Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers’ Guitarist Steps Down From Touring Due To Chronic Illness

10 August 2023 | 10:45 am | Ellie Robinson

“If I’m gonna continue to be part of the band then this is how is must be!”

Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers

Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers (Michelle Pitiris)

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Scarlett McKahey – the lead guitarist for Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers – has announced she’ll be stepping down from touring with the band, explaining her decision stems from her ongoing struggles with chronic illness.

As she wrote in a statement shared on social media, McKahey has been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (better known by its acronym of POTS), a condition that affects the autonomic nervous system. Symptoms of the condition, per the Australian POTS Foundation, include fatigue, headache, gut disturbance, dizziness, pain, poor concentration and light-headedness.

In her post, McKahey noted that she’d been “struggling with [POTS] for years”. She continued: “It’s always been really hard for me to play and tour, but after we got back from the UK I had the worst crash I’ve ever had and ended up in hospital. It’s clear to me now that trying to tour while having this illness is going to be impossible and I won’t be able to be the reliable band member I want to be.

“I’ve been having huge thinks over the past month and unfortunately I don’t really have any options other than to stop being a full time touring member of the band.”

McKahey went on to stress that although she will no longer tour regularly with Teen Jesus, she’s still a member of the band – “you’ll see me in photos, it’ll be me playing guitar on all recordings, I’ll be on your social media, but you just won’t see me at many shows,” she assured fans. “This is a massive change and is pretty heartbreaking for me, I’m gonna miss seeing Anna [Ryan, vocals/guitar] Neve [van Boxsel, drums] and Jaida [Francetti, bass] every day so so much, but if I’m gonna continue to be part of the band then this is how is must be!”

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Before she packs up for good, McKahey will perform “a handful of shows” across the remainder of 2023. “I can’t wait to see all your beautiful faces a few more times,” she said in closing.

At the time of writing, Teen Jesus are yet to confirm who will permanently fill McKahey’s shoes onstage. The band have a national tour coming up at the end of October, hitting six cities in support of their forthcoming debut album, I Love You. The record itself will arrive on October 6 via Domestic La La, following up on last year’s Pretty Good For A Girl Band EP.

The band will also open for the Foo Fighters at their upcoming shows in Naarm/Melbourne this December.