedness. Plus I could just tell, we weren’t connecting with fans the same way we had, say at Ozzfest 5 years prior. The tour featured a lot of death metal, Behemoth, Job For a Cowboy, Black Dahlia Murder. There just seemed to be a turning of the tide, and as an artist you have to be aware of how the world is perceiving you. For some reason, whatever we were doing was not breaking through to the populous the same way.
Just to put a cherry on top, my girlfriend broke up with me literally on the drive home from the tour due to finding out about some fuckery on my behalf. It didn’t really hit me til I walked in my door at home, but I realized my brother was gone, my girl was gone, and my band career as a full time thing was probably over. I fell into a deep depression because I didn’t have a leg to stand on and probably didn’t get back on track for another 7-8 months. For the first time in my adult life though, I didn’t really care about God Forbid. At that point, the band seemed to be the cause of my problems.
But playing with the guys, and writing with Matt Wicklund in particular, really inspired me and helped me get out of my funk. I continued with the Equilibrium album out of loyalty to the guys, and I believe in finishing things I start, and that included doing some touring as well. All in all, I don’t regret it because I think it’s a fantastic album, if not our best album.
Unfortunately, touring with the band last year proved to be unsustainable from a financial survival standpoint. I was homeless, in debt and needed to figure something out, because this lifestyle I was living was not working. The last few years are the first time in my life I’ve really thought about what I wanted to do outside of God Forbid.
The answer is A LOT. I have so many ideas and prospective projects on the docket, that I’m sure many of them will never see the light of the day. My priorities right now are having the time and freedom to be creative and productive. While still trying to keep the lights on of course. This is both exciting and scary. I’m not sure if I will end up with a regular career that puts me in an office 5 days a week or end up in another band touring full time again. I am just taking things as they come. I’m sure many of you have seen the reports regarding my new rock band and cover band, so I’m obviously continuing to play as much as possible. It’s still my favorite thing to do in the world, so I will not be stopping playing or performing anytime soon. Having this time recently to figure out what I want has made me realize that being a musician is who I am. Even if I end up doing other things, I will always be a rock n roller at heart.
I am keeping the door open to all forthcoming opportunities and I am not closing the door on God Forbid forever, but now is not the time.
Doc, I wish you all the best. I thank you for all of the great music that has always been levels above so many bands. I know how difficult a decision like this can be but you’ve obviously put so much thought into this. I’m glad to have all the wonderful GF memories and look forward to seeing where the new road takes you.
A very open and honest description mate. So many people don’t realize just how much effort it can take to make a band work. I’m only in a small-time thing, but people at my day-job all thought we got $1k+ per show, which is far, far from the truth.
Respect for honesty and I hope you find your way back on track and continue with music sooner rather than later.
Stay strong bro, had a similar situation,( minus the success & talent of yours) got stranded between Memphis & Nastyville , just got heated and left at a truck stop! Got home to find my girl with some other dude, her mom kicked me out,same day my uncle in st.louis dies, I was depressed for a while, picked my self up, got into the culinary arts & have been pretty successful. Life can be hard at times, but there is a silver lining! Like I said stay strong, and do what makes you happy and things will work out for the best, good luck in your journey ,you are a kick ass musician. and will succeed ! ( I proof read this shit, & sounds really cheesy comin from someone that considers them-self as metal as I do, but it’s true)
This post really upsets me, but I totally understand it, no matter what you do I’ll always be around man! Best of luck to you buddy! I mean that from the bottom of my heart!
Well, i honestly didn’t see this coming either. You and Dallas are exactly why i started playing guitar. First saw you at ozzfest in st louis in 2004 when I was 15. I identified with you guys as fellow halfricans and musicians. Now I’m 24 and can shred thanks to Gone Forever. I sincerely hope your future endeavours bring you satisfaction in life and I’ll always be a GF fan. P.s. I still want an instrumental copy of Gone Forever 😉
Best of luck. Thanks for some sick ass music. In the end I hope you enjoyed the journey. It ment alot to us Life seems to always be a amp ,rig pedal or one speaker or tube away from the perfect tone. To the guy with the guitar is always seems the message gets lost but to the fans it always makes sense.
Good luck man .. Change is inevitable .. and sometimes it is for the best, you have nothing to regret in my opinion, but what do I know, right 🙂 ?
all the best,
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Firstly, THANK YOU so much for the amazing music you have put out. As you know, our site has always been a big fan of your personal viewpoints, your music and God Forbid.
Whilst it really saddens me to see you go (and the subsequent disbanding of GF), I wish you all the best with your future endeavours. Metal Music Blog will continue to support/promote your music – keep in touch.
The best of luck to you in whatever you pursue! You are a great guitarist and God Forbid was one of the bands that helped introduce me to music heavier than what I was into at the time.
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I knew something was brewing just based on some candid comments from your singer. I’m a new fan of yours and Equilibrium is the only album I know. It just seems to me that the music business cannot sustain dudes in top-tier bands like God Forbid.
It kinda shocked me when I heard what Randy Blythe’s earnings were last year .. and he is in one of THE TOP bands as a front man with song writing credits. I mean, to live on the East Coast on that $$ is barely middle class and then you figure in a family, healthcare costs, etc. Yikes!
It’s just sorta scary that $35-$65 hr teaching at Band Happy is the best thing going for today’s top guitarists. (and you’re one of them). Clint Lowery said he made more money selling HDMS cd’s out of his living room than he ever made with 7dust.
Artists are just going to have to pursue ways to be paid directly in ways that cannot be thwarted by scum bag labels and by little assholes stealing all your sh*t on bit torrent.
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You’re a beautiful human being and I’ll follow and support you everywhere you go. I hope for the best and I’m confident that you’ll turn things around and show everyone how strong you reallyare as a person and a musician. Stay strong!
I’m sorry to hear this as I’ve been a God Forbid fan for a long time, but I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!! Take care, Doc!!
Hey Doc, I wish you the best always in whatever you do ~ should you continue in music, I for one am looking forward to seeing and hearing you in any new musical endeavor! You’re a stand up dude always keepin it real~!
~ Alex Kayne
sorry to hear this but I wish you and everyone in God Forbid all the best.
I’m glad I got to see you guys perform with Overkill last year in Detroit, you were awesome! I’m sure I’ll see you meltin faces soon.all the best 🙂
Well, it’s sad news, but it’s completely understandable. For what it’s worth, Constitution of Treason is still one of my favourite metal albums ever. When I first heard it in 2005, I didn’t have a clue about God Forbid, and it blew me away from start to finish. How could this somewhat unknown band deliver such a great album, and almost no one knew about it ? It’s still a mystery to me, and I have to say the 2 follow-ups were also great. I always loved the fact that God Forbid didn’t follow any rules and created its own standards. Always taking chances. The fans never really knew what to expect, and that is rare these days. It also says a lot about one songwriter’s ambition, and I am not worried a single second about your future. You WILL succeed, no matter what.
So best of luck to you for whatever your next project in life is, and thanks for the great albums you recorded over the years.
Sorry to hear things didn’t work out with God Forbid. I can relate to your past few blogs a lot since I’m pretty much going through the same thing here.
I wanted to send a long comment with all my philosophies on these matters but I’ll just say cheers to all your accomplishments so far and wish you the best of luck for whatever may come your way.
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Hope you walk away from this proud. Back in the day my band opened for you guys at Starland Ballroom and it was an awesome experience. Needless to say you guys were an inspiration to us. Cheers to a successful, lengthy career and good luck to whatever future endeavors find you.
Matt, drummer of Simensis
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I just wanted to comment that I never heard of God Forbid until I attended a show in October 2000 at a place called club homebase in Wilkes Barre PA. to see Burnt By The Sun. I was floored when God Forbid played. Reject the sickness was such a heavy album. Best wishes with whatever you do.
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I am a new listerner of GF and instantly Loved em’
I am an old guy and have been in Groups that vacated way to early!
G>F. is so talented that unless there were Death threats between members, should have never! Broken Up!
As Blood Brothers, especially not.
Come on guys we all need more great music from you all as a team………