Former As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis was to serve nine years for contracting wife's murder.
  • Former As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis was to serve nine years for contracting wife's murder.
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Whether the original members of As I Lay Dying should or should not get back together with Tim Lambesis is now only a philosophical question.

The five internationally famous metalcore bandmates are in fact reuniting for their first show since frontman Lambesis was arrested for trying to get his wife killed five years ago.

Lambesis was convicted in May 2014 to a six-year sentence after admitting he hired a hitman in an Oceanside Gym to kill his wife Meggan for $5,000. The “hitman” was an undercover cop. Lambesis only served two and a half years of the sentence and got out in December, 2016.

Lambesis in custody

Lambesis blamed the felony on steroids and himself. “I was the sole offender and only one to blame.” He and the other members of the band are playing their first show since 2013 at the 300-capacity Soma sidestage this Saturday, June 16.

The $10 tickets went on sale a week before the show and reportedly sold out in four minutes. Soma’s Facebook page was inundated with complaints, begging the all-age venue to instead use its 2,000-capacity mainstage. It was reportedly the decision of the band to play their welcome back show on a smaller stage, to re-establish chemistry in a low-profile setting.

About the time the Soma tickets sold out, As I Lay Dying released the video for their latest single “My Own Grave.”

Video:

"As I Lay Dying - "My Own Grave"

Reunited and it screams so good

Reunited and it screams so good

The clip shows Lambesis jamming with other members of its most popular lineup, guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, drummer Jordan Mancino and bassist Josh Gilbert.

The release of the single and the surprise reunion show raises a lot of questions. For starters, will the band (who've been playing and recording without Lambesis as Wovenwar, with Phil Sgrosso launching a side band called Poison Headache) still get to work with its old manager and touring agent? And will Metal Blade Records still do business with a felonious frontman?

Attempts to get answers from the band were not successful, but AILD's website had previously posted a notice saying the band is “is sleeping rather than dead.” That was followed by somewhat of a rebuttal on Facebook from Nick Hipa, saying “Tim [Lambesis] is the only one with access to the As I Lay Dying site.” According to Hipa at the time, “We never want to capture attention dramatically, which is precisely why we’ve been off the radar for close to a year...though the third person statement released earlier compromises a lot of how we had hoped to unroll things, we remain positive in our outlooks and look forward to sharing new music soon”.

One fan who did not want to be named told me why the famed metal band (1.9 million Facebook likes) should be allowed to regroup: “It’s just not fair to the other four guys in the band. When they broke up, they were selling out the Soma mainstage and playing big stadium shows in Europe. They were Metal Blade’s number one band, bigger than Cannibal Corpse or King Diamond. Why should the other guys pay for Tim’s crime? They lost their careers when they did nothing wrong. I’m sure they’ll make plenty of fans very happy.”

While it’s clear As I Lay Dying has a long history with Soma, why wouldn’t the band play Brick by Brick for their reunion show? After all, Mancino, Sgrosso, and Hipa bought the 400-capacity metal haven in 2014, and their post-AILD band Wovenwar debuted on the same day with dual shows at both Soma and Brick by Brick in August 2014.

The answer might lie with Sgrosso’s ex-wife Shannon, who helps run Brick by Brick. She has used her Facebook page to blast Lambesis' reunion with the other As I Lay Dying members, saying he does not deserve a second chance.

Will the reunion of As I Lay Dying, which started in the early 2000s as a Christian-leaning metal band, matter in 2018? “It will be interesting to see if the love of the music is worth forgiving the sins of the past,” says the well-connected fan who wanted to be anonymous.

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Comments

Jay Allen Sanford June 12, 2018 @ 3:56 a.m.

The band posted a brief comment on Facebook responding to the many question about their surprise reunion with Lambesis: "“It’s difficult to encapsulate all of the topics we want to address with a written statement. We understand there are many questions and we plan to address them this week.”

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shirleyberan June 12, 2018 @ 10:29 a.m.

Hope he gets another chance at life and the band does well again. Time heals sometimes.

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Eva Knott June 12, 2018 @ 11:02 a.m.

Photo of Tim Lambesis being taken into custody, as soon as his sentence was announced. In San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.

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shirleyberan June 15, 2018 @ 11:03 a.m.

We are more than the worst thing we've ever done.

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Visduh June 15, 2018 @ 7:27 p.m.

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but that group claimed to be Christian, and had such themes in the music and lyrics. But wasn't there testimony that Timmy had lost his faith prior to trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife? So, is the appeal here that the group is Christian, or just a novel assembly of personalities?

We have been told for a long time that attempted murder gets the same sentence for the perp as a successful killing. Thus, I never understood how the tattooed freak received (depending on whose report was correct) a mere six or nine year sentence. Murder for hire is murder in the first with the special circumstance of murder for financial gain. But he's not doing LWOP or anything like that. In fact, he was paroled and has completed parole, meaning he's free as a bird.

Compare his sentence to those recently imposed in the Lovejoy and McDavid attempted murder case, where they'll be lucky to ever walk free again. Something ain't right here.

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shirleyberan June 15, 2018 @ 8:55 p.m.

Visduh - I don't think he has to cash in his chips right now. An undercover cop caught him in a state of despair and druggy confusion I'd say. Lucky nobody was killed, lucky to be free again. His bandmates apparently love him. My daughter met some of them several years ago, not him. Seems at first kids liked the Christian metal, which is an oxymoron to me, screaming isn't singing, can't make out the lyrics, whipping long hair back and forth (to each their own) then metal rock or whatever. The band he left had an impressive history and maybe they can find their way back to a sincere sane sound without thinking they need to fool faithful fans. I wonder if he is able to see his adopted kids. If I was his wife there'd probably be no forgiving. But I was married to a dubious character (without tattoos, grandpa had them) for a long time and forgive for the most part, takes a while.

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Jay Allen Sanford June 17, 2018 @ 11:59 a.m.

Very low tech half hour video posted by the band yesterday shows them sitting around a table and discussing how the reformation came about - already around 100,000 views, along with quite a lively discussion thread - Lamesis says he first reached out to the band via email to two members. "There's the obvious wrongdoings that I made and then there's the little ways that they sort of spread out beyond that and hurt people in so many ways that I really wasn't entirely aware of until I got home. And those conversations kicked off, and I was able to sort of better understand what they'd been through and I think more sincerely apologize because of that."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsX3EZVyGkM

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AlexClarke June 18, 2018 @ 6:20 a.m.

Tim Lambesis is a dirt bag who hid behind the Christian label. He should have spent the rest of his worthless life behind bars. The stupid Christian community will welcome him back and he will bite then in the ass again.

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shirleyberan June 18, 2018 @ 9:50 a.m.

AC - not true, he's a kid who made a stupid mistake and learned a huge lesson. Will still have a hard time figuring out the difference between spirituality or religion by cultural inducement.

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