Last week it was announced that You, Me, And Everyone We Know would be breaking up. Rumors have been flowing across the internet that the break up was the frontman Ben Liebsch stealing money from the band. Ben Liebsch has released an official statement on his blog about the whole situation.
This is the first time i’ve had access to a computer since it was formally announced a few days ago that, for the second and possibly last time, there would be a mass exodus of members from You, Me, and Everyone We Know. Since then i’ve watched alot of people make alot of claims about what exactly happened with the band, my life, my past, and my personal character. I find myself in an interesting position here because by publicly acknowledging what happened, i make it more likely that i will be on the receiving end of a lawsuit from certain people i’ve disagreed with in the past. I am, however, compelled to once again overexpose myself in order to help clear my conscience, to give the people who made this band what it is/was some real answers, and to make it so nobody can invalidate the music this band has written over the course of its 5 year career. This will be a bit messy and long so please bare with me…For almost 4 years I’ve used the band’s money to enable my drinking. At first, it was $5 or $10 dollars every few weeks when i was drunk and having a particularly bad night…and for a long time that was the extent of it. At that point, i was pretty much be able to sneak whatever i owed back into the money bag at some point and that’s how it went for some time. My drinking during this time, which had been much worse in my younger years, was subdued for a while by the fact that i had a girlfriend to answer to back at home in Maryland. In thinking about it, several things occured within a 3 month span in the late summer and fall of 2008 that allowed me to let this problem to once again grow beyond my control:1. I left my girlfriend, leaving me nobody to answer to.2. I was arrested on tour for public intoxication after blowing a .247, making it necessary to now hide my drinking.3. I opened a bank account for the band to hold money from digital sales.I remember using the card a few times on our winter tour that year and feeling horrible about it. Here i was barely a month after i had cost the band nearly $800 in court costs and fines, and i was A. drinking heavily again and B. using the bank account to hide it. After removing Dan from the band in 2006, finances kind of fell in my lap. We were all heavy drinkers and accounting only made hangovers worse. Nobody else was tending to it, so i figured i might as well see to it those we COULD pay, got paid. Anyway, match all this with the shame accompanying my mom finding out about my arrest because of the court papers sent to her house (my current address at the time) and then me a few weeks later falling through her front door as she left for work after I drove her car home drunk at 6 AM and i found myself with two choices: stop drinking or hide it from everyone best i could. I chose the latter.Now seeing as how the band has only made $31,000 as an independent artist on i-tunes the actual amount taken/spent/stolen is far less than what i’ve read on the internet but presenting my thoughts about how much i think was spent based on excluding the periods of time in 2009 that i was under the impression i was the only member left in the band and my time living in portland/being responsible for rent and utilities there while on the road versus how much the guys feel i took would cheapen my effort to come clean and apologize. Fact is, i made choices that allowed things to get out of control over the last two years. I did everything i could to hide my drinking. I would drink my money away and If i spent all the money i had from working or money given to me by my mother to help me out on enabling my problem, i would use the band’s to make it appear as though i had not. If nobody had to ask where that money went then i wouldn’t have to admit my problem to anybody. This portion of my spending is what I think the band and myself have had the hardest time understanding and accepting. I was too ashamed and embarrassed to come clean about everything and i was still in denial about not having control. I was making an effort to pay back what i spent, but those efforts were futile at best. I spent more than i could cover and spending any at all was wrong.Now let’s fast forward to the end of my drinking, the band confronting me about the spending, and my horrible handling of the entire situation which i feel lead to the band breaking up and the guys’ current general opinion of me. My last night of drinking of drinking wasn’t particularly crazy from what i remember, other than a new low of throwing up all over the bed in the back of the van. I just woke up realizing i needed to stop for a while. At this point i was still bargaining with myself, saying i’d stop for a month and start having a drink or two here or there (basically what ive said to myself everytime i tried to quit for nearly ten years). Three days after that, the guys brought me into the van in Salt Lake City and confronted me with bank statements and a lot of questions. I panicked and I lied. I angled the truth and told small pieces of it in an effort to avoid facing everything. The guys were all pissed and we had a nice 9 hour overnight drive to Denver in which to stew. I even went through the statements contesting various expenses and at some point i asked for my wallet “and my dignity” back after they used the atm card to fill up the gas tank. I tried again the next day to convince them that it wasn’t what they thought it was, but it was obvious to me they weren’t buying it. After we loaded in, i had to move the van and i ended up driving around looking for parking for what must have been close to an hour. I thought about the last few years and everything i had done in an effort to hide my drinking and it was then i came to see and accept my mentality and actions reflected those of an addict. I found a parking spot, walked back to the venue, and proceeded to admit the truth to everyone. After that i think the shock and anger from the reality of the situation kept everyone from speaking to me beyond what was necessary. Two days later, we dropped off the glamour kills tour and went back to chicago.I sat for a week or so going over everything in my head and after talking to people that have known me for a few years, i started to see that this isn’t just a drinking problem but a symptom of other deeper issues that i am seeking professional help for now. I spoke with everyone on the phone and tried to apologize and explain all of this, but i think all the lying and angling i did to avoid facing this made it impossible for the guys to view my words as sincere and honest, which is entirely understandable. It seems, for now at least, the damage i’ve done is irreparable.I apologized for letting everyone down in the statement we released last week and thats probably the best i can put that apology, but its worth repeating that i truly am sorry for everything. Also, just so we’re clear: I’ve never done drugs and I’ve never lied about my life experiences and struggles in song or otherwise. I’ve seen several people question this or outright accuse me of lying, but joking or lying about THAT would be too low even for me. Hopefully this clears up any rumors or questions anyone may have about exactly what happened and why. I can only hope that whoever reads this takes this message as an honest and sincere one, and i hope someday my former bandmates can take it as such as well. Thank you for your time.-Ben Liebsch