As I Lay Dying's Nick Hipa: Tim Lambesis's penitence over wife murder plot is a 'façade'
As I Lay Dying band members Nick Hipa, Phil Sgrosso, Josh Gilbert and Jordan Mancino were silent during the trial of their lead singer Tim Lambesis for trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife.
With Lambesis now behind bars, Hipa has broken his silence on the whole tragic episode that saw the Christian metal band split and Lambesis sent down for six years.
Hipa and the other As I Lay Dying members are now moving on with their lives and have started a new band, Wovenwar.
In an interview about the new project this week, Hipa said the band members had chosen to stay silent during the trial because their personal feelings were "not really anyone's business".
But he was emphatic about wanting to be there for Lambesis's estranged wife, Meggan Murphy Lambesis, and the couple's three adopted children.
In the interview with The Weeklings, Hipa said Meggan was "like a sister to us" and that she herself had reached out to the other band members for support.
It's for that reason that they went to Lambesis's sentencing and to support her as she gave her testimony," he said.
"It was a very emotional experience for her and we were happy to be there to just give her some sort of validation and some strength," he said.
Writing on his Facebook page after Lambesis's sentencing, Hipa made it clear that his sympathy was with Meggan and that in his view, Lambesis still needs to take full responsibility for his actions.
"I observed his defense acknowledge the crime but defend it once again with the argument that steroids created mental instability," Hipa wrote.
He is also scathing about an interview Lambesis did with Alternative Press that was released immediately after his sentencing.
In it Lambesis seeks to explain his actions, the effects of the steroids he was taking, and how he is trying to make amends for what he did.
In the interview, Lambesis remarks that the other band members "cut off all communication" from him.
"It was like they all decided, collectively, not to talk to me," he told interviewer Ryan J Downey.
At one point he speaks about how he hopes Meggan's family and his own parents will not close the door on him completely.
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"I did fall flat on my face. I hit rock bottom. I lost everything. The trauma, the solitude: It made me the person I think they hoped I would eventually become," Lambesis says.
"I know I have a long road ahead of me. I know that making amends will be a difficult process. But if they are open for it, this story of tragedy turning into redemption, it's a story that's just as much in their hands at this point as it is mine.
"They wanted to see me go through whatever it took to make me a good father. Now I have, and I'm not allowed to be a father."
The Alternative Press interview was interesting for other reasons as Lambesis asserted that he and the other band members had continued with the veneer of being a Christian band even after they had lost their faith.
He elaborated that the reason for this was because he feared record sales would be affected if they admitted they were no longer Christian.
"I was afraid it would affect As I Lay Dying sales, which would affect my overall income. I was trying to put out the fire by saying the easiest thing, 'I'm not a Satanist!'.
"Truthfully, I was an atheist."
The interview hasn't changed Hipa's view of Lambesis and if anything, seems to have convinced him more than ever that Lambesis has not truly repented for his crimes.
He accuses Lambesis of showing "complete disregard for the truth" and trying to "create and air of sympathy".
He's also pretty mad about Lambesis's assertion that the band members cut him off, saying it amounted to "absolute slander".
"Behind the facade of a penitent man with renewed outlook, restored faith, and apparent remorse is a fairly appalling agenda to further damage the lives and reputations of his non-supporters," wrote Hipa on Facebook.
"It is the continued defense of behavior that leveled every facet of an innocent woman's being and traumatised children who have already persevered through the actual pain of an orphan's life."
He concludes: "There is no contrition in his pseudo-philosophical jargon."