Trapt Drummer Michael Smith Quits Band, Issues Statement
The move comes after a tumultuous year for Trapt, who were entangled in headlines concerning the social media outbursts of singer Chris Taylor Brown. The singer was heavily critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, spread misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic and was eventually booted from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter following his defense of adult women engaging in sexual relations with underage males as well as his use of hate speech.
Smith, who did not play in Trapt's 2020 record, Shadow Work (Adam Prentice is credited on the record, per a press release from May of last year), said his decision to step down from the group is "bittersweet" and that some of the public stances taken on behalf of the band (via Brown) were not representative of his individualistic views.
The drummer further cited the reaction the band received from the public regarding these controversial stances as another contributing factor to his exit. "I do not agree with how certain things have been handled towards our fans and the music community who I have such an immense respect for," said Smith, in part.
Read the full statement below.
After playing drums for Trapt for the past couple years, I have decided to step down from the band. This is definitely a bittersweet decision. There have been some ongoing issues (primarily political) throughout 2020 that many of you may know about, others may not. If you’re curious, it’s just a google search away. I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion on politics. But at the end of the day, I am a musician and my job is to play and create music. So that is what I plan on doing.
As I still communicate and have great relationships with the guys in the band, I will only speak for myself. The stances taken, and publicity received as a result are not representative of myself. Not as an individual, nor fitting or aligned with my personal morals and beliefs. I do not agree with how certain things have been handled towards our fans and the music community who I have such an immense respect for.
I would not be able to have a career in music and/or be fortunate enough to sustain my livelihood without the amazing support of everybody involved (from fans to venue staff, to musician peers, etc.) So thank you to those out there who have been a part of supporting and enabling me to use my gifts and talents, and allowing me to press forward in my musical journey.
It has been one of the best periods in my life the past couple years. But when it comes down to it, I do not agree with a lot of things morally and the publicity the band has received, mainly this past year in 2020...It is time for me to move on and pursue other avenues and projects.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported my musical journey thus far...
Brown offered his own statement on Trapt's YouTube community section:
Oh and just to let everyone know, because @Loudwire and @MetalSucks don’t ever ask me anything, trapt has had a replacement for a couple weeks now. Mike was just not a good fit personality wise. He didn’t quit during the whole of 2020. He knew he was going to be replaced. I find it so funny that he badmouths me while he announces he is quitting. I have never gone after fans of trapt. No fan would personally insult someone they are a fan of. Can’t believe Mike would say otherwise. Well it’s so he can get another gig. He thinks badmouthing his former band will help him with that. Sad... ~CTB oh and PS both loudwire and metal sucks will have to defend themselves in court for some of the things they have said about me, without asking me for my side of the story. You’ll pay for that.... Mark my words.
In December, it was erroneously reported that Brown had been fired from Trapt after online trolls created fake Trapt accounts on the social media platform Parler.