Days after Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell appeared to be slurring his words and making vague threats during a concert in upstate New York, the frontman has told TMZ he is retiring.
Harwell spoke to TMZ saying, “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. 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.”
Smash Mouth representatives told the Los Angeles Times that Hartwell has left the band to deal with medical issues.
“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,” the rep told the Times.
A spokesperson for the band said Harwell has had “several types of addiction leading to medical and mental health issues,” including cardiomyopathy and Wernicke encephalopathy which “has greatly impacted his motor functions including speech and impaired memory.”
Video of his performance from Saturday’s concert which has been shared on social media shows Harwell swearing at the crowd and giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute, but Harwell’s representatives told USA Today in a press release that the video clip was taken out of context.
The person who posted the clip said the concert was “the most chaotic show I’ve ever been to.”
“Throughout his career, Steve has been a staunch and outspoken supporter of all minority groups and he regrets his actions,” the press release said, according to USA Today. “But this TikTok video is not an accurate representation of the man Steve is.”
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