Hessler Loses Two More Band Members After Singer’s Departure
December 23, 2014
As if losing two lead vocalists in the span of a year was not difficult enough, just over a month after singer Jessikill’s official departure from Hessler, the group has lost two more members. On December 16th it was announced that guitarist Frankie Snakes Sripada and drummer Derek Spiteri have left the Chicago based band. Hessler is now down to only two remaining members, founder and guitarist Igz Kincaid and bassist Erik Michael.
2014 is ending in a challenging way for Hessler after what has to be deemed an otherwise successful year with two videos, “Never Lost My Way” and “Stuck On You”, the release of the critically acclaimed EP ‘Ghost Dance’, and touring in Canada for the first time.
The first band member to depart from Hessler in 2014 was vocalist Lariyah Daniels back in January when she elected to move from Chicago, Illinois to Atlanta, Georgia, and the band elected to proceed without her. Daniels was the singer on Hessler’s first two releases: 2011’s ‘Bad Blood’ EP and 2012’s ‘Comes With The Territory’. Next up was Jessikill, who joined Hessler in February but officially left the band by mid-November after never making the permanent move from San Antonio, Texas to Chicago, despite at first suggesting that was what she was planning to do. In an interview with Sleaze Roxx back in February, Jessikill had stated, “I am kind of moving to Chicago and pretty much visiting back home whenever we have time off or whatever. But my head is in the game and I will do anything it takes to keep moving forward with Hessler.” Hessler released the ‘Ghost Dance’ EP with Jessikill in June of this year.
The timing for the departures of Sripada and Spiteri seems odd since it appeared that things were looking on the bright side for the band in their quest for a new lead singer. In a Facebook post on November 25th the band declared, “Singer Auditions: We’re very thankful for all of the emails, submissions, YouTube videos, etc. It puts a smile on your face knowing people from the States, Canada and Europe want to sing for us. Just wanted to let you know we’re looking at all the submissions. We’re taking the Thanksgiving break to hang with our families as we’re usually on tour at this time. In early December we will update everyone on band plans. Thanks for the support, and hope our friends and fans in St. Louis are safe with all the chaos.”
Oddly enough, Sripada and Spiteri officially left Hessler just six days prior to the “on demand” release via Vimeo of El Jinete Films’ documentary ‘The Last Kamikazis Of Heavy Metal’ — which is essentially the story of Hessler. Prior to its release on Vimeo, the documentary had received screenings at a number of film festivals all over the world including the United States and throughout South America.
Guitarist Sripada’s first stint with Hessler ended around October 2010 when he moved to California, only to have the axeman rejoin the band in September 2011. He played on the last two Hessler releases ‘Comes With The Territory’ and ‘Ghost Dance’. Drummer Spiteri had been with the band for the last year and a half and also appeared on Ghost Dance’.
Just like the earlier split between Hessler and Jessikill, this one also appears to be amicable although no concrete reasons were provided as to why the latter two were leaving the band. Hessler declared on their Facebook post released on December 16th that: “It was a blast tag teaming with Frankie all these years, and having Derek on drums for the past year and a half, and traveling the road together. Really sucks to have to say goodbye, but the show must go on.” In the same post, Snakes Sripada declared: “Its with much thought and consideration that I have decided to part ways with Hessler. Simply put it is time for me to move to the next chapter in my musical life. I would like to thank all my band members past and present for being so awesome and I will never forget all of our adventures and exploits.”
“With a heavy heart and mind, I need to announce that my journey with Hessler must come to a close,” Spiteri added. “As far as reasoning and logic goes, it is hard to put so many thoughts and emotions into so few words. I can only describe it as feeling when a situation is right and wrong. This chapter in my music adventure is nearing its end, but it was a chapter pouring over with memories and magic, and I can only attribute the contents to each and every one of you… The next family I need to thank is my road family, my gig life counterparts, and my brothers and sisters in Hessler. Members past and present, what a fucking ride we departed on, and the time and efforts you sacrificed for this band and our music was truly amazing. I love each and every one of you, and I wish you all the best in whatever endeavors you continue to pour your abilities into. The joys I got to experience by your sides are as countless as they are unforgettable.”
The documentary ‘The Last Kamikazis Of Heavy Metal’, about the story of Hessler, can be purchased at vimeo.com/ondemand/kamikazis.
Courtesy of www.sleazeroxx.com