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Smash Mouth Lead Singer Quits Band After Video Captures Him Threatening And Cursing At Fans

Smash Mouth Lead Singer Quits Band After Video Captures Him Threatening And Cursing At Fans
Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Steve Harwell, lead singer and founding member of rock band Smash Mouth, has left the band following a video showing him slurring his words, seeming confused and yelling at fans.

The video was taken at a music festival in upstate New York last weekend and posted on TikTok, where it immediately went viral.

The video was taken by a TikToker named Haley last weekend at New York's Big Sip music, food and wine festival.

See the video below.

WARNING: NSFW language


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In the opening to her TikTok, Haley described Harwell's performance as "chaotic."

"OK, I know the ethics of this aren't great, but I did just see Smash Mouth perform live at a local beer and wine festival. When I say this is the most chaotic show I've ever seen in my entire life, I have no words."

Haley's video shows Harwell slurring his speech, making a gesture some called a Nazi salute and hurling profanity at people in the crowd. Harwell also threatened an attendee.

At one point he could be heard saying:

"I'll fuckin' kill your whole family, I swear to god."

Harwell announced his need to retire after the performance, citing his health and its effects on him.

Harwell was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy 8 years ago leading to Wernicke's encephalopathy—a "condition that impacts motor functions, speech and memory."

Harwell has also been honest about his struggle with addiction and mental health.

Harwell's representative told media:

"[Harwell] regrets his actions, but this TikTok video is not an accurate representation of the man Steve is."

The representative confirmed Harwell is "heartbroken" about the fact it has become "impossible" for him to continue performing.

Harwell told TMZ:

"Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream."

"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."

He added:

"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."

For her part, Haley was not happy about any part her video played in Harwell's decision.

In a follow-up TikTok captioned, "I WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THIS NARRATIVE," she addressed her dismay at being the catalyst for the band's break-up.


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But while Haley might be done contributing to the social media commentary on Harwell's departure, the rest of the internet was decidedly not.

Twitter had lots to say about the matter.

Several people shared stories of Harwell's past erratic behavior.

Harwell's 2013 cardiomyopathy diagnosis has led to heart failure as well as his encephalopathy.

Hopefully he's able to enjoy improved health in his retirement from performing.