When Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks announced their intentions to leave the Allman Brothers Band in early 2014, it seemed to most people that the two guitarists were stepping down independently of the rest of the band.
But as Warren Haynes reveals in the July 2015 issue of Guitar Player, what happened behind the scenes was much more complicated.
As he tells writer Jimmy Leslie:
“The way that actually went down is very confusing. During several meetings over about a three-year span, the band decided to call it quits after the 45th anniversary. As it got closer and closer to fruition, at least one band member started getting cold feet—but keeping it together wasn’t a possibility for Derek or I. We had already made plans well beyond the next year or two.
“It all came about when [Allman Brothers drummer] Butch [Trucks] ‘accidentally on purpose’ told a small group of people on a Jam Cruise that Derek was leaving the band, which was not true. Writers from Relix and Rolling Stone were on the boat. They called ABB manager Bert Holman, who claimed he didn’t know anything about it.
“ ‘We’ll give you a few days to sort it out,’ they said, ‘but we’re going to have to write something.’
“ ‘I feel like I’ve got to make a statement either way,’ Derek told me on the phone.
“ ‘For five or six years we’ve been saying that if one of us left the band, then we would both leave, because neither wants to be there without the other,’ I responded.
“So we decided to make a joint statement, even though it convoluted the truth that it was a group decision to stop in 2014. It turned into an interpretation that he and I made that decision. People eventually saw so many different statements that nobody knew what to believe.”
For more of this interview with Warren Haynes—including a discussion of his gear, setups, new solo album Ashes and Dust, the Sco-Mule archival release of a 1999 Gov’t Mule performance with John Scofield, and his legacy with the Allman Brothers—pick up the July 2015 issue of Guitar Player.