On Saturday, Scott Kelly, singer, guitarist, and founding member of the metal band Neurosis, came to Facebook to “address certain misconceptions and put the record right” concerning the “emotional, financial, verbal, and physical abuse of my wife and younger children.”
Author R.L. Kelly claims he covered up the violence he suffered and “I separated from my relatives and friends, and I devised methods to keep my wife and children home from job and school.
Keeping control became an obsession, and I resorted to using threats, manipulation, and even talk of self-harm or suicide, as well as harming other people physically and damaging their reputations, to maintain it.”
Scott Kelly also said in the same statement that he had “completely and permanently retired” from the music industry.
In reaction to Kelly’s article, the surviving members of Neurosis published a statement reading in part, “We cannot emphasize the amount of revulsion and sadness we feel for a guy who we once called Brother.”
After discovering “about horrific acts of violence he did against his family over the past years,” the band said they had to break up with Kelly in 2019. They claim that Kelly’s wife specifically asked the band to keep their identities secret at the outset. Therefore Neurosis waited to announce themselves publicly.
It was in 1985 when Kelly, Dave Edwardson (bass), and Jason Roeder (drums) formed Neurosis—adding guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till in 1989 and synth/visual artist Noah Landis in 1995, transforming Neurosis from a hardcore punk band into one with doom-metal tendencies.
Not only did albums like Souls at Zero, Through Silver and Blood, and Times of Grace leave permanent traces on metal, but they also impacted heavy music.
Not to mention his solo work and the first album by his newest band, Absent In Body, which came out in March, Kelly has been engaged in several Neurosis offshoots.
Kelly claims that he sought to prevent his wife from leaving the violent relationship by “I made an effort to persuade her and others that I was insane, hallucinating, and clueless. She made some inquiries about therapists and psychiatrists on my behalf.
The experts exposed my elaborate falsehoods and deceptions.” He follows his most harrowing admission: “I hounded and tormented her day and night and forced her and our child to live in continuous terror.”
Kelly has made similar claims in the past. A 2017 essay detailed his fight with and cover-up of mental illness “at the workplace and in public from the folks I see daily. ” Kelly claims that after stopping his medicine, he “abandoned his family for a week while regularly tormenting my wife with cruel phone calls and text messages.”
For the previous twenty years, we have lived far away and only seen Scott Kelly when meeting up to collaborate on music or perform gigs, Neurosis says in its statement.
“When we weren’t there, we had no clue what life was like for him and his family. Scott Kelly has admitted that his abuse was planned, specific, and hidden from even his closest friends and family.”
Sanford Parker, Kelly’s bandmate in Corrections House and Mirrors of Psychic Warfare and a producer and musician in his own right, “didn’t know how much Scott Kelly was torturing his kids. He had often spoken about his “mental sickness” and actions he regretted, but never something on this scale.”
Parker’s answer to the metal community is even more direct: “Many people seem to like him for his forthrightness, but I find it completely unwarranted. Neither you nor I should feel sorry for Scott Kelly.”
Through their music and the lyrics penned by Kelly and Von Till, Neurosis have spent their whole career digging out the lowest depths of despair.
There is nothing heroic about persistently beating your wife and children, the surviving members insist, even as they “grieve for the loss of our life’s work and a legacy that was important to us.”