Live Frontman claims control of band, guitarist fired
Live appears to be ready to move forward after recent internal drama within the band halted their progress. Frontman Ed Kowalczyk had returned to the group in 2016, but their reunion efforts had stalled lately, with the singer revealing the infighting in an Instagram post earlier this week. But according to the singer, he now has a majority stake in the band, and one of the band’s longtime members has been fired.
Posting on Instagram, Kowalczyk was apparently responding to a fan who asked him why he hadn’t released new solo music as he had recently been working on some music. “I would love to play – but it’s not possible in the current situation with the band,” the singer said, before adding, “The other three original members don’t talk to each other – and I’m stuck in the middle – and if I try to go solo there’s a good chance they’ll sue me again – so I have to do what’s best for me and my family and try to avoid litigation by not performing in public at all.”
The singer continued, “Hopefully things will change, but until then I have to lay low.”
Things seem to have changed pretty quickly after this post, with Kowalczyk posting earlier today (June 21), “As of last night I own 55% of Live. Chad Taylor is fired. He’ll never stop the music again. Thank you all for your amazing love and support I cried many times yesterday reading your comments and posts – it really means the world to me and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Live began their career in York, Pennsylvania in 1984 with Kowalczyk’s quartet, guitarist Chad Taylor, bassist Patrick Dalheimer and drummer Chad Gracey. They had a very successful run in the 90s and early 2000s with the albums Mental Jewels, Cast Copper, Secret Samadhi, The Distance So Far, V and Black Mountain Songs before Kowalczyk left the band in 2009.
The other members first formed The Gracious Few with Kevin Martin and Sean Hennesy of Candlebox before returning to Live and recruiting Chris Shinn of Unified Theory to handle vocals. After the 2014 album Round with Shinn, they finally reunited with Kowalczyk in 2016 and released their Local 717 EP in 2018, also releasing the new songs “Love Lounge” and “Be a Giver, Man”. They also had a successful 2019 tour with fellow 90s favorites Bush.
But additional music from the band had yet to surface beyond the initial EP, with some beginning to question the band’s current status.
Earlier this week, Kowalczyk appeared on a new version of the Live song “Lightning Crashes”, featuring dance/electronic artist Avira. Clarifying his involvement on the track, the singer said: “I recorded all the new vocals for this latest version of ‘Lightning Crashes’. Nothing from the original 1994 recording was used in any way. .” The song can be heard below and is available on multiple platforms here.