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Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes explains Jordan Fish’s exit from the band: “We got to the point where we weren’t happy as a unit”

Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes has told NME that Jordan Fish’s exit from the band came as they had “got to the point where we weren’t happy as a unit anymore”.

The news of keyboardist, producer and percussionist Fish’s departure from the Sheffield band broke in December last year.

He had joined in 2012 and was instrumental in shaping the band’s songwriting approach and modern sound by adding more electronic elements – particularly on 2013’s landmark record ‘Sempiternal’. He was also part of the band for 2015’s ‘That’s The Spirit‘, 2019’s ‘amo’ and 2020’s ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’. He left ahead of the band completing work on recent album and ‘Post Human’ sequel, ‘Nex Gen‘.

At the time, Fish said, “I’m really grateful for my 11 years with the band, and extremely proud of all that we have achieved together,” while the band added, “we want to thank him for the musical journey he took with us and wish him luck with everything in the future.”

Now, in a new interview with NME, Sykes has opened up about the split. Reflecting on the fact that Fish had joined at a time when Sykes had recently come out of rehab, Sykes described him as “my right-hand man” and “a massive part of this band”.

“I know that a lot of the time we were spoken about as a duo,” he continued. “Where we started to break off was the fact that after ‘Survival Horror’, I started to think about and address the way we were being.”

Sykes had recently come back out of rehab, after having fallen into addiction habits during lockdown, and after reconnecting with Fish again, he described how he felt their priorities had drifted apart.

“It was all a part of not stopping, and that fear of, ‘If we stop, we’re going to drop off, the band’s not going to be big any more, someone’s going to take over, someone’s going to be bigger and better than us’,” he said.

“At some point, you’ve got to accept that this is how big your band are. You’ve also got to ask yourself how much do you want to do to earn that extra [popularity]. Do you really want to go on TikTok and do all the dances? Do you want to be killing yourself in the studio every day when you don’t even want to write music just out of that fear?”

“There’s a finite amount of success out there. We’d got into a mindset together that I was trying to move away from, but Jordan couldn’t to some degree.”

Sykes realised he wasn’t happy during the making of ‘Nex Gen’, describing himself as “so miserable” and wanting to “go back and live a normal life”. However, with Fish departed, he noticed a change in the band’s dynamic.

“What I realised after Jordan left was that the atmosphere got better. I asked myself how I could have got to the point of fucking hating the record when I love making music, creating and art. I do it for fun. If I’m not making music, I’ll write a story, I’ll draw, I’ll make a t-shirt for [fashion line] Drop Dead or whatever. I love that.

“How did it get so bad that I said I want it over with? I realised after that without Jordan it was going way slower.”

The frontman was eager to point out that there is no animosity between the two of them. “I’m not going to sit here and go, ‘Oh, it was just creative differences and we wish him the best and we’re all on good terms, and blah, blah, blah’. It’s never like that,” he explained. “Just like all breakups – they never end. Even the most amicable ones. There’s a split. It’s also very boring. There’s no headline there.”

“He served our band really well, and the band wouldn’t be where we are without him. I don’t think I’d be able to sing. He was an agent in that and helped me do that. I’ve learned so much from him. I think he’s learned a lot from me. I’m sure one day we’ll see each other again and we’ll talk. Nothing’s happened where it couldn’t be sorted out over a drink. That’s that.”

“We just got to a point where we weren’t happy as a unit anymore.”

In the far-ranging interview, Sykes also discusses the band’s original plan to release four EPs in a year and why that did not happen, how his lapse into addiction and subsequent recovery has shaped the new music, the situation in Israel and Palestine, and working alongside AURORA and Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain. Read and watch the full interview here.

Since leaving BMTH, Fish has been working on a number of projects, including producing ‘It’s Supposed To Hurt’, the debut single by House Of Protection, the band made up of former Fever 333 members Aric Improta and Stephen “Stevis” Harrison.

He told NME in April how the collaboration came about. “It was just timing really because things were wrapping up with Bring Me and they just said, ‘Shall we get together next week and make a record?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, fuck it, why not?’”

“I came to LA and this was the first thing I did. It was perfect for me because Steve is one of my best friends and I’m also very tight with Aric. It was the perfect thing to get me started. No one knew what it was going to be so there was no pressure.

“It’s kind of weird doing a new band because there’s no history. It can be whatever.”

Fish has also recently worked on Poppy’s new track ‘New Way Out’, and produced the savage single ‘Curse’ by Brighton metalcore band Architects.

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