Despite all the tours and T-shirts declaring otherwise, pop-punk is now officially dead. New Found Glory, a band that has often prided itself on maintaining all of its original members over 16 years of recording, has fired its guitarist and songwriter. In a Facebook post this morning, the Coral Springs natives announced that Steve Klein was let go over personal differences.
Regardless of how one feels about the genre, Klein is one of the most influential figures in it. His lyrics and song titles now pepper the names of the next-next generation of pop-punk bands. He was a key figure in bringing that style of music to the mainstream in the early millennium. Whether your last post on the AbsolutePunk message board was last week or you spent your high school years blasting "Sticks and Stones" in your car, you owe something to the man.
Firing a member seems anathema to the band's ongoing message of friendship and loyalty. They've always put fun before politics, and as such, people seem to be confused and hurt by the coup. Surprisingly, though, a few fans responded with a vitriol that seemed anathema to NFG's reputation as an easycore band with easygoing fans.
Some acted like the announcement was akin to their parents getting divorced. Others attacked remaining members Jordan, Chad, Cyrus and Ian for what they perceived as a betrayal.
"That is the worst write up of a band member leaving I've ever seen," reads one comment on the Facebook post. "He was with you well over a decade and you pretty much danced around saying you hated Steve. This is a terribly jerk like post for the departure of a long time band mate. I'm kind of embarrassed for the band."
To cite their debut album: Nothing gold can stay. Although the band will continue on, it's difficult to imagine how they will proceed without the dude who wrote all of their songs. One easy prediction, though, is that it's going to be "All Downhill From Here."