BETHEL, N.Y. (WROC) — Steve Harwell, frontman for the American rock band Smash Mouth, officially announced his retirement Tuesday, according to the The New York Post.
A representative for the 54-year-old musician told The Post: “Steve has been dealing with long-term medical issues over the last eight years and during his last performance at the Big Sip stage, he suffered numerous symptoms directly linked with his current medical situation. As of today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health.”
The singer’s retirement comes just a few days after video from the band’s Upstate New York performance went viral. The performance, described as “chaotic” by the attendee who posted clips from the concert, showed Harwell making crude gestures to the crowd, threatening a few fans, slurring his words, and appearing disassociated from the show.
Editor’s note: This video contains profanity
According to Harwell’s representative, the singer was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2013 and has suffered from heart failure and acute Wernicke encephalopathy, adding that the latter condition has impacted some motor functions like speech and memory.
The representative told The Post that Smash Mouth will not be breaking up and will continue performing as they search for a permanent replacement singer.
In a statement, Harwell said: “Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rock star, performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” Harwell said in a statement. “To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.
“To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to. I am so grateful to each and every one of you who has helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, put us on top of radio charts and those who have kept ‘All Star’ relevant as one of the top memes on the internet today. I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans.”