Why did Steve Harwell leave Smash Mouth? Band won't break up after chaotic concert
Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell has quit the band after a seemingly 'chaotic' performance on October 9. The 54-year-old singer is taking time from music to deal with his physical and mental health. "Steve has been dealing with long-term medical issues over the last eight years and during his last performance at the Big Sip stage, he suffered numerous symptoms directly linked with his current medical situation. As of today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health, "Steve's rep said in a statement on Tuesday, October 12. 'Smash Mouth' will not be breaking up and will continue to perform and search for a replacement simultaneously following Harwell’s retirement.
Smash Mouth had performed on October 9 at the Big Sip festival in upstate New York. During the performance, Harwell slurred his words, threatened the audience and apparently gave a Nazi salute to the crowd. A video of the same went viral on the internet. A source close to Harwell informed that he had one of his "episodes" while on stage, as seen in the viral video. "This unfortunate recording has now been taken out of context and his ailments used against him to paint him as someone who he isn’t. This video is not an accurate representation of the man Steve is. Steve had every intention of successfully continuing in the band but will be retiring to concentrate on his serious health issues, " the insider noted.
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"Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rockstar, performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream," Steve Harwell said in a statement. "To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with. To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to. I am so grateful to each and every one of you who has helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, put us on top of radio charts and those who have kept ‘All Star’ relevant as one of the top memes on the internet today," he added. "I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans, " Harwell concluded.
Steve Harwell was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy eight years ago and has suffered from heart failure and acute Wernickes Encephalopathy. The latter condition has reportedly affected his motor functions including speech and impaired memory. "Despite Steve’s best efforts to work through these ailments, he is heartbroken to share that it has become impossible for him to continue doing what he loves most, performing in front of the band’s millions of fans around the world, " his rep stated. An insider also explained that Steve battled with several types of addiction that led to several medical and mental health issues.