We’ve tried to avoid persistent rumors surrounding The HAARP Machine guitarist Al Mu’min in the past. Ex-members of the band and people generally in the know came out about how not only was Al Mu’min hard to get along with (it was said that he threatened to burn someone’s house down), but he could barely even play his guitar parts, relying on studio magic and live backing tracks to get by. While the rumors seemed highly likely to be true, we’ve generally shied against this sort of thing, just as we did with the whole Rings of Saturn fiasco from last year. Again, these are rumors that should be taken with a grain of salt, and we do not claim to either confirm nor deny them.
However, these rumors have a little more weight, as everyone in the band who isn’t Al Mu’min has left. Vocalist Mike Semesky sent out the following press release early this morning and made it pretty clear that it was all because of Mu’min (below emphasis mine):
Vocalist, Mike Semesky; drummer, Alex Rudinger; and bassist, Ollie Rooney have parted ways with Sumerian Records’ progressive metal act, The|HAARP|Machine.
Mike Semesky comments“Due to irreconcilable personal differences with our guitarist Al Mu’min, the three of us (Alex, Ollie, and I) have decided to part ways with The|HAARP|Machine This was in no way an easy decision to make but the three of us feel that it is in our best interest to pursue other musical endeavors at this time. We would like to thank all of our fans, our friends and families, Sumerian Records, and everyone else who supported our band along the way. Rest assured that the three of us are in no way giving up on our music careers and we’d encourage you all to follow our individual YouTube channels to keep up with our tunes while we are in pursuit of our new musical homes.
Take care and thank you for reading,Mike, Alex, and Ollie
Now it’s hard telling where The HAARP Machine will end up. Al Mu’min may say “fuck it” after this blow and just dissolve The HAARP Machine; after all, why go through the trouble of finding a whole new band? It’s also worth mentioning that Sumerian Records got pissed and dropped an even more successful band that did this sort of thing, so The HAARP Machine may just be done. If Mu’min is persistent, we could see him sticking to it as a DIY solo project. At any rate, this is a major blow to him, surely.
This also frees up drummer Alex Rudinger in joining The Faceless, as he’s already the fill-in for the vacant drummer spot. As far as I’m concerned, he traded up.
As of drafting this post, there’s been no statement or reaction from Mu’min or Sumerian Records. We’ll have more word on this as it comes in.
UPDATE: Al Mu’min appears to have commented below:
My qualms with my former bandmates are very little to do with my alleged dangerous nature and more to do with musical direction. Yes, whilst I concede to my ardent detractors that I’m not tightest of all players live I should add the songs on the album are quite difficult to pull off in a live context and I would honestly prefer a little support and positivity amongst my ‘metal’ brethren. I wish you all a good day. Evidently my day has been ruined by this loss but I wish not for myself not to wallow in self-doubt and sorrow.