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The Ataris Explain ‘Chaotic Drum Freak Out’

04:31 PM Tuesday 10/9/12 |   |

When The Ataris play Providence, R.I., tonight, you won’t see drummer Rob Felicetti on stage. His last show with the band took place Sunday, ending with frontman Kristopher Roe trashing the drum kit. Roe has recorded a video to tell fans his side of the story.

Before we talk about Roe’s video, we should discuss the video that was recorded at Sunday’s show at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, N.J.

In Sunday’s video, the band is in the middle of performing “Your Boyfriend Sucks” when Roe stops playing and throws his guitar at the drum kit. The singer/guitarist then kick the drums before throwing pieces of the kit off stage, apparently at Felicetti.

“Our drummer is fuckin’ failing it tonight,” Roe tells the crowd. “I don’t know what his fuckin’ problem is but I’m going to finish the set by myself. I’ll play a few songs, whatever you want to hear. But I can’t fuckin’ do this. Sorry, sorry. We all have bad shows but it’s fuckin’ embarrassing. I can’t handle it.

“I apologize but there’s a certain amount of fuckin’ shit I can take. … So, what do you want to hear? Let’s do a bunch of songs. I hope you understand that shit happens.”

The Ataris are scheduled to play Columbus Theater in Providence, R.I., tonight. The show will still go on, but instead of the full band, Roe will perform a solo acoustic set.

Earlier today The Ataris posted a video responding to the incident. Roe does about 99% of the talking in the video, starting off by saying that he wishes that he “totally would have handled the situation slightly differently.”

The frontman explained that when the band went on stage, they didn’t realize that Felicetti had been drinking for “like six hours” since the band got to the venue. Roe said that the excessive drinking wasn’t a one-time incident and that he had been forced to “baby-sit” Felicetti about the issue for the past two weeks.

“We walked up on stage and we were just completely surprised when Rob couldn’t even play a beat to one of the songs,” Roe said. “The first five songs prior to the song ‘Your Boyfriend Sucks,’ where I had the chaotic drum freak out, was uh, it was just completely baffling. There were points where he would stop, completely miss a cue, miss a beat, not even play the song altogether.”

Roe noted that before each of the songs the band asked the drummer if he needed to go off stage to take a break. When Roe couldn’t handle Felicetti’s performance any longer, that’s when he lost it and starting destroying the drum kit.

“Rob’s a great drummer,” Roe said. “I will never say anything bad about my friend. But ultimately you’re there to do a job. It’s a fun job. There’s so many people out there in the world who would love to be doing what we’re doing. I would never take what I do for granted.”

Roe said that the “chaotic drum freak out” was completely out of character for him, going on to defend himself by saying that he stuck around afterwards and played songs for the crowd.

“You don’t go out on tour and let your fans down. And then you sit there and make me look like an asshole. Because hey, what am I guilty of? I threw some fucking drums at a guy.”

After tonight’s show, The Ataris promise that a new album will be released next year and dates will be announced soon for a tour in Asia.

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