A couple months ago I interviewed Women guitarist/vocalist Patrick Flegel about quitting his job at a center for troubled kids. According to various online reports, it looks like he’s gone and quit his band, too. (Or is at least giving it a rest.) Bad puns are as unappealing as onstage meltdowns, but while touring for Public Strain, the Calgary quartet apparently exhibited plenty of just that, falling apart (via a fist fight) during a performance Friday (10/29) in Victoria B.C.:
Arynne McMurray sent the following to Canadian music paper Exclaim!:
We were just at a show Women were headlining at Lucky Bar in Victoria, BC. As they initially came on stage the band members seemed to be struggling with Patrick [Flegel, guitarist] and a fight almost broke out. They went backstage again for several minutes. The band came out again minus Patrick and were making small talk with the audience. Patrick came out acting really erratic and said something to the effect of “we’re breaking up right now, you’re all going to see our last show.”
They played about five songs, which sounded pretty awful. At one point Patrick said (into the mic, during a song) “you fucked that up” to Christopher [Reimer, guitarist]. Christopher and Matthew [Flegel, bassist] left the stage at the end of the song. Michael [Wallace, drummer] left after another minute or two or later, saying “my music career is over.” Lucky turned the house music on while Patrick continued “playing.” Security tried to talk him off stage. He left, and then came back and started smashing Matthew’s guitar against an amp. This was all extra comical in Halloween costumes (Mr. T, a sailor).
Another Exclaim! reader says “Pat [Flegel] started throwing punches at his brother [Matthew Flegel] during their set-up and soundcheck” and that “Chris announced onstage that it would be their ‘last show as a band’ and they were planning to play without Pat…” Following those (and other) reports, Ian Russell, the head of Women’s Canadian label Flemish Eye provided an official statement (Via Pitchfork):
With a heavy heart, we regret to say that the band Women is exhausted and are in need of a break from touring. They have experienced a lot of stress recently, and this culminated in a disastrous public conflict on Friday. Band members have been suffering from poor health, and are in near-exhaustion; as of today, all upcoming shows [including a European tour] have been canceled.
We feel that it’s necessary to emphasize that this is a very difficult time for the band, and is not a trivial decision for a group that has spent as much time touring as they have. The band is a close-knit group of friends that have known each other since elementary school, and the personal health of these individuals forces this decision.
The band would appreciate some privacy as they sort things out and recover.
Hopefully things get cozy again soon, Women.