Phil Demmel Announces His Official Departure From Vio-Lence, Says its Unrelated to Joining Kerry King’s Band

After almost 39 years in the band Vio-Lence Co-founder and guitarist Phil Demmel is permanently leaving the band after one final show on February 11th. In a post to social media and transcribed by Metal Injection, Demmel, explains that this recent development has nothing to do with him joining Kerry King’s new band, and more about the direction he has been heading in for a while, as he and vocalist Sean Killian are “not on the same page, and never have been!” Perry Strickland left the band in 2023. As Injection also reported, Demmel played with every incarnation of Vio-Lence across their career between 1985 and 2024, but he also stepped back from the band in 2023 as the band began touring without him and Demmel only playing occasional festivals like Milwaukee Metal Fest and a hometown show in Oakland. At that Oakland show last summer, Phil gave several lengthy thank yous and tributes to current and former members, that felt to those in attendance, like a goodbye moment from him. Demmel has also filled in for Lamb of God on tour in recent years and Slayer in 2018. Vio-lence has confirmed spring tour dates booked for the USA.

“I am announcing that this Sunday will be my last show with Vio-Lence,” said Demmel. “The timing is weird, I know with the [Kerry King announcement], and it doesn’t really coincide with the Kerry thing. It’s not ‘oh that got announced so I’m quitting this, stopping this’ or whatever you wanna… ‘retiring from whatever.’ It’s been I guess in the works for a bit, I kind of didn’t know. My status has been undefined for a while. I’m kind of doing things that I felt weird comfortable or fell in to my schedule or whatever.

“But given the latest state of the band and where I feel I belong with it, or feel tied to it, I just think my time is at an end. It’s not something that… I’ll always identify with the band. Me and Perry started this band in high school and it’s cool to be going places we haven’t been. In this instace, I’m feeling that Sean [and I] are on different pages. I guess we’ve always been on different pages, but I don’t feel like I fit in with what the objective of this is anymore.

“In light of some current events, I felt compelled to make the break and just thought about maybe doing a home show and saying goodbye – I don’t feel like I need that. I feel like playing those Metro shows with Perry and Dean and Ray, and having those two magical days and doing some other stuff that we’ve done, writing five songs, doing the EP – I feel fulfilled. Anything further kinda feels forced. Honestly before this tour, I didn’t wanna come. I’m here to commit. I’m comitted to it, I wasn’t gonna back out. But I think I’m done. I think I’ve done what I wanted to do with this band.”