Richards was an integral part of the classic Hatebreed sound and is responsible for some classic riffs heard today and some are evident with various metalcore bands. Richards left Hatebreed in May 2002, which was a very difficult time for him. He acquired much pain over the years and he struggled with addiction. He did experience some peace, happiness and sobriety over the past year as he tried to free himself from the clutches of the addictions. On September 13, 2006, Richards committed suicide at the age of 35. Richards played on 1997's Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire and 2002's Perseverance before leaving the band later that year.