San Diego metallers AS I LAY DYING have released a new song called “Roots Below”. You can now listen to the track below.
Frontman Tim Lambesis comments: “Its exciting to be working on music again after some downtime.
“‘Roots Below’ was originally a B-side leftover from when we recorded [the 2019 album] ‘Shaped By Fire’, but Phil [Sgrosso, guitar] and Josh [Gilbert, bass, clean vocals] really brought new life to it when they recently finished it and added new layers.
“It’s been refreshing to get back to the creative process with the same team of songwriters being intact that have been writing with me since they joined the band.
“The lyrics were influenced by someone I recently met who shared a story of trauma with me that would have destroyed most people, yet from that struggle came strength, openness, and growth that inspired me.”
Late last month, guitarist Nick Hipa confirmed his exit from AS I LAY DYING, explaining that he can no longer justify being part of “a superficial pursuit” of the “story and meaning” that the band’s 2018 reunion was built upon.
Although Hipa‘s exit was originally rumored in August 2020, neither he nor his bandmates had publicly spoken out about the split until he took to his Instagram on August 31 to write: “At this point though, it has been well over a year since I have distanced myself from [AS I LAY DYING] on a personal and professional level. In that time they have only given fans merchandising posts and show announcements. This sort of activity highlights and reinforces our differences.
“Respectfully, I left because the story and meaning we built our reunion upon decayed considerably over time. What primarily endures is a superficial pursuit I cannot justify supporting or being part of. This is not an indictment on any who choose to remain or be involved. There is tremendous good that can be accomplished through singular focus on the power of music. However to my memory and recent experience, it comes at the cost of tolerating behavior which at times mistreats, disrespects, and hurts other people. I do not have it in me to walk that road again.
“The talent and unshakeable ambition of the band is undeniable. They will continue to release successful music and do great business. On a human level, I hope everything else fares well for them.”
Lambesis was famously convicted in 2014 for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife.
In May 2014, Lambesis was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to paying a San Diego police officer posing as a hitman $1,000 to kill his wife. Approximately two and a half years later — on December 17, 2016 — he was discharged from a California detention facility and was transferred to the Division of Adult Parole Operations.
In June 2018, AS I LAY DYING played its first show with Lambesis in five years and released a new single. Lambesis also owned up to his crimes in a long apology on the band’s Facebook page after his release.
In September 2019, AS I LAY DYING released its seventh full-length album, the aforementioned “Shaped By Fire”, via Nuclear Blast.
The return of AS I LAY DYING raised some questions, particularly since Hipa categorically denounced the band’s disgraced frontman as a “sociopathic narcissist in definite need of rehabilitation” in a social-media post back in 2014.