Stuart Richardson

Ex-Lostprophets Bassist Stuart Richardson Speaks Of The Aftermath Of Being In A Band With Ian Watkins & Beating Him Up On The ‘Vans Warped Tour’


Former Lostprophets bassist Stuart Richardson appeared as the guest on the latest episode of the ‘Sappenin’ Podcast with Sean Smith‘ and opened up about a number of topics, including his thoughts on the dissolution of Lostprophets amid their frontman Ian Watkins going to prison for child sex-related crimes.

During the conversation, Richardson once again affirms that the rest of Lostprophets had no idea that their then vocalist was engaging in criminal behavior outside of drugs. He goes on to detail the fractured relationship the band had with Watkins behind the scenes due to his spiralling drug addiction and even details a physical altercation between himself and Watkins that took place after Watkins missed a ‘Vans Warped Tour‘ show following a relapse.

Watkins himself is currently serving 35 year prison sentence for various child sex related crimes, after having been found guilty back in 2013. The remaining members of Lostprophets soldiered on together in 2014 with a band called No Devotion fronted by Thursday‘s Geoff Rickly. Speaking as to why they chose to get back out there so quickly, Richardson offered:

“We didn’t catch our breath after the whole thing went down with Ian. So I was like, well ‘fuck if that’s gonna be the thing [Ian‘s crimes] that’s on my fucking gravestone.’ Like ‘oh that guy was in that band with that fucking prick.’ You know what I mean? It’s like fuck that. I’m gonna do my own band immediately.”

Speaking further of the time around Ian‘s trial and No Devotion‘s early sessions, he offered:

“To be honest it was a blur. Because at that time when we were writing the [No Devotion] record [Ian‘s] trial was going on. And it was a car crash. And unfortunately my wife couldn’t stop reading Twitter. So she would see like death threats for my kids. Death threats for me. Death threats for everyone in the band. ‘They knew, they knew’. Just vile, horrible shit. And part of me understands why people would expect us to know. Because we were in the same band. But sadly that wasn’t the case.”

Elaborating on the detached relationship the rest of the band had with Ian in their latter years, Richardson offered:

“I don’t think many people know this, but before the band broke up. There was a show on ‘Warped Tour‘… towards the end of 2009 to 2011 we realized Ian had a depressingly sad drug addiction. It just snuck up on us. Because unfortunately we were living in L.A. and he was living back home [in Wales.] We didn’t see him fucking nine months of the year. And we realized how bad it was and we had an intervention with him.

And we said ‘Look, if you don’t clean up your act, you’re fucking out. This band is done.’ So [in] 2012, finally he got his shit together, and we went on ‘Warped Tour‘ and he was sober and he was singing better than he’d ever sung in his life.”

As Richardson later went on to confirm, Watkins‘ sobriety did not last. Reflecting back on a particularly poor performance Watkins delivered of the band’s album “Start Something” in Cardiff, Richardson commented:

“I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life as playing that show. He didn’t move for the whole set. Sung the wrong words. It was like ‘This is our fucking legacy. This is supposed to be the thing we’re remembered for and you want to setup our future by doing this badly? This fucking sucks.’ So we all wanted to quit after that show. We were like ‘Look, you gotta figure your fucking shit out. Otherwise you’re fucking out of here.'”

He went on to say of that time “Ian had his own dressing room. We didn’t even fucking hang out with him.” Speaking of the growing divide between Watkins and the rest of the band, Richardson stated:

“It was just getting to the point where none of us could stand being in the room with him. From day one he always rubbed me up the wrong way a little bit. But I personally thought it was my problem and not his problem. I was like ‘Am I just jealous of this guy?’ Literally I was just trying to like, it wasn’t because I thought he was what he was–there was no inkling of that. But he was just so fucking arrogant. But at the same time, I thought he was just kind of playing the part. And he kind of was as well.

So I always felt a little fucking weird around it all. But at the same time, I just thought he was being a fucking rock star. His brand of rock star was the more douchey kind of rockstar. But still, rock stars are kind of douchey sometimes. It’s all part of the fucking circus. Maybe in today’s climate the douchey rock star stereotype would never fucking fly. But it did in 2000, and there you fucking go. Unlike what we know now, [it] doesn’t really reflect what we knew in 2000. We learn things as we grow as a society.”

Continuing on about the ill-fated “Start Something” show, Richardson added:

“So after that show we had word with him–maybe not that show, but at some point we were like ‘We’re not going to see you for two months. The next time we see you, you better be good. You better have done some stuff.’ So he checked into rehab, he was going to the gym, he was like sorting himself out. I saw him two months later at a show and he was fucking on it. Super, super nice. Super fucking clear-eyed and clear skin and everything…”

“We went on ‘Warped Tour‘ and everyone was like ‘dude, your band’s crushing it right now. You’re fucking killin’ it.’ And one night [Ian] was like ‘I’m gonna go away for an hour, I’ll be back.’ We were trying to keep an eye on him, to make sure he wasn’t gonna get himself in a position where he would do drugs or you know what I mean? He was like ‘I’m gonna go do something with a friend of ours’ we knew. And we were like ‘sure’ because we knew she’d look after him.

An hour later we see her and we’re like ‘hey, where’s Ian?’ And she’s like ‘What’d ya mean?’ And we were like ‘Ah god.’ So he ended up going off with some girl, doing a fucking ton of drugs. And then we drove to the next show… So he was like 7 hours away.

The next day, [‘Vans Warped Tour‘] goes around the rotation… you never know what time you play. So we’re on at 2 and we’re like that might give him time to get down here. So we call him at 7 in the morning, ‘If you leave right now’, I’m doing bad math, ‘If you leave right now, you’ll get there on time.’ [He replied] ‘I’m running a bit late.'”

The band then went and requested to go on later and were given a 5pm slot time. However, upon calling Ian at 4pm, he told them he was still hours out. Frustrated by the matter, the group went onstage and performed the set with their keyboardist, etc. Jamie Oliver on vocals. Richardson was sent into a rage over the incident, which led to him physically assaulting Watkins backstage:

“So I come off the stage, fucking livid. Go on the bus, Ian‘s on the bus. And I’m like ‘nice one.’ And he gives me some shit. And I black the fuck out and I’m laying punches into his face. I’m not fucking proud of it. But I’m laying punches into his face for ten seconds or ten minutes. I don’t know. And I’m a big boy compared to him, so I’m not proud of this. And then he gives me this fucking look after I hit him.

And I had this can of Monster Energy in my hand and I smashed this fucking can into his head. And I’m like ‘fuck’, I go outside and puke. And for the next three weeks he’s like black eyes, cut on his face and I’m like feeling fucking horrible about the whole thing. And that’s what I did when he missed a show. You know what I mean? If I knew anything, if I had any inkling about any of that shit [his crimes]…”

He went on to say of the altercation:

“The only reason I tell that story is ’cause I know there is a lot of people who probably want to know that at least someone kicked his fucking ass…”

Richardson went on to say that finding out the extent of Watkins‘ crimes via the press during his trial sent him into a “fit of depression.” He said of that time: “We didn’t know. Some people were telling us, they were giving us tweets [about Ian‘s behavior,] telling us. I never had that tweet…” He also stated that the band didn’t speak out on Watkins for some time due to being in the dark themselves:

“That was why we didn’t say anything for a year. ‘Cause we knew, like of course you would think that. We’re not stupid. We’re not gonna come out and say ‘Fuck you, don’t fucking say we’re a part of this.’ It’s like look, we don’t know what’s going on right now either. We’re literally figuring this out with you.”

He also revealed that press began showing up at his house in Florida around the time the news regarding Watkins broke. He eventually went to his children’s school to explain that he had no knowledge of what his former bandmate was up to. He also said he volunteered himself to police to offer any assistance he could. Upon learning the extent of Watkins‘ behavior, he was left questioning himself as to how Ian managed to keep everything a secret.

Speaking of the remaining Lostprophets members choosing not to address their own feelings at the time of Watkins‘ arrest and trial:

“I think we felt at the time, considering what was happening, fuck our feelings. Because we’re not really the victims in this right now. Even if we are victims… because you gotta remember that was our livelihoods. That was our pension. That was everything for us. That was our income, our only source of income. It was our nest egg. It was everything. We worked 20 years in bands doing that thing, this was the thing which you worked towards to build something so you can have better lives in the future.

Imagine you had a job and then someone immediately stopped your job, stopped all your payments and then took away all your money you had for your future. And everyone’s like ‘Fuck ’em, they knew [about Ian.] You’re like ‘oh my god.’ You have no idea what we lost. We would never like… I’m still dealing with that today. I’m trying to figure out what to do next…”

Regarding how the aftermath of Watkins‘ crimes caused him to shutdown for a time and how it impacted his personal relationships:

“So many people that I knew in Lostprophets who were my friends, who said they would help me at any point, did not. A lot of people did… But 80% of them didn’t. Didn’t return phone calls and if they did it was the most blasé bullshit ever. Every friend I have now is due to the people I’ve met since that day and they’re the best fucking people. Because I know that they’re on the level.”

These days Richardson devotes himself to studio work, serving as a touring bassist for Thursday and also has a new album from No Devotion in the works. According to Richardson, the group have around 8 songs done with release plans still being finalized.

You can hear the whole episode of the podcast over at Acast, Spotify and iTunes.

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