On October 20, 2018, LIPHLICH announced on their official site that their bassist, Shindou Wataru, will leave the band following his last live at TSUTAYA O-WEST on January 12, 2019.
Read the entire announcement below:
We are very grateful for your support of LIPHLICH in the past.
Bassist Shindou Wataru has proposed at this time that he will withdraw from the band. We discussed it.
Although it is very disappointing, LIPHLICH will respect his wishes and accept it. Under the band’s intention to send him off on a positive note, we have come to the conclusion that he will withdraw from the band following the performance at TSUTAYA O-WEST on January 12, 2019.
To everyone who has supported us, this is a very unfortunate announcement;
we sincerely apologize to everybody whom it may concern for the inconvenience.
We appreciate your continued support of LIPHLICH.
Wataru is one of the two founding members of LIPHLICH, alongside the vocalist Kuga Shingo; he’s held the position of the band’s bassist for eight years since the band’s debut. While Wataru’s departure might come as a surprise to some fans, it has been known for a while that there have been various problems that the band has been facing this year. The cause of these problems appears to have been Wataru.
In August, Kuga published a blog post, titled “To fans”, where he explained that the band’s album SMELL STAR, originally scheduled to be released sometime in summer 2018, would be getting delayed. He also apologized for the failure to announce this sooner. As an explanation, he cited Wataru’s continued inability to focus on the band due to personal problems in his life. The band was allegedly even considering going on hiatus until Wataru’s problems could be resolved. On anything else regarding the reasons, Kuga refused to elaborate, electing to wait for Wataru to do so in his own words.
Unfortunately, now this announcement has come out as a conclusion to the story. Wataru had this to say about his retirement:
I, Shindou Wataru, report that I will leave LIPHLICH following January 12, 2019.
LIPHLICH was the first band I have been in that I also helped establish as one of its founders. It will be nearing its eighth year; including the preparatory period, I have been a part of it for ten years.
Therefore the reasons that led to my withdrawal cannot be explained in a brief comment.
I’ve been able to get to know myself more than before through my activities with LIPHLICH, and I could do things that I wanted to do more than now.
Being in LIPHLICH has given me various experiences and wisdom.
It’s a fortune that is hard to be substituted with something.
I’m really grateful.
I have few activities with LIPHLICH still left; I humbly thank you for your support.
Kuga Shingo and Arai Takayuki have both expressed their sadness and disappointment on social media; Kobayashi Takaaki has not commented as of now. Kuga’s tweet on the matter is short but very touching:
It is hard for me to talk about Wataru leaving the band; I have spent half my life with him.
These four people are what makes LIPHLICH continue.
I have expressed this to fans on countless occasions, but now, we have made this announcement. I’m sorry.
Until January 12 of next year, I will keep giving LIPHLICH my all as I did before.
— LIPHLICH 久我新悟 (@LIPHLICH_KUGA) October 20, 2018
Does this unfortunate announcement come as a surprise to you? Wataru was many people’s favorite member for sure. Let’s support LIPHLICH and Wataru throughout this sad news and until the end of their activities together.