Longtime Napalm Death guitarist Mitch Harris has finally opened up about why he’s been absent from the legendary grind band since 2014. In a new interview with Heavy Culture, Harris shares that he traded the road life for a family life, choosing to spend time with his ailing parents during their final years.
“I finished the Apex Predator recording, and my father was very sick in Las Vegas,” begins Harris. “I lived in England 26 years. Time goes very fast when your parents are aging. So I came home to see how he was. He needed surgery on both knees. But then [after] many tests, [the doctors] said, ‘Oh, you have cancer.’ So I went home, I got my family and I came back. And I said, I will finish all the shows for the rest of the Utilitarian [cycle]. They do 200 shows a year, and I was the full-time carer for my father, and also my mother was here alone with him, and she couldn’t help him so much.”
“When I moved [back to Las Vegas], he died the day I arrived, actually, when I came back,” he reveals. “He had his surgery. And it was shocking. Then my mother was alone, and we couldn’t leave her. We were happy. We settled in. [It was a] crazy culture change for the family and my kids. Yeah, it was very shocking. But I was very happy to be home. So then, three years later, my mother died. Again, she was sick for a while.”
After his experience with his parents, Harris decided against spending long periods of time away from his family, essentially retiring himself from the road.
“I can’t travel, and I don’t want to travel,” Harris says. “I don’t feel like it’s that important — ‘Oh, I need to be there for the fans, the band, traveling on a plane every day when my family needs me.’ Sometimes there comes a point in your life where you have to just do the right thing, and I would never feel happy if I was not there when they needed me.”
“I’m sorry for people that they miss me, or whatever, but if you really miss me, there’s a Napalm record, which I played on, which is very intense, and Brave the Cold. Please support it and give it a chance, because this is part of my future.” [via Blabbermouth]
That new Napalm record is Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism, which was released in September. The grab a copy of the pummeling album, click here. (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases)
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