Don Doty, the original lead singer of classic late '80s/early '90s California thrashers DARK ANGEL, has released the following statement regarding the band's upcoming reunion plans:
"Our dearest fans,
"It is with sadness that I see the events of the last days... and I cannot believe how far things have gone.
"When I headed out to start a reunion, I would have never dreamed things would have gone this far.
"I am saddened that you, our dearest fans, had to see this whole mess, and for my part, I apologize.
"There were many reasons why I left [DARK ANGEL] after 'Darkness Descends' — family but also drugs. I had lost my way and did what I thought was best for me and my family. Perhaps that was selfish of me.
"There had been at that time and afterwards other things going on in [DARK ANGEL], and should I be a lesser man, I would go and open that old can of worms. But it has been a long time, and some things should stay private for the sake of everyone involved. There is right and wrong on all sides, and that is all I shall say about this.
"I had hoped that the old grudges would have laid long enough for us as a band to be able to get over them and remember the good times of our friendship and give our fans the reunion they had asked for. Sadly, I was wrong, and I will take this opportunity to apologize to our fans for my mistake. I thought we could all be friends again and I opened my arms to all of my old friends without excluding anybody. Sadly, the things that were said to my face were not the things that had been said behind my back, and this lead to the current mess.
"I will not allow this to continue and stain our legacy any longer. The rest of the band have shown what they wanted, and I will obey their decision.
"If there is no room for Don Doty in DARK ANGEL, I will find my place somewhere else. I did not imagine my return to music to happen outside of DARK ANGEL, but life is full of surprises.
"I will not give up.
"I wish my fellow members of [DARK ANGEL] all the best with a reunion that will hopefully go better than the one in 2002."
DARK ANGEL's management issued a statement yesterday accusing Don Doty of displaying a "lack of responsibility" by posting "false information" and starting "unfounded rumors" that have been "creating confusion" among the group's fans. The management confirmed that DARK ANGEL will reform for a limited number of appearances in 2014 with a lineup that will feature Gene Hoglan (drums), Jim Durkin (guitar), Ron Rinehart (vocals) and Michael Gonzalez (bass). Guitarist Eric Meyer is also expected to be involved.
Doty made an online posting earlier this week in which he claimed that Hoglan would not take part in the DARK ANGEL reunion because Gene was "unable to make the practices" due to his "many commitments."
DARK ANGEL guitarist Jim Durkin said in a statement last month that any talk of the band's reunion was "premature," and added that "when I was last in the band, Ron Rinehart was my singer. And IF the band were to come back and continue. he would STILL be my singer. He was our rock when we needed him and there is NO WAY I would do this without him. He and I talk daily and are as close now as ever. If anything, all this talk has brought us all back into more frequent contact! Which is a wonderful thing."
DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — 1984's "We Have Arrived" and 1986's "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Ron Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — 1989's "Leave Scars" and 1991's "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992. Rinehart, Hoglan and Meyer reassembled DARK ANGEL more than a decade ago but were forced to abandon their reunion plans after health issues reportedly put an end to Rinehart's singing career.
Asked what he has been doing since leaving DARK ANGEL in 1987, Doty told Germany's Radio Gehacktes last month: "It's a long story, and at the same time, it's a short one. I basically started a family and showed up to my last show [with DARK ANGEL] and told the guys, 'Hey, look, [I have a] baby [on the way] and I can't be on the road and do the family thing; it was just too hard for me. There were too many beautiful women in the world and there were too many other opportunities to go off the deep end, and I just could not do that. So with that being said, I took a step back and I told the guys, 'There will be a day and I will come back and we will finish what we started."
Doty added that his reasons for wanting to put DARK ANGEL back together are pure. "I'm here for the fans, because they've been there for me and it's their turn," he said. "Let's get back and let's have some fun."