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La Dispute guitarist leaves band; Title Fight played Coachella

Kevin Whittemore (right) w/ La Dispute at Acheron, 2010 (more by Samantha Marble)
La Dispute

La Dispute just wrapped up their tour in support of this year’s excellent Rooms of the House in Cleveland last night (4/14). (We caught the tour in NYC a few days earlier at the sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg.) It’s now been confirmed by the band’s publicist that those were the last shows for guitarist Kevin Whittemore, who has chosen to leave the band. Kevin co-founded La Dispute along with current vocalist Jordan Dreyer and current drummer Brad Vander Lugt back in 2004, and this is the band’s first lineup change since before the release of their first album. UPDATE (4/18): Official statement released. Read it below.

In other “New Wave of Post-Hardcore” news, Title Fight played Coachella over the weekend, much to the confusion of some in the crowd who weren’t ready for a mosh pit to break out. Check out our full set of pictures from Friday at Coachella for more from their set.

Watch La Dispute’s video for “For Mayor In Splitsville” from the new LP, below…

3 Cheers for Kev – La Dispute

For those of you not present at either our Grand Rapids or our Cleveland show this past Sunday and Monday respectively (excepting of course close friends not in attendance who were privy to this information prior to the commencement of tour), Kevin has, after roughly ten years of standing to my left and playing guitar in La Dispute, decided to move on to pursue other endeavors. Unsurprisingly, he’s stepping only sideways in his passion, opting instead to pursue the building of beautiful guitars rather than to play guitar beautifully as a profession, enrolling in a luthiery school here in our home state of Michigan starting this summer.

As those of you forced to suffer through my sentimental speeches during his final two shows have already heard me say, it’s as difficult for us to see him step down as it must’ve been for him to commit to doing so, and our sadness in him leaving is surpassed only by our excitement for him in the future he has chosen. He is nothing short of truly remarkable human, and he has been a vitally important member of whatever this thing is since it’s earliest infancy and the remaining four members of it plus extended family are forever in debt for his contributions both as a musician and, more importantly always, as a dear friend. There’s already a Kevbo shaped hole in me and in all of us, and we’ll feel it forever, I know. There’s really nobody like him.

And of course, I speak only of that absence in the context of the van and on stage-we’ll all remain family till death. Anybody who was in attendance for the farewell hometown show and his final show knows that without a shred of uncertainty (the chants were unreal, thank you). In all honesty, we wouldn’t be posting this were it not to combat the internet’s nasty habit of misinformation. This was a decision made between Kevin and us, five friends who’ve done more together than we ever could’ve imagined all those years back in the warehouse of a hardware store in Grand Rapids, MI. So, best to Kevin in this public forum, thanks for everything. Be seeing you soon, bud.

-ld (Brad, Chad, Jordan, Vass, and Kevin Scott “Kevbo” Whittemore)

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