Earlier this week, As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis served as a guest speaker for a mental health discussion titled “Redemption, Healing and Hope” that was put on by YourLife Gym and Heart Support. But the speech did not come and go without incident. Before his appearance, Lambesis received criticism for speaking at the event given his past conviction for attempting to hire a hitman in 2013 to kill his estranged wife.
The musician pled guilty to a charge of solicitation to commit murder, was sentenced to nine years in prison but received parole by late 2016. During his time in prison he dedicated his life to his education and eventually qualified to become an addiction treatment counselor. And while he has offered public apologies and reconciled with his As I Lay Dying bandmates since his release, he has continued to face scrutiny as he returned to the public eye.
The singer addressed his participation in the mental health event and attempted to set the record straight for those who questioned his intentions.
“Thank you to all the guys yesterday who opened up about mistakes and struggles they face in an effort to heal. Here’s a little clarification on why I joined the @theyourlifegym mental health class as a guest yesterday,” stated the singer in an Instagram post that offered an explanation of his involvement.
“I just finished being a guest speaker in a mental health class, and I got a lot of criticism this morning before this class about how I have no business trying to help other people with all the pain I’ve caused others in my life. And really that’s not what the class was about,” said Lambesis.
He continued, “It’s not about me saying I’ve got things figured out, it’s about me saying that I’ve gone through a lot of things and tried to heal and rehabilitate and part of the pain that I’ve experienced is waking up every day knowing the pain that I’ve caused other people. So it’s definitely not about me being morally superior, or particularly qualified, it’s about me being open and sharing my experience.”
He added, “I’m really encouraged by the guys in that group that shared the pain they’ve gone through. I think that’s very healing to share your story, that trauma holds less power over you, the more you open up and share about it.”
In 2018, when As I Lay Dying returned to touring, the vocalist offered his thoughts knowing the band faced an uphill battle given his past history.
“I stand against who I became in my past and am pursuing a new purpose in the rebirth of AILD. We collectively are,” stated the vocalist at the time, clarifying, “People who support AILD are not supporting the person I once was, because part of my life’s work now is to undo the hurt I’ve caused and helped others in addiction. Instead, I think AILD fans are supporting the belief that people can change. I will never be able to undo my greatest mistake, but I believe it’s better to do something rather than give up.”
Of late, Lambesis has been teasing a new side project, working with Wolves at the Gate guitarist Joey Alarcon.