Brisbane post-hardcore band The Amity Affliction have aplogised for "vicious" comments made by the band after the cover of their upcoming album, Chasing Ghosts, courted controversy last week.
Announced Friday, the album's cover depicts a man hanging from a tree, presumably in the act of suicide. The band admitted on Twitter that the artwork was "causing issues" but staunchly defended their position when criticism was leveled at them by fans on social media platforms.
In response frontman Joel Birch posted on his own Facebook account, "Hey, I tried to kill myself. Then I wrote an album about it. Now we put a guy killing himself on the cover. Call me insensitive."
He added, "Let me explain how you DIDN'T TRY TO KILL YOURSELF AND WEREN'T DEPRESSED BUT I DO WANT TO HEAR YOUR OPINION."
Through the band's page he wrote, "There seems to be a lot of hate directed at us for this cover when we've endeavoured to save lives. This band had a large hand in saving my life, and I'm sure there are many other people who feel the same."
Posting through the band's official Facebook the next day, he apologised for lashing out.
"I just wanted to give you my apology for being insensitive and indignant with my initial comments that I aimed at those who were upset about the album image," he wrote. "I feel really awful about that. No one deserves to be berated about their emotions, and I feel I was far too offensive, and defensive.
"I appreciate all of your support, I really do. To all of those whom I offended, again, I apologise. I feel the lyrical content of Chasing Ghosts makes up for the cover image, and I hope you all come to agree with me, but no one has heard it yet and so I feel I was far too vicious and insensitive. Please accept my apologies."
Bassist and co-vocalist Ahren Stringer added, "Thank you so much to everyone who has supported and understood the message we're trying to convey with our new artwork. Especially to everyone who has messaged us letting us know that we've helped them through hard times. It means the world to us.
"We know it's never easy to seek help, and sometimes it seems impossible. But for those of you who've been given help through Joel's lyrics without having to search for it... that gives our (awesome lol) music, a purpose and meaning."
The album - the band's first on Roadrunner - will be released Friday 14 September. You can watch a video teaser here.
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