Neurosis Issue Statement on Scott Kelly’s Admission of Abusing His Family
WARNING: The following news story contains language related to domestic violence that may be triggering for some readers. If you or someone you know is facing abuse, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website. A disclaimer on the website notes that if you are concerned your Internet usage is being monitored, an alternative option is to call 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233).
Scott Kelly, who played guitar and sang for Neurosis, confessed to abusing his family in a post on his Facebook over the weekend (Aug. 27). Neurosis have now issued their own statement regarding the matter, noting that they split from Kelly in 2019 when they became aware of the abuse, but didn't speak of it to respect the singer's wife's wishes.
In Kelly's post, he admitted to inflicting “emotional, financial, verbal and physical abuse” upon his wife and children, and confirmed he is “100 percent permanently retired from being a professional musician.” Read more about the former vocalist's statement here.
In Neurosis' own statement, they revealed that the abuse was something they were unaware of as a result of the band members living apart from each other throughout the majority of their career. They claimed to have learned of Kelly's behaviors in 2019, and attempted to contact him to have a discussion about it, but he wouldn't comply. His bandmates view his confession over the weekend as another manipulation strategy, rather than an admission of of mental illness.
As of now, Neurosis don't believe it's appropriate to share details about the future of the band. Read their full post below.
We cannot overstate the level of disgust and disappointment we feel for a man who we once called Brother.
As a band, we parted ways with Scott Kelly at the end of 2019 after learning about severe acts of abuse he committed towards his family over the previous years. In the past, Scott had disclosed his marital difficulties and acts of verbal abuse, as well as his intention to get help and change his behaviors. The information we learned in 2019 made it clear Scott had crossed a line and there was no way back. We did not share this information out of respect for his wife’s direct request for privacy, and to honor the family’s wish not to let their experience become gossip in a music magazine. With Scott’s Facebook post of August 27, 2022 disclosing much of this information publicly, we can finally say what we believe needs to be said.
For the last twenty years we have lived far apart from one another and only saw Scott when meeting up to work on music or play shows. We had no idea what the reality was for his family when we were not around. By Scott's own admission, his abuse was intentional, targeted, and a closely guarded secret - even from those of us closest to him.
Once we learned of his abuse it was difficult to reconcile the horrible information with the person we thought we knew. It’s not surprising he hid the abuse for so long because it is a betrayal of our ethics as bandmates, partners, parents, and human beings.
Since 2019, we have made numerous attempts to contact Scott. We wanted to have an honest talk about the status of the band and find out how he and his family were doing, but he has refused to speak with us for three years. And, in what we now see clearly to be a pattern, Scott refused to take responsibility for his actions. Having been through so much with someone for more than 35 years, one would expect some amount of closure, or at the very least a response.
Now, without returning any of the calls, texts, or e-mails of his bandmates and friends, Scott has made a public post about the situation. To us, this decision seems like another attempt at manipulation, another opportunity for his narcissism to control the narrative. Don't allow Scott to make this about himself, it's about the abuse his family has suffered.
Usually, we would view public openness and honesty about mental illness as brave and even productive. We just don’t believe that is the case here.
There is nothing brave about systematically abusing your wife and children.
There is nothing brave about confessing wrongdoing when you have not done the work to change your behavior.
There is nothing brave about refusing to speak honestly, or speak at all, with one’s closest friends and bandmates, people who have supported you and stuck by you for most of your life.
Compared to the impact of Scott’s actions on his family, the impact on our band pales in significance. Nevertheless, with the heartbreak and horror we also grieve for the loss of our life’s work and a legacy that was sacred to us.
Again, our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of Scott’s wife and children, as well as anyone else in a similar situation. If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please reach out to one of the many local or national resources available. One national resource is:
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 www.thehotline.org
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues that could make you a danger to yourself or others, please get help before you hurt yourself or the people you love. One resource for that is:
This is the only statement we plan to make about this issue. In due course, when it's appropriate, we will provide more information about our future musical endeavors, but that time is not now.
Kelly was a co-founding member of Neurosis, forming the band with Dave Edwardson and Jason Roeder in Oakland, Calif. in 1985. They've released a total of 12 studio albums over their career, with the most recent being 2016's Fires Within Fires.
The musician was involved with several other bands as well, including Corrections House and Mirrors For Psychic Warfare. Sanford Parker, who worked with Kelly in both of those groups, also shared his sentiments about the singer's confession.
"In response to Scott Kelly’s post I would like to make it crystal clear that during the active years of Corrections House and Mirrors for Psychic Warfare I had no idea the level of abuse Scott was inflicting onto his family. He always talked about his “mental illness” and things he did in the past he regretted, but nothing like this," Parker wrote.
"In January of 2020 Scott cut off all contact with me for no reason. I tried repeatedly reaching out via text, emails and phone calls and nothing. I tried several times reaching out to his wife but was told everything was ok," he continued. "Then in March of 2021 she sent me a lengthy detailed email about the abuse she and the kids had experienced and it was honestly the most disturbing thing I have ever read, it made me physically ill. I wish I could unsee it. By that point though the damage had been done and as far as I knew they were away from him and safe."
"I see a lot of people praising him for his honesty and that’s total bullshit, he deserves no praise. I have no sympathy for Scott and neither should you. I do have much love for his family and I really hope they are able to heal and move forward."
Read both posts in full below.