BLESSED IN BLACK, the new hard rock band featuring former NOTHINGFACE members Tom Maxwell (guitar), Jerry Montano (DANZIG, ex-THE DEADLIGHTS) and Tommy Sickles (drums), have confirmed the departure of singer Billy Keeton (ex-SKRAPE).
Commented Montano in an online posting: "After over a year of hard work (on our end as a band), we have been feeling like the band has been showing little progress. It is really too bad it has come to this as we had a lot of heart invested in Billy and the band. Myself, Tom Maxwell and Tommy Sickles have spent countless hours writing, recording and re-inventing ourselves musically as writers over this past few years (not to mention how much money WE spent on this venture and how many bumpy motherfucking flights I've endured).
"This journey has and is by NO means a defeat or a bad thing at all, as we have found a new love for our talents and respect for each other. Furthermore, KNOW this: Something fierce is about to begin! Maxwell, Sickles and myself have a special magic and share a bond that succeeds by far ANY from our pasts. We have known this since we shared the stage and lives together through the NOTHINGFACE 'Violence' era. The 'session' in question was nothing more than us wanting to see what working with someone of great caliber [referring to a rumored collaboration with DISTURBED frontman David Draiman] would bring to light. We ALL wanted it to go down.
"We had a great time writing and playing the songs. Unfortunately, it got to a point where Maxwell, Sickles and I were no longer feeling the passion for it. However, after the way this went down via Internet, Maxwell, Sickles and myself have nothing left to say other than we will no longer have anything to do with this matter.
"Over the past few months we have come to realize what and who we are,
WHAT we need to do and know exactly WHERE we belong.
"A beast has been sleeping. Stay tuned."
In an earlier online posting, Keeton had the following to say regarding his departure from the group:
"It was real while it was real, and I wish Tom, Tommy, and Gerald all the luck in the world. The band had promise. I won't ever slam the body of work we have. Maybe somehow people can hear this band called BLESSED IN BLACK that we created. But lack of progress and other projects being put on hold have led to its end. I also want to clear some things up: There was never going to be a Dave Draiman/Billy Keeton collaboration. That was one of Montano's ideas that I felt pushed into, and just so the world knows I WAS NOT INTO IT AT ALL... Dave, sorry that shit got out like that, man. Tom Maxwell is without a doubt a true player, and I feel this may have damaged our friendship some, 'cause he HASN'T CALLED in forever. Tom, I love you, man, where you at?! As for my next thing... well, it's something I started a while back with Bobby Burns (ex-PRIMER 55). We've wanted to do this for a long time and some of our songs more recently have just came out to cool to ignore. Check out his site at BobbyBurns.com for updates. Last, I want to apologize to all the people who believed in the music that Tom, Jerry, Tommy and I were making. You're the reason we kept it going and you rule. 'Nuff said."