Earlier this year, it was revealed that Anberlin‘s longtime vocalist Stephen Christian would be taking a hiatus from future touring, while Memphis May Fire‘s Matty Mullins had been tapped by the band to fill the void as they continued their touring career. Now Mullins has offered a bit of a tease of what fans might expect once he takes over lead vocals for the band.
As a refresher, in mid-October, Anberlin confirmed the coming switch that was happening with the group. “In 2024, Stephen will no longer be touring with Anberlin indefinitely. He’s not out of the band. He’s not quitting. He’s just taking a hiatus,” the band shared in a video posting.
Christian stated within the video, “I once heard a Native American proverb that said, ‘There are two dog roaring inside of me and the one that I feed is the one that wins.’ And it is because of that I have to take an indefinite hiatus away from touring with Anberlin. I’ve loved it all. I’ve loved my best friends out on the road. But at this time I have to feed my community, my career, but more importantly my wife and my child and it’s because of that I’m going to step down away from touring with Anberlin.”
Mullins then added, “I get a phone notification and I look down and it says Stephen Christian, Anberlin. I had no clue what I was about to open … I remember reading the first line and as I read my face got hot and flushed and my body started to tingle. The text basically said, you know I need to step away from touring and I want you to fill in for me. You’re the only person that I want to do it, which still sounds so crazy coming out of my mouth.”
In announcing their plans, Anberlin revealed that Christian would be playing his final show with the group on Dec. 14 at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa, Florida on a bill with Hawthorne Heights.
Mullins will take over in 2024 as Anberlin continues to tour, and after revealing that he will balance his time between Anberlin and Memphis May Fire, the singer has now given fans a taste of how that may sound. A recently posted video on his X account shows Mullins in the studio covering the Anberlin favorite, “Never Take Friendship Personal.” You can compare it with the original below.
Anberlin, “Never Take Friendship Personal” Original Version
Matty Mullins Message to Anberlin Fans
Upon Anberlin’s initial announcement about the change in the vocal spot, Mullins offered his own statement on his social media accounts. It reads as follows:
Dear Anberlin fans > I’m sure many of you aren’t familiar with me yet, so let’s get acquainted! I’ve been in a band called Memphis May Fire for the last 15 years. Anberlin was the first rock band I convinced my wife to listen to when we were 15 years old. It was at one of their concerts that I told her I was falling for her, now we’ve been married for 17 years. Blueprints for the Black Market taught me a lot in my early years of writing & recording music & I’ve loved all of ANB ever since. I know I’m not Stephen and I won’t even try to be, but him asking me to fill his role was an unbelievable honor & I will give 110% every night to give y’all the captivating & high energy performance you’re used to seeing from ANB.
I’ve spent a good amount of time with the ANB duded over the last few months in preparation for what’s to come & they’ve made me feel like family. Can’t wait for y’all to see/hear what’s ont eh way!
To a killer 2024 full of MMF & ANB Awesomeness,
Mullins will join up with Anberlin in early 2024, as the band has dates scheduled with The Word Alive and Hawthorne Heights in January.
Farewell Tours That Were Actually Farewell Tours
This time, they meant it.
Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire