Motograter's former drummer Noah "Shark" Robertson recently departed from the band, but has since went on to release a full statement, on why he left the band. It can be read in great detail below.
Why I left Motograter: Full Statement;
I’ve had enough. I tried to go about this diplomatically. I did my best to remain silent, out of respect for the band and the fans. But one can only go so long, when people are out there spreading lies and rumors about you. Fans and friends are turning against me. People are emailing me, texting, and calling - harassing me, threatening me, saying horrible things about my character. I attempted to go about this with some class, but the same cannot be said about the other parties. And so I regrettably must defend myself and tell my side of the story. This is my original statement, that I refrained from releasing, as to not cause any public drama. It seems now that it is unavoidable. However long and drawn out it is, this is it. Take it or leave it. I’m finished hiding from the truth and making an effort to save certain members of my former band, embarrassment and public ridicule. I can’t take it anymore. I had originally decided not to speak out, because if I’ve learned anything in this business it’s that sometimes some things are better left alone. I never wanted to do anything that would be damaging to my career or any future opportunities. I was afraid of tarnishing the band’s name and image, in fear that it would in turn, taint my own name and image. But I cannot allow this to go on, at whatever cost or consequence that may follow.
It breaks my heart to release this statement. It looks like my time in the band Motograter has come to an abrupt and shocking end. I want to thank all my friends, fans, and extended family for the support over the years. At the moment I have no idea what I am going to do, as Motograter was my life. Like I always do, I will persevere, in a major way. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell my story. This may come off as spiteful or revengeful, but it can only be expected from 4 years of broiling resentment and snowballing rage. I am not perfect. I am not without faults. I am not without character flaws. But I cannot allow this injustice to perpetuate, without telling my side of the story. This is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:
Matthew “Nuke” Nunes got in my face, screaming and threatening me, saying I'm a "piece of shit" and a "little bitch". Threatening me with violence. I had made a snide remark about him losing my driver's licence, which he did, but to be honest I was half kidding. After all, it was a major inconvenience to me, especially being on tour traveling the country. It was also partially my fault, as I should have never trusted him with it in the first place. After he made a huge scene in the hotel lobby, screaming and ranting and throwing a temper tantrum, I grabbed my things and proceeded to take off. I did mention “This tour is over.” I said a few things in the heat of the moment, definitely. For a moment I contemplated going home, but in reality I just needed to blow off some steam and cool off. I thought about my friends, the fans and the promoters and I knew we needed to finish this tour. We had just played fifty-something shows and there were only about 6 or 7 to go. As anyone who's toured knows, especially in a van, it sometimes gets to the point where even the way somebody eats their cereal in the morning can drive you berserk. We're a family, but we all hate each other at various moments. It's just the way it is. I immediately returned to the hotel and waited in the lobby for at least an hour or two. I was messaging every member of the band.
Everyone was ignoring me. A few of them even walked right past me without saying a word. I then saw on social media that they were already telling people I had quit and that they were seeking a replacement. This came as quite a shock. I saw the promoter for the show that night had made a statement about how the drummer had quit and so the band would be unable to perform, but that the band was going to be making an appearance to meet with the fans and sign autographs, etc. I headed to the venue to talk to them in person… nobody would hear anything I had to say. I felt like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I pleaded with them. I brought up everything we've been through together and everything I've done for the band, personally. I asked them how they could do this to me. I even stooped to apologizing, even though I had done nothing wrong. The only thing they had to say, was that I was an "asshole" and that they were tired of me and Nuke butting heads. They then, snuck out of the building and disappeared. I spent several more hours messaging the band, asking why they would sabotage a tour like this. Asking why they would turn their backs on me and desert me. "Is it really worth all this?!" "We can play these last few shows and finish this tour out."
No response. I checked into a motel and tried to sleep. The next day, I still hadn't received a response of any kind. I had no idea what was going on or what was happening. At this point I began to worry about the rest of my gear, specifically my drums. I knew I at least needed to get my stuff back, if anything. I called the promoter of the next show to see if he had heard from the band and if they planned on attending the show. He stated that he had indeed heard from them and that the information he received was troubling, to say the least. He mentioned the band was begging to get into the venue early to rehearse with the "fill-in drummer" they were flying in. He said that he was concerned because most of the people that come out to the Kansas City shows, come out to support ME, specifically. I spent a significant amount of time in KC during my tenure in the band The Browning and I have built a small legion of loyal friends, fans, and followers there. He mentioned that he felt the integrity of the show had been compromised and he was unsure if the show should go on. He wanted to cancel the show, but also didn't want to disappoint the local bands who were slated to perform, among the various other reasons for not wanting to cancel a show such as upsetting booking agents, etc. Also, if he canceled the show it would significantly reduce my chances of getting my gear back. I mustered up the last of the funds I had available to me and rented a car and hauled ass to Kansas City from Omaha, Nebraska.
When I arrived, it appeared the band had already decided to relinquish my belongings and had opted to use the drum equipment from one of the opening bands. This was great news and I quickly grabbed my things from inside the venue and put them in the rental car. And so the show would go on. I stayed for a while to hang out with people who had come to see me, but more importantly, I wanted to make my presence known. I'm here. I can play the show. There is no reason why we can't just do this and move on. Nobody from the band would communicate with me in any way... wouldn't even look me in the eye. They hired a second rate drummer to come in and play a full headlining set of songs that he had never heard or played before, with no rehearsals. The venue staff mentioned that soundcheck was a nightmare. They were afraid the show would be a total disaster. I contemplated staying and witnessing the glorious train wreck that was about to unfold, but I ultimately decided I just couldn't bare to witness the band disgrace the Motograter name like that. All so Nuke could collect another thousand dollars. I couldn't stomach watching somebody else try to step in and play songs I helped write and wreck drum parts I had created. I left. I hear that the set was horrible. Completely ruined. I had people messaging me, sending videos, saying that it was indeed a pathetic display. A desperate and futile attempt. I also heard the band was paid drastically less for their piss-poor performance.
I gave my life to this band for 4 years. I have never been compensated. Every single tour that we have done, Nuke has taken ALL of the money. At the end of one tour in particular, he let members disperse without any money in their pockets, whatsoever; begging for train tickets and bus tickets from their family and friends - while he went to Disneyland. The truth is, most of the money has gone to feed his insane, insatiable drug addiction. Crack, heroin, meth, whatever he can get his greedy hands on. There were many times when we would be stranded, waiting for hours, while he was off scoring drugs. His drug use caused him to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with the rest of civilized society. Violent outbursts, screaming at band members on a constant basis. Paranoid, delusional behavior. Angry outbursts on stage. Yelling at members during live performances and even kicking them or pushing them. It was a constant battle between Nuke and I. Me constantly trying to battle against horrible decisions and bad business. If the money was handled professionally and correctly, we could not only pay our debts, we would be well within our means to compensate band members for their time and effort.
Before I joined the band Motograter I was a huge fan. I had their posters on my wall, I listened to their self-titled album religiously. The music impacted me in a big way. I can remember sitting in my bedroom, trying to play along on the drums. I had first witnessed the band perform in 2003 at Ozzfest (which Nuke was kicked off of for being druggie and a loose cannon). I immediately fell in love with Motograter. With the sound, with the image. It spoke to me. I had always been a fan of bands like Slipknot, Mushroomhead, Kiss, Mudvayne, etc. I loved bands with a unique appearance, whether it was masks or paint, it just did something for me. What really drew me to the band though, was Ivan Moody's brooding and haunting voice. He was magnetic. Fast forward to around 2005 or 2006, when Ivan left the band and joined Five Finger Death Punch. When I found out he had a new project I was immediately intrigued. I needed to hear more of that voice. I attended a Five Finger show and met Ivan in person. I brought a Motograter poster from Hit Parader or Circus Magazine and got him to sign it. He laughed and asked "Where did you get this?" I told him I had been saving it for a long time. I remember him pointing to each member and saying a bit about what each member was up to. "This guy is on drugs." "This guy has kids and a wife now."
Fast forward to around 2009, when Motograter unveiled their "New Breed" lineup. I discovered that Motograter would be performing near me and I knew I had to go check it out. I really wasn't impressed... at all. I left the show and grabbed their new demo on the way out. I remember raging out of my mind when I heard it. This was not the Motograter that I knew and loved. I threw the disc out the window. Fast forward to around 2012 or so. I had just parted ways with my band The Browning. I had signed record deals and toured the world. I had already begun to make a name for myself. But the harsh realities of the music business discouraged me from wanting to continue with music. It took quite a lot for me to get to that point, because I was always "do or die". Shortly before joining The Browning I had packed up my drums and clothes in my car and moved to Hollywood (while listening to my freshly bought debut Five Finger Death Punch album). I lived in a rehearsal space, bathed with a bucket and towel, and cooked food on a George Foreman grill. Nothing was going to stop me from "making it".
But after leaving The Browning, for a minute there, I didn't know if I would ever continue... and then it happened. I saw that Motograter was reforming, yet again. I messaged the band on Facebook, asking them to hire me as their drummer. I mentioned that I was a big fan of the band. I honestly didn't expect a response. They immediately called me and wanted me in the band, and were more than aware of my previous endeavors. I was ecstatic. The prospect of helping one of my favorite bands to reform and live on, was a dream come true. I remember jumping online and looking up the band - to listen to the songs again, read news articles, look at pictures, watch videos. I stumbled across the Wikipedia page and read some disturbing things about Nuke's drug use and violence. I became a little bit worried and hesitant in that moment. I began to discover other things about Motograter's sordid past. I called up Nuke and he reassured me that it was all behind him and that he was completely clean and reformed and a different person. I believed him. I flew to California and auditioned for the band. It went well. We had a lot of chemistry. Being a fan of the band and having listened to the songs a million times, it just made sense. I went home and prepared for what was to come. I flew back to California and began rehearsals for my first tour with the band, the "West Coast Reunion" tour. Behind the scenes, it began as a complete disaster. The band had no clear direction or strong leadership. They really didn't have their shit together at all.
They didn't have their transportation situation figured out and we were really scrambling. Somehow we managed and continued on. After 1 or 2 shows, it became apparent that Nuke was definitely not clean or reformed in any way. He was violent and abusive. Demanding and condescending. And he immediately began taking our money and buying drugs. I had a meeting with him and the singer and told them I couldn't work under these conditions. They assured me that things were fine and that Nuke would chill out. Fast forward to Motograter parting ways with Angel, the singer. It seemed like even though he wasn't very good at it, Angel was the one who handled the majority of the business side of things. With him gone, there was nobody to really handle things for the band. No management. No label. Things looked really grim. I stepped in and made shit happen. At the time I was living in Kansas City. I lived in a nice big house. 2 cars in the driveway. I was engaged. I was working at School of Rock and was about to be promoted. I was about to have a salary and benefits for the first time in life. Things were looking good. But I couldn't give up on my dream. I knew I had to continue chasing it at all cost. I had to take a chance, whatever the risk. And so I left it all behind, to help build Motograter to its former glory...
When I first joined the band, they were a hollow shell of what they formerly were. 4,000 likes on Facebook, no social media presence, no websites, nothing... we were pretty much starting from scratch. This is where I really excel. I'm good at the promotion and the business side of things. I had already been running my own promotion company and started my own independent record label. I decided that I would need to build the band back up in the public eye. Motograter had a bad reputation, and so it was a constant uphill battle. In this day and age, social media is a powerful tool. And so I began promoting the band, in a good light. Using viral marketing, videos, and other promotional tools I was able to quickly build the band's Facebook page from 4,000 to 186,000 likes. And for the next 4 years, I would dedicate every waking moment to this endeavor - building the Motograter name back up in the public eye. Reaching out to booking agents and promoters and media sites and record labels and managers. Interacting with fans. For 4 years I spent all the money, energy, and passion I had - working on the band. When we weren't touring, Nuke was mainly absent. He would disappear for a few weeks at a time, sometimes a couple months. No phone calls, no responses, no emails, no texts.
This was even true during the making of the new album. And so, I kept my head down and continued to grind. It's astounding how much I have done for Motograter. It's downright appalling. I was the voice of reason. I was the one with a good head on my shoulders. While everyone else was running around fucking girls and playing rockstar and doing drugs... I was working my ass off, day and night. I always made time to talk with the fans, take pictures, sign autographs. I would often have to chase members down to remind them that people were excited to meet them and interact with them. I was the one talking to promoters and advancing the shows. I was the one responding to emails and making phone calls. I was our manager, I was our tour manager, I was our public relations agent, I was our social media manager. None of the other members could drive or didn't have licenses or were too wasted, so Nuke and I were the only ones that ever drove. I never had any crew or a drum tech or anything. And so I'm just driving and playing and loading and driving and playing and loading. It was an insurmountable amount of work. I was always the one driving a few hours to L.A. to pick people up from the airport, when they flew in for tours. I was the one that managed the merch and the merch numbers and made sure orders happened.
I coordinated the pre-orders that got the album made. I was the one thanking the fans and making sure all the orders were fulfilled. This was a grueling task. But there was nobody else to do it. I coordinated everyone's time in the studio and booked their trips and flights. I built our official website and managed our online merch store. I spent countless hours packaging and sending out orders to raise enough money for the album to get made. I shopped us to labels and generated interest. I built our electronic press kits and wrote our bios. I designed our posters and tour passes and advertisements. I edited our videos and made documentaries of every tour. I'm the one that established the relationship that would ultimately lead to us to getting radio play and charting on Billboard. The list goes on and on. Nuke definitely put money into the band, but it was money that he got from his mommy. He always used this against us. "Do you know how much money my family has put into this band?" He constantly used this as a means to justify him taking every dime.
The only reason why I put up with all of this for so long, is because I loved the band Motograter. I love playing the drums. I love inspiring people. I love traveling. I love the fans. I didn't want to let people down. I wanted to be the guy on the second Motograter album, at all costs. I thought if I could just hold on long enough, there would be light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually somebody would step in, perhaps a label or manager, and they would help alleviate some or all of our problems. Maybe we'd finally have a partnership agreement of some kind one day. I'm the only one that ever posed a threat to Nuke. The only one that ever stood up to him. I'm the only one that ever questioned him. He hated this about me. He wanted me gone. I was the only thing that stood in the way of him having complete, 100 percent control over the band. He stood by and watched me do everything and build up the band, only to oust me the first chance he got. Right when the band is taking off again. As a matter of fact, this tour, the Desolation Tour - the album release tour - was our big payoff. It was supposed to be the tour that we paid off all our debt and we all finally were able to make something. We had twenty thousand dollars in guarantees booked on this tour.
That's not even counting merch. Instead, this tour went about like every other tour we did. It started with me making a detailed log of every transaction. All money coming in, all money going out. I recorded everything. Like always, he gradually discouraged me and derailed me from doing so. He made it impossible. He collected all the money and never told us how much we had. He bought tons of gear for himself. Guitar pedals and pedal boards. He thinks he deserves it, but he doesn't. He spends money extravagantly. To make sure nobody gets paid. And if you bring up money he rages on you. I was constantly bringing up that we were all making the same sacrifices and working hard. We deserved to be paid for our efforts. I wanted us to be treated as equals. Not a bunch of lackeys bowing down to a vicious tyrant. I worked my ass off for this band. We played show after show, fifty something shows in a row with one or two days off on this run. I had an injured shoulder and I pushed on. Tour after tour after tour. And it was all for nothing. The past 4 years of my life are just flushed straight down the drain. The other members won't stand up to him.
They won't say anything. They are just letting this all happen. Even though I took care of them, time and time again. Even though I fought for them, time and time again. None of it matters. At all. As a matter of fact, I found out that Nuke was actually paying James on the side. Because he was so afraid of losing him. He saw James as more important than us. And I can tell you that James did the absolute LEAST for Motograter. Besides lend his voice and lyrics. He never lifted a finger to do shit for this band. He only cares about looking in the mirror and watching wrestling and playing video games. But he was getting paid and nobody else was. I told James I thought it was wrong of him to take money, knowing that others weren't getting compensated for their efforts. When I brought it up, Nuke gave everybody one hundred dollars to shut them up. That is literally the first and only time I have ever been paid in this band. Or any band. A twenty thousand dollar tour and I got paid one hundred dollars. I deserve better than this. This is an outrage. I never set out to do this for money. I did it for the love of it. But I should be able to pay my cell phone bill. To work this hard for so long and never be compensated is demoralizing and soul crushing.
When I was about to join the band, I messaged the former drummer before me, Twitch, and asked him how it was being in Motograter. I wanted to know what his experience was. His exact words were, "It's alright, if you don't mind being a slave." I didn't know what he meant at the time, but I do now. And now after everything I've done to help this band get to where it is now... they have ditched me and left me stranded. They have deserted me. And all they have to say is that I'm an asshole. I'm can't even dispute that. During my time in Motograter my resentment was building the entire time. Nuke sucked all the happiness and joy out of it for me. My rage and anger built, it consumed me, and I took it out on everyone in this band. I began to hate them all. Looking back, I wish I would have had a better attitude, but it would have just been fake. The truth is I was a horribly miserable person during my time in the band, but I tried with all my might to ignore it and to press on. I just knew that if I held on long enough, eventually it would pay off. It never did.
We did some amazing things together. We accomplished so much. But none of that matters. They have decided to discard me like a piece of trash. And what baffles me the most is all of the second chances everyone has gotten. From Nuke taking our money to do drugs and acting insane and violent towards everyone. To certain members threatening our lives and saying they’re going to murder us all in our sleep. Members getting wasted and punching the van and trailer and dropping off tours. Disappearing for days at a time. Members overdosing on drugs. Members quitting. They were all given second chances and allowed back. But because Nuke screamed in my face and threatened me and I left to blow off some steam... I have "quit" according to them. I am no longer wanted.
Now that the band is doing great and back on top, they don't need me anymore. I'm beside myself with grief but I know karma will do its thing. The universe isn't this cruel. Is it? This is a morbid thought, but there were so many times I would lie awake at night just hoping that the years and years of drug abuse would take its toll on Nuke and he would just die in his sleep. That is the only way this band could ever reach its full potential. If Nuke was completely out of the picture. I now see why the former members from the 2009 era, tried to take it from him. It's the only way the band could ever do anything of significance. If he isn't a part of it.
To everyone that supported us and rooted for us and helped get the album made. Thank you. Without the fans, it would have never happened. And now we will sit back and watch as the band either rides the wave that I helped create... or if they will crash and burn, with Nuke at the helm. Only time will tell. Goodbye for now. I will return, stronger and better than ever. I will rise above this. Sharks never stop moving forward…
The band is apparently telling everyone that I am a “thief”. This is because when I was left in the middle of the country, I had a few hundred dollars of the “band’s money” in my account. They left 2 people stranded in the middle of the country in freezing cold weather. We both got sick because of it. What was I supposed to do? I got a hotel room for 2 nights. Had to take Uber rides to get anywhere. Had to rent a vehicle to pick up my drums. And had to purchase 2 cross-country train tickets, just to get home. I had to get help to make all this happen. When I arrived back in California from Omaha, Nebraska - I had nothing. The band actually owed me money and they know this. I am not a thief. I did not quit Motograter. End of story.
I am currently available for tours, recording, and music collaborations. Thank you.