The 29-year-old singer delivered the news in a lengthy post shared to Twitter and Instagram on Friday. Remaining band members Aaron Pauley, Alan Ashby, Phil Manansala and Valentino Arteaga—who will continue Of Mice and Men as a quartet—shared the note a short time later with an added statement.
“It’s with heavy hearts that we announce Austin’s departure from the band for reasons pertaining to his health,” they write. “As many of you are aware, Austin suffers from a rare connective tissue disorder called Marfan syndrome & has been struggling with the physical demands of touring since the band began.”
Of Mice and Men were forced to cut their European tour short in October after Carlile was hospitalized due to the illness, which he’s battled for over seven years. Fans hoped the break would help restore Carlile’s health, but many grew concerned when the band withdrew as the support act on A Day to Remember’s Australian tour the following month.
“After his most recent series of surgeries at Stanford University Hospital, following the cancellation of our European headlining tour, his team of doctors informed him of the damage that performing, & more specifically his aggressive vocals, have been causing his body,” the band’s statement continues. “They warned that if he were to continue on doing so, it would cause permanent & irrevocable damage to his spine & nervous system.”
In his own message, Carlile says that he’s suffered four spinal tears, which left him in “violent pain every time I’d perform,” and unable to execute the trademark vocal screams—a crucial element of the metalcore titans’ sound since the band’s formation in 2009.
“I realized that I had to step away from Of Mice & Men, no longer able to scream most of our old material, or continue to scream on anything new. I cannot continue on.”
At present, Carlile resides in his new home in Costa Rica, where he aims to “heal, rest, and write.”
“This has been the hardest thing that has happened in my life for a very long time, but thankfully the band, my family and closest friends stand behind me and understand,” he continues. “They have all seen personally how much pain I had to endure and especially the last two years as my spine was tearing apart, but I kept going, I gave it my all, and cannot express this enough.”
Despite being hampered by Marfan, Carlile still sees a future in music. “I am still able to sing, and I’m hungry for what is next to come even though I have no idea what that may be. I feel God placed me at this crossroads for a reason, and with the closing of one door, another will open.”