Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell retires from band after “chaotic” festival gig
Smash Mouth singer and co-founder Steve Harwell has retired the band due to health issues. The news comes after a Smash Mouth show at this weekend's The Big Sip beer festival in Bethel, NY where Steve cursed at the audience, slurred his words and appeared generally out of it. One Tik Tok user called it "the most chaotic show I've ever seen" in a video that went viral.
TMZ reports Harwell has been suffering health issues for some time -- he was diagnosed with heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy eight years ago, and has since suffered heart failure and Wernicke's encephalopathy. The latter is a condition that affects speech and memory.
"Steve has been dealing with long-term medical issues over the last 8 years and during his last performance at the Big Sip stage, he suffered numerous symptoms directly linked with his current medical situation," a representative for the band told The New York Post. "As of today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health."
“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” Harwell told TMZ in a statement. “To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”
Smash Mouth had performed shows with a different lead singer earlier this month while Harwell attended to his health issues. Songwriter, guitarist and co-founder Greg Camp, who has been in and out of the band since the mid-2000s, left in 2019, leaving bassist Paul De Lisle as the only remaining founding member in the group.
While no new singer has been officially announced, Steve told TMZ, "I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans."