Guitarist Mitch Harris of Napalm Death is still officially a member of the band, but he has not toured alongside them for several years. During an interview with the Heavy Culture podcast, Harris revealed that his departure was made to support his family.
Harris explained that his father required knee surgery and had a cancer diagnosis around the time Napalm Death finished recording Apex Predator – Easy Meat. This led to Harris caring for his father full-time with the help of his mother, however his father passed away the day the guitarist moved back to Las Vegas.
“When I moved [back to Las Vegas], he died the day I arrived, actually, when I came back. He had his surgery. And it was shocking,” Harris explained. “Then my mother was alone, and we couldn’t leave her. We were happy. We settled in. [It was a] crazy culture change for the family and my kids. Yeah, it was very shocking. But I was very happy to be home. So then, three years later, my mother died. Again, she was sick for a while.”
Following the death of both of his parents, Harris decided to stay with his family full time, and decided to stop touring with Napalm Death. He explained that his decision to stop touring doesn’t mean he has quit the group, as his playing appeared on their latest record Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism. He is also a member of Brave the Cold alongside Dirk Verbeuren.
“Sometimes there comes a point in your life where you have to just do the right thing, and I would never feel happy if I was not there when they needed me,” Harris revealed. ” I’m sorry for people that they miss me, or whatever, but if you really miss me, there’s a Napalm record, which I played on, which is very intense, and Brave The Cold. Please support it and give it a chance, because this is part of my future.”