Metal fans are some of the most inquisitive and obsessive, so when the Knoxville/Maryville-based death metal outfit Whitechapel announced the departure of drummer Kevin Lane in December, all sorts of spectulation started up on the Interwebs.
NeuFutur Magazine addressed the lineup change (former Knights of the Abyss drummer Ben Harclerode is now behind the kit for Whitechapel and has been gelling with the rest of the band, which is off until the tour begins with a show at The Valarium on Thursday, Feb. 10; he’s shacking up with Gabe Crisp at Crisp’s parents’ home in Maryville’s Royal Oaks community) last month.
Lane’s statement on the situation: “Over the past years I’ve had the experience of a lifetime and gotten to travel the world with not only a great band of musicians but some of my best friends. Unfortunately that time has come to an end. My playing had a falling out over the past year, thus I’ve decided to come home for good and go back to school full time. The past few tours I had the privilege of my good friend Gavin Parsons to fill my shoes and now another phenomenal drummer who I believe will do leaps and bounds of improvement to the band as a whole, Ben Harclerode has moved into the position until the decision for a full time drummer has been made. Thank you to everyone for all of your support.”
Guitarist Alex Wade lamented Lane’s departure, pointing to his longtime friendship with each of the member’s of Whitechapel.
“It’s one thing for a band member to do something wrong and get kicked out, but that didn’t happen here,” Wade told me. “Kevin had to quit, and we needed some new blood. Ben is awesome, and he’s definitely what the band needed.”
When the band flies out to Europe, they’ll be going as headliners, a first for the group. Of course, that has its disadvantages as well, Wade noted.
“Man, we always get patted down — even at McGhee-Tyson (the airport in Blount County, where Wade, Crisp and guitarist Zach Householder live when not on tour)!” Wade said. “I remember we were on our way to California for the Golden God Awards — kind of like the Grammys for metal — and people were going through security with no problems. Everything was fine, and then we walked up in black shirts and full (tattoo) sleeves, and they put the brakes on.”
“Yeah. They practically strip searched us because we have tattoos,” Crisp noted wryly.