Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell is no longer a part of the band.
The 54-year-old rocker is retiring from music to deal with his physical and mental health, Harwell’s rep told The Post Tuesday.
“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,” the rep said. “As of today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health.”
On Oct. 9, the band performed at the Big Sip festival in upstate New York where Harwell slurred his words, threatened the audience and gave some crude gestures to the crowd. The video was taken by a TikTok user who goes by the name Haley, who called it “chaotic.”
Steve Harwell retired from Smash Mouth to focus on his ‘physical and mental health.’ The decision came after a video of Harwell threatening his audience surfaced. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic via Getty Images)
A source close to Harwell told The Post that he had one of his “episodes” while on stage, as seen in the viral video.
“This unfortunate recording has now been taken out of context and his ailments used against him to paint him as someone who he isn’t,” the insider said.
Harwell was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy eight years ago and has suffered from heart failure and acute Wernicke encephalopathy. The latter condition has greatly impacted his motor functions including speech and impaired his memory.
“Despite Steve’s best efforts to work through these ailments, he is heartbroken to share that it has become impossible for him to continue doing what he loves most, performing in front of the band’s millions of fans around the world,” his rep said.
Despite Harwell’s retirement, Smash Mouth will not be breaking up and will continue to perform as they search for a replacement.
“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,” he continued.
Harwell concluded, “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.”
The source also explained that Harwell has suffered over the years with several types of addiction that led to several medical and mental health issues. His appearance at the Big Sip show made it clear that Harwell could “no longer perform due to the symptoms from his diagnosis,” according to the insider, despite having “every intention of successfully continuing in the band.”
As for the video in which he curses and seemingly does a Nazi salute, the insider claimed that Harwell has been a supporter for minority groups and he regrets his actions at the festival.
“This TikTok video is not an accurate representation of the man Steve is. Steve had every intention of successfully continuing in the band but will be retiring to concentrate on his serious health issues,” the source said.