Ben, Augie and Kyle Open Up


Ben Liebsch, Augustine Rampolla and Kyle Gibson have all released more statements regarding the band’s break-up. You can read them in order of their release below.

Ben:
This is the first time i’ve had access to a computer since it was formally announced a few days ago that, for the second and possibly last time, there would be a mass exodus of members from You, Me, and Everyone We Know. Since then i’ve watched alot of people make alot of claims about what exactly happened with the band, my life, my past, and my personal character. I find myself in an interesting position here because by publicly acknowledging what happened, i make it more likely that i will be on the receiving end of a lawsuit from certain people i’ve disagreed with in the past. I am, however, compelled to once again overexpose myself in order to help clear my conscience, to give the people who made this band what it is/was some real answers, and to make it so nobody can invalidate the music this band has written over the course of its 5 year career. This will be a bit messy and long so please bare with me…

For almost 4 years I’ve used the band’s money to enable my drinking. At first, it was $5 or $10 dollars every few weeks when i was drunk and having a particularly bad night…and for a long time that was the extent of it. At that point, i was pretty much be able to sneak whatever i owed back into the money bag at some point and that’s how it went for some time. My drinking during this time, which had been much worse in my younger years, was subdued for a while by the fact that i had a girlfriend to answer to back at home in Maryland. In thinking about it, several things occured within a 3 month span in the late summer and fall of 2008 that allowed me to let this problem to once again grow beyond my control:

1. I left my girlfriend, leaving me nobody to answer to.

2. I was arrested on tour for public intoxication after blowing a .247,

   making it necessary to now hide my drinking.

3. I opened a bank account for the band to hold money from digital sales.

I remember using the card a few times on our winter tour that year and feeling horrible about it. Here i was barely a month after i had cost the band nearly $800 in court costs and fines, and i was A. drinking heavily again and B. using the bank account to hide it. After removing Dan from the band in 2006, finances kind of fell in my lap. We were all heavy drinkers and accounting only made hangovers worse. Nobody else was tending to it, so i figured i might as well see to it those we COULD pay, got paid. Anyway, match all this with the shame accompanying my mom finding out about my arrest because of the court papers sent to her house (my current address at the time) and then me a few weeks later falling through her front door as she left for work after I drove her car home drunk at 6 AM and i found myself with two choices: stop drinking or hide it from everyone best i could. I chose the latter. 
Now seeing as how the band has only made $31,000 as an independent artist on i-tunes the actual amount taken/spent/stolen is far less than what i’ve read on the internet but presenting my thoughts about how much i think was spent based on excluding the periods of time in 2009 that i was under the impression i was the only member left in the band and my time living in portland/being responsible for rent and utilities there while on the road versus how much the guys feel i took would cheapen my effort to come clean and apologize. Fact is, i made choices that allowed things to get out of control over the last two years. I did everything i could to hide my drinking. I would drink my money away and If i spent all the money i had from working or money given to me by my mother to help me out  on enabling my problem, i would use the band’s to make it appear as though i had not. If nobody had to ask where that money went then i wouldn’t have to admit my problem to anybody. This portion of my spending is what I think the band and myself have had the hardest time understanding and accepting. I was too ashamed and embarrassed to come clean about everything and i was still in denial about not having control. I was making an effort to pay back what i spent, but those efforts were futile at best. I spent more than i could cover and spending any at all was wrong. 

Now let’s fast forward to the end of my drinking, the band confronting me about the spending, and my horrible handling of the entire situation which i feel lead to the band breaking up and the guys’ current general opinion of me. My last night of drinking of drinking wasn’t particularly crazy from what i remember, other than a new low of throwing up all over the bed in the back of the van. I just woke up realizing i needed to stop for a while. At this point i was still bargaining with myself, saying i’d stop for a month and start having a drink or two here or there (basically what ive said to myself everytime i tried to quit for nearly ten years). Three days after that, the guys brought me into the van in Salt Lake City and confronted me with bank statements and a lot of questions. I panicked and I lied. I angled the truth and told small pieces of it in an effort to avoid facing everything. The guys were all pissed and we had a nice 9 hour overnight drive to Denver in which to stew. I even went through the statements contesting various expenses and at some point i asked for my wallet “and my dignity” back after they used the atm card to fill up the gas tank. I tried again the next day to convince them that it wasn’t what they thought it was, but it was obvious to me they weren’t buying it. After we loaded in, i had to move the van and i ended up driving around looking for parking for what must have been close to an hour. I thought about the last few years and everything i had done in an effort to hide my drinking and it was then i came to see and accept my mentality and actions reflected those of an addict. I found a parking spot, walked back to the venue, and proceeded to admit the truth to everyone. After that i think the shock and anger from the reality of the situation kept everyone from speaking to me beyond what was necessary. Two days later, we dropped off the glamour kills tour and went back to chicago.

I sat for a week or so going over everything in my head and after talking to people that have known me for a few years, i started to see that this isn’t just a drinking problem but a symptom of other deeper issues that i am seeking professional help for now. I spoke with everyone on the phone and tried to apologize and explain all of this, but i think all the lying and angling i did to avoid facing this made it impossible for the guys to view my words as sincere and honest, which is entirely understandable. It seems, for now at least, the damage i’ve done is irreparable. 
I apologized for letting everyone down in the statement we released last week and thats probably the best i can put that apology, but its worth repeating that i truly am sorry for everything. Also, just so we’re clear: I’ve never done drugs and I’ve never lied about my life experiences and struggles in song or otherwise. I’ve seen several people question this or outright accuse me of lying, but joking or lying about THAT would be too low even for me. Hopefully this clears up any rumors or questions anyone may have about exactly what happened and why. I can only hope that whoever reads this takes this message as an honest and sincere one, and i hope someday my former bandmates can take it as such as well. Thank you for your time.
-Ben Liebsch

Augie:
Alright gang, I hate this drama.

A) I am not looking to “stir the pot” as many of you have said. I was vague out of disbelief (and a bit of laziness).

B) The post made from Ben’s account (CueJohnDenver) earlier was by Rico’s mom. She did not intend for it to be from his account. She tried posting without knowing you had to be a registered member to make posts. She was surprised and told Rico’s girlfriend that posting worked, and then they figured out it was from Ben’s account (that he left signed in on her computer, because she let him use it when she housed and fed him) and deleted the post.

C) When we left the band we all agreed on a set break-up statement. We (all six of us and our manager) agreed to not get into specifics about the situation because it would only result in exerting a whole lot of negative energy into the world, which is just worthless (although proved inevitable). Ben of course couldn’t handle this and posted a very long blog tonight. In this blog he continued to use drinking as a scapegoat. When we tried to reconcile after we dropped off the Glamour Kills tour, we made it very clear that since we lived in a van with him, we knew he was NOT an alcoholic and did NOT have a drinking problem (other than not being able to handle his alcohol on the sparse occasions that he did drink). We told him we wanted him to simply admit his wrongdoings and apologize. He did not. An exact quote from him on the phone was “i think…I feel like im sorry”. It was after this call we realized he DID in fact have issues to sort out, and none of them had to do with drinking.

D) Despite that pretty long “C”, I would rather not post a long overdone blog like Ben did. The long-short of it is that he is a pathological liar. Nothing he has said is wholly true. For example, in his blog, when he “came clean” in Denver….he meant to say that he stopped me IN PASSING and said “listen, I did spend that money” (which means that our hour and a half conversation the night before was nothing but lies to my face). Then says, “but every time I spent band money I was drunk or too hungover to care”.

This is clearly bullshit. I have printed bank statements from March 2009-April 2011. I went through them myself and highlighted every purchase that was not band related. I did NOT highlight any ATM withdrawals, even though I’m sure that money was blown on pointless things too. And I did NOT highlight any rent or utilities from his time spent living in Portland, Oregon.

The total came to roughly (just over) $9,300. As I said, that’s not including cash withdrawals, or any money we were paid in cash (merch, guarantees, etc.)

Now, what did he spend all this money on you are wondering?

Everything from food (whole foods, other supermarkets, fast food), plane tickets to visit girls and mind-fuck them by pretending to be in love with them (while on these trips he spent hundreds on sushi and other restaurants and dating activities) (also realize, the majority of the band has long term girlfriends who aren’t getting taken out on sushi dates haha), clothes which he lost (countless urban outfitters visits), haircuts, porn subscriptions (gods girls is his thing), a couple big best buy purchases (one for 150 dollars, one for 650 dollars). That’s all that comes to mind right now. The statements are at Rico’s place in Chicago and I may or may not post some of them for you all to see just to back my word up.

NOW, something tells me that all of that wasn’t done in a drunken stupor like he claims. Something else tells me he wasn’t (as he put) “sneaking what he owed back into the money bag”. This is all we wanted him to admit and apologize for so we could all MOVE ON AND CONTINUE BEING A BAND. He couldn’t do that, and still CAN’T do that, as proven by his deceiving blog post tonight.

Now, listen, I realize I failed at not making this very long, but that’s the deal. 

This whole situation saddens me to no end. As I am spending my days at home in Baltimore recording new demos, I am borderline bipolar because of everything Ben has lied about and the great musical companionship he threw away. I truly, trulyyyy believed in our band’s music and was so proud of everything we accomplished since I joined the band in the spring of 2009. I would like to, one more time, apologize to and thank everyone who supported us in any manner.

I also want to apologize to our manager who I told we would not 
play this petty and menial calling out game. Really am sorry, but it needed to be said after Ben’s post tonight.

Kyle:
A. everything Auggie said is true.

B. This is why we tried to release a band statement that left things vague, liebsch wanted it his way (this way). Drag. I’m 25, and I hate this petty internet bullshit, but after selling off every dvd, book, t shirt, quit my job, moved out of my apartment, and lived on taco bell to be in a band i believed in; i refuse to watch him invite you all to join his pity party. He’s pathological. I will work tirelessly to make sure no innocent person is taken in by him again to write songs for him to sing over.

C. I joined the band in april of 2010, have known the band since their first tour, and i’ve seen ben drunk 8 times. AT THE MOST. Was he out of control and an asshole when he was drunk? Absolutely, physically/verbally abusive mess. Not being able to handle your booze/getting sorority girl – black out drunk every once in awhile does not make you an alcoholic. I have a social phobia and would have to drink a bit prior to every show. Do i want your sympathy or do i think of myself as an alcoholic? Fuck no, i do not. Be a grown up and admit to being a thief. Not every great poet/writer was an alcoholic or had a substance abuse problem. It is not cool, nor is it an excuse. 

To my band’s fanbase, i’m really sorry that this is how we broke up. Rico, Auggie, Bud, Mike, myself tried to avoid this, obviously. Party boy had to have his way and was, “compelled to once again overexpose myself in order to help clear my conscience”. Nonone asked dude. It’s hard to clear a conscience when you still won’t admit the truth. This has made me nauseous and will be my last post on the subject.

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