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Ex-Treble Charger Bill Priddle: "I Wasn't Happy Going In The Punk-Pop Direction"

Last monthwe told you that guitarist Bill Priddle had been absent from the latest batch of Treble Charger shows, seemingly replaced by Kelly Osbourneguitarist Devin Bronson. At the time, representatives from Treble Charger’s label, BMG, told ChartAttack that Priddle was merely taking a break from his TC duties, wanting to spend time with his young daughter. The temporary break explanation turned out to be nothing but a record label spin job – Priddle has now confirmed that he left Treble Charger permanently in early September.

Priddle claims that he intended to leave Treble Charger of his own free will once promotion and touring for the band’s latest album, Detox, had wrapped up, but that de facto band leader Greig Noriasked him to leave sooner than the guitarist originally intended.

“It was kind of common knowledge that I didn’t really want to do another record,” Priddle says. “So, at that point, Greig had someone in mind to replace me and he wanted to do the Sum 41 tour without me. I wanted to finish the whole tour, but he sort of insisted that they wanted this guy [Bronson] to finish out the tour.”

Priddle’s exit from the band hardly comes as a surprise to anyone who’s been following Treble Charger for the band’s entire career. Since the release of their debut album, 1994’s NC-17, the band has morphed from an subtle indie rock outfit into a punk-pop group. Priddle’s songwriting, which sits closer to the original model of the band, has since been at odds with Nori’s radio-friendly pop-punk anthems, making the split between the two songwriters somewhat inevitable.

“We started out being an indie rock band and I kind of thought we would stay that way,” Priddle says. “And I wasn’t too happy going in the pop-punk direction, which didn’t seem natural to me, it was just kind of forced.”

“I was always into music for music’s sake,” he continues. “When it got all corporate and about gimmicks and imaging and wearing the right clothes and having the right lingo, that kind of rubbed me the wrong way. We had a market of 16-year-old kids and we had to try to guess what our fans wanted. Which is really the opposite of where I was coming from. I’ve always thought the best music was, obviously, done by people that did music for themselves.”

Even though Priddle has severed ties with the Treble Charger crew, he has no intention of leaving the music business. He’s in the process of setting up a home studio and plans to record a solo album, perhaps borrowing a few of his frequent cohorts fromBroken Social Scene to help out. Aiming to take cues from Neil Young by recording both as a solo singer-songwriter and with a rock band, Priddle has a small surplus of songs that he’s written over the years that never quite it onto the Treble Charger albums.

“The one thing that’s kind of made this a positive thing for me is that it seemed in the last two or three years that Treble Charger fans would come out of the woodwork and say to me, ‘I really like your songs. How come you don’t have as many songs anymore? When are you going to do a solo album?'” Priddle says. “All these fans that like the old Treble Charger stuff and wished there was more of that. So, I’m very encouraged by that.”

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