A Plea to TATE Fans

Posted: August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

By Glen

I woke up at 2am when I could no longer ignore the sound of my phone blowing up. There was trouble in TATEland.

By now, many of you will have already seen Noah Harmon’s Instagram post, in which he announced that he has been fired by The Airborne Toxic Event – no explanation or elaboration given. And if you saw that, you will also have seen a flood of comments from fans, many of them expressing harsh anger towards the band and their management, both for the firing itself and for how Noah’s departure was revealed.

I’m not here to tell you how to think or feel. And I don’t know any more than you do about what has happened behind the scenes. This is just my gut reaction.

As I read through the fan comments, I see a ton of assumptions being made. There are a number of things we do not know.

  • We do not know why Noah was fired.
  • We do not know what the band may have had planned in terms of an official announcement.
  • We do not know what kind of legalities might be in play here.

There is one thing we do know, and I feel 100% confident in saying this: Mikel, Anna, Steven and Daren did not all become assholes overnight. And keep in mind, this was clearly a unanimous decision, as any dissenters would surely have followed Noah out the door if they felt he was being unfairly dismissed.

Regardless of how you may feel about Noah as a musician and as a person, please remember that all the band members have proven themselves to be people of the highest quality. The notion that they have fired Noah because he had a baby that he wanted to spend time with is not in keeping with the people we know them to be. Hell, it’s not even legal. There is clearly a bigger issue at the root of this, and we don’t know what it is.

Nor do we have an automatic right to know. There are limits to the band-fan relationship, and the band has every right to keep private issues private.

Yes, it is unfortunate that we found out about Noah’s permanent departure at the tail end of an interview, rather than through an official announcement. But again, we have no idea if they had plans to make such a statement. Perhaps this thing just went off the rails before they had the chance to do so.

If you look at the interview, Mikel was trying not to bring up Noah. He just honestly and carefully acknowledged that Adrian is part of the band, which was the honorable thing to do in that moment. The interviewer pushed him further, and he admitted that Noah’s leave had become permanent. Some may feel that this wasn’t fully honest, but it was hardly the right occasion for him to announce that Noah had been fired. Maybe they weren’t going to frame it as a firing out of respect for Noah, and Mikel handled being put on the spot as diplomatically as possible.

One more thing to keep in mind: in a situation like this, the individual who was fired has free reign to say whatever they want to say. Those who are still employed by the organization do not have that same freedom. It remains to be seen whether the band will directly address this, and if so, what they will say. Until then, we would all be wise not to leap to conclusions.

This will be the last I will write about this until there is something more than mere speculation to discuss. The members of The Airborne Toxic Event have always been friends first, and a band second. More than anything, I feel sad for the relationships that have been broken. This has to be ripping them apart inside, and now the whole world is watching it happen. My plea is that we would all give them the space they need to work through this without the added pressure of having to respond to accusations and questions based on assumptions and incomplete knowledge of the situation.

 

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Comments
  1. Maria says:

    “The members of The Airborne Toxic Event have always been friends first, and a band second. More than anything, I feel sad for the relationships that have been broken. This has to be ripping them apart inside, and now the whole world is watching it happen.”

    Yes. You ever hear Queen’s song “Scandal?”

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  2. Keith Thompson says:

    Hi Glen, I think you covered all points admirably. The bottom line here is that we are just fans and that managers have to manage. They have future touring contracts to honour and have to make sure they have a permanent full band and crew on board to do so. How they do this should remain in-house. Interviews often catch people off guard. Sometimes events do overtake us; any of us.

    The hurt is because, as you say, many of us are more than fans. To many of us TATE have become extended family. TATE, with their total honesty have bared their souls to us. We have relived their pains and experiences through their lyrics and even relate them to our own lives.

    How come? Why not so with every other band? Here’s why:- There is not one big inflated ego in the whole camp. The reverse. Honest and humble, they are thankful for their growing fan base and visibly overwhelmed, at times, by the sheer size of it. Endless impromptu *meet and greets*, before and after shows. Total honesty during a multitude of interviews. Songs with lyrics that bare their soul to the world. Songs with lyrics that ring true with our own life experiences. Twitter mailings that draw you into their private world (even io has become ‘Our Pet’) Concert intros explaining the real life reason behind the lyrics of every song. A DVD which following them 24/7 Street versions of all their early stuff. Endless youtube videos interviews, on the street, drunk, sober, warts and all. No entourage of minders to keep us at arm’s length. Not a sniff of petulance. All this for eight years!

    So if they feel like family, we should treat them so and accept the changes that will naturally happen along the way. It is just amazing that after all this time together on the road, touring constantly they have got this far together. We are naive to think otherwise. How many couples last that long these days and there are five in the band plus their long serving roadies.

    May they continue to write make and play great music. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

  3. julie says:

    Beautifully said, Glen. All of their fans should take a deep breath, step back and realize what a difficult and painful time this must be for everyone involved. The most important thing is for all of us to be as supportive as possible and trust that they’ll all do what they feel in their hearts is right. Even though we might not immediately see it, everything ultimately happens for a reason.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. treendabean says:

    The news was disappointing but not terribly shocking considering there were clues found in a few interviews over the past few months that a falling-out had occurred.

    – when Mikel detailed his brush with the law in Atlanta he completely left Noah out of the tale.
    – when Darren Rose asked Mikel about Noah’s paternity leave he was given a rather laconic response (and to Darren Rose’s credit he did not push the issue)
    – when recently speaking of the song-writing process (also in the Darren Rose interview, IIRC) Mikel mentioned the contributions of all the band members except Noah.

    I don’t think there was ill-will involved when the band broke the news the way they did; it just happened to play out that way in the course of an interview and consequently both parties were left to struggle with controlling the narrative. Having been in a workplaces where a break-up like this happened I understand how it can be awkward and painful for all parties involved. It’s bad enough when it happens in the civilian world, I can’t imagine how terrible it must be dealing with it in the fish-bowl of celebrity.

    So we may get an official statement from the band in the near future, we may hear about what happened 20 years from now in a Behind the Music kind of special, or we may never know, it doesn’t matter to me because it’s their band, their lives, their livelihood, their choices to do what they think is best for themselves professionally and personally. I’m just here to enjoy their songs and, because I’ve grown fond of all TATE members past & present, to provide well-wishes for each and every one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] you’ll find something.  If you want an informed, rational response from a die hard fan, go here.  If you want my take, which is based only on my opinion and sometime flawed thinking, stick […]

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  6. […] A Plea to TATE Fans […]

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  7. […] for a formal announcement and an explanation. A cry for justice. A search for someone to blame. Some took the objective approach. Some intellectualized it. Others chose a state of denial. It can’t be true. It just […]

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  8. […] Aug. 4: Noah announces on Instagram that he was fired, igniting a firestorm among fans […]

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  9. […] A Plea to TATE Fans: A few days later, I was awakened in the middle of the night by my phone BLOWING UP with alerts […]

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