Kasabian have announced today that frontman Tom Meighan is stepping down from the band by mutual consent.
The indie rock group, formed in Leicester, has been fronted by Meighan since 1997 and has worked prolifically alongside bandmates and close friends Sergio Pizzorno, Ian Matthews and bassist Chris Edwards ever since,
The news comes as a major shock with many fans expecting new material from the group this year. “Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track,” the band said in a statement.
They added: “We will not be commenting further.”
The band, who have six hugely successful studio albums to their name, have relied on the songwriting abilities of guitarist and vocalist Pizzorno for some time. The band have enjoyed a steady rise to critical acclaim, one that has been crowned with a memorable appearance as headliners at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival.
The shock news arrives as members of the band continue to work on side projects with Meighan himself also suggesting a route into the solo world. The singer, who has never previously released any solo work, usually allows his bandmate Pizzorno to take up the songwriting mantle for the band. Now, however, Meighan has revealed that he has been writing his own stuff for years.
The move comes shortly after Pizzorno shared his debut solo album, a record that arrived last year under the moniker ‘The SLP’ and featured the likes of Little Simz and slowthai on the impressive release.
Meighan told Sky News recently: “I’m writing loads of music at the minute. We’ll see what happens. I’ve got a few cookies in the jar… and they’re not bad, you know. It’s very autobiographical, like the story of my life. It’s kind of… heartbreaking. Well, not heartbreaking, just to the core, you know. Very real.”
The decision for Meighan to leave the band comes as a major surprise considering that the singer had confirmed plans for Kasabian to release a new album this year. Also, in a recent interview, the frontman insisted that the group remained ‘solid’ amid Pizzorno’s solo success.
He added: “When Sergio did his thing last year, everyone was like, ‘how do you feel about it?’ I love it! Why wouldn’t I? His music was incredible. He’s doing his thing, I’m doing mine but Kasabian is still solid. You know, it’s just a bad time at the moment, for rock ‘n’ roll. For human beings in general.”
Kasabian were due to make their triumphant live return at Leicester’s Victoria Park this summer which has, of course, been put on hold because of the ongoing pandemic which would have been the band’s first performance since their 2018 residency at Brixton Academy.
It is not yet known if the band will replace Meighan or if Pizzorno will step up to take on the lead vocal duties.