Late last year, the band’s vocalist Steve Harwell announced that he was retiring due to ongoing health issues that he’s been battling for several years.
With the new Astley cover, Smash Mouth have revealed that Zach Goode will be their new singer.
As Stereogum point out, his previous gigs include roles in bands called Ghoulspoon, Divided by Zero and Secret Seven, and a job fronting a “mock-senior citizen Weezer/Beastie Boys performance art band” called Geezer.
Hear his first performance as vocalist of Smash Mouth below.
When leaving the band, Harwell told fans: “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 honour 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 cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the frontman decided to step away from music following a concert that took place on October 9 in Upstate New York, where he was slurring his words and making threatening comments toward the crowd (“I’ll fucking kill your whole family, I swear to God,” he told one fan). In footage from the event, he also appeared to throw up the Nazi salute.
A representative for Smash Mouth told the Los Angeles Times that Harwell had left the band to focus on what they described as “longstanding 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,” they said.
TMZ has reported that the singer was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy eight years ago, which led to other medical setbacks like heart failure and Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which “has greatly impacted his motor functions including speech and impaired memory,” a spokesperson said. This presumably contributed to his disoriented performance at the gig in Bethel, New York at the weekend. You can see footage from the concert below.
Smash Mouth were widely criticised in 2020 when they decided to perform at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
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