Sleep Waker have parted ways with Hunter Courtright. The vocalist was fired following a series of “arguments, fights, and creative differences.”
The band initially said the following:
“We have separated from our vocalist, Hunter Courtright, and wish him only the best in his future endeavors.”
They then followed up with a more detailed statement:
“This is something we never wanted to, or thought we would have to write, but because everything has become so misconstrued, we have to make a statement and clear the air.
Sleep Waker has always been a team effort, we’ve all been close friends, and have always supported each other in as many ways as we can, even past just being band members and as genuine friends. We hold no grudges against past members, and appreciate everything they’ve done to help further the project. Unfortunately in the case with Hunter, we’ve been paralyzed for years and we’ve been afraid that what’s happening right now would happen.
The narrative seems to be narrowed down to “we don’t like screaming” but while not only untrue, it’s the easiest to swallow explanation of the whole story.
For several years, this project has been running into issues with our producer, major scheduling problems, and creative differences, almost entirely caused by one member. We have worked past issues that every band deals with, members flaking or not pulling weight, but every time we have worked past it and sorted ourselves out. In the case of Hunter, we have been extremely lenient in that regard, even coming to a point where Frankie and Hunter couldn’t communicate without an argument or some heated discussion and our manager had to be the mediating 3rd party. We were extremely forgiving with a lot of things. No shows at practices, no communication, constant battles to finish albums and songs, demands to do things with no plan to do them himself. He rarely wrote lyrics, leaving Frankie to write a majority of all lyrics in the songs. He would never show up to scheduled recording sessions with no explanation or a flat our lie, leading to our producer telling us we either had to kick him out, record him ourselves, or stop coming to him (Which was fair, after cancelling 5 weeks worth of sessions consistently) This led Frankie to start recording and writing nearly all of the vocals Hunter did on the album Alias so that things were actually done and prepared. The entire time, arguments, fights, and creative differences pushed the band apart, and our manager had to step in and stop us from kicking him out before Skin was released. Albums have been delayed, deadlines pushed back, and tempers have been pushing everyone to leave the band. After recording the new single Sleep Waker planned to release over the summer, and Hunter arriving at the session with no lyrics, and nearly no plan for vocals, we sat down and discussed this being the time to move on as a band.
We have given Hunter way too many chances to step up, and it’s caused immense stress to us as a band and as friends, but the only solution we could find was to move on. We can find receipts, we can back up all of our claims from members of other bands that have seen this process, people that used to be in SW, and people that have worked with us, but we hope we do not have to do this, and we can move on.”
Courtright also commented:
“I am no longer a part of Sleep Waker.
Believe me I did not want this. I committed myself to this band for 7 years. And what I was able to create with this group changed my life.
I will always be thankful for what I was able to see and do. The people I met, the fans and friends who made every second of it so worth it.
This band and making music has meant EVERYTHING to me.. but it appears this chapter of my life is concluding.
To everyone who’s been around for any amount of time and supported me and the guys, thank you. You’ve helped me live my lifelong dream.
It was amazing while it lasted”