Finn Ryan Announces Departure from The Atomic Bitchwax

the atomic bitchwax

At the time, when Finn Ryan started playing guitar and singing in The Atomic Bitchwax alongside bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik and then-drummer Keith Ackerman — since replaced by Bob Pantella — the question was how the New Jersey-based three-piece would ever recover from the departure of guitarist Ed Mundell. Ryan, who did not participate in the Bitchwax‘s Summer 2018 European tour and today announces his own departure from the band, would play on five studio albums — the bulk of their catalog — and form a dynamic with Kosnik and Pantella in the studio and on stage that was largely unmatched. With an intent to get and stay clean, Ryan will look ahead to new projects.

Now also serving as the rhythm section of Monster Magnet, Kosnik and Pantella recruited that band’s lead guitarist, Garrett Sweeney, to fill the third spot on the last tour, but no word on whether that’s a permanent situation. The Atomic Bitchwax are just one of the Tee Pee Records acts slated to take part in Desertfest NYC 2019 next May.

I helped Ryan put together this announcement and was humbled to be asked to do so:

finn ryan the atomic bitchwax

Guitarist Finn Ryan to Leave The Atomic Bitchwax

Guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan of New Jersey-based heavy rockers has announced his departure from the band. Ryan, who also founded Core in 1996, joined The Atomic Bitchwax in 2005, revitalizing the band founded by bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik after a split with original guitarist Ed Mundell.

Ryan’s first album with The Atomic Bitchwax was 2005’s 3, and he would go on to play with them through the Boxriff EP/live album, 2008’s T4B, 2011’s The Local Fuzz, 2015’s Gravitron and 2017’s Force Field. Following The Local Fuzz, the three-piece of Kosnik, Ryan and drummer Bob Pantella commenced an album cycle of busier touring in the US, Europe and beyond, and Gravitron took on a harder-hitting, ultra-tight sound because of it.

Ryan did not participate in the band’s latest European run in July/August, ceding guitar duties to Garrett Sweeney (also Monster Magnet). He elaborates on the decision:

“After the last tour we did in the States, I decided to enter rehab for my addiction issues. For a long time, I have struggled with anxiety and depression which led to unhealthy coping methods. My situation became so critical that I had to enter treatment and unfortunately miss a European tour.

“While in treatment, I came to understand my health is the most important thing in my life, and, consequently, I have decided to take a step back and stop performing with The Atomic Bitchwax.”

The interplay of Ryan not only on guitar but in sharing vocal duties with Kosnik helped redefine The Atomic Bitchwax’s dynamic as unmistakable along the Eastern Seaboard or elsewhere. In 2013, Kosnik joined Pantella as a member of Monster Magnet, but still, The Atomic Bitchwax kept to a busy schedule of recording and touring.

“I’ve had an amazing last 13 years with Bob and Chris — two incredibly talented musicians and really great people,” Ryan notes. “I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting tons of awesome fans, and fellow musicians who have kindly reached out to me to show their support.”

Signed to Tee Pee Records, The Atomic Bitchwax have been confirmed for the lineup of the inaugural Desertfest New York in 2019. No word on whether Sweeney or another player will step into the guitarist role.

As for Ryan, he says, “With this new outlook on life, I plan on moving forward with my music, and am currently working on some new projects and always have room to consider working with other touring musicians. Anyone interested in getting in touch with me, can hit me up on Instagram at @FinnFRyan, and/or finnfryan@gmail.com.”

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8 Responses to “Finn Ryan Announces Departure from The Atomic Bitchwax”

  1. Robb says:

    A very serious blow to my favorite band. Seems like every time this band starts to take off and forge new ground, someone leaves the band. I sure hope that they continue on, and good luck to Finn. Your sound will be missed.

  2. Mark says:

    Bummer. One of my favorite bands. Have dug every release and listen to them regularly. Hope they find a suitable replacement and continue.

  3. Stephen says:

    Truly sad news for Bitchwax. Finn, you’re an incredible guitarist. Wish you all the best, and hope to hear you tearing it up with a new project soon. Peace, buddy.

  4. Stephen says:

    Hope to hear Finn in a new project soon. Stay healthy, buddy. You got my support. Peace.

  5. jose humberto says:

    Bring Ed back!

  6. Dave Booth says:

    As far as replacements go, it’s hard to beat Garret Sweeney. The guy is fantastic. If they play their material as tight as Monster Magnet did on the last tour, there will be great things ahead for the band.

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