Britain's EARTHTONE9, once considered to be among the country's brightest metal hopefuls, will be splitting up following their April 13th gig at The Garage in London. Here is a statement on the matter from guitarist Joe Roberts:As many people are already aware, the future of EARTHTONE9 has been hanging in the balance for a while, and in my view things have not been ideal within the band for a while. There has been no outward malice, just a feeling that we were not all pulling in a unified direction with where we believed the music should be heading, and how we wanted to be perceived by the people who listened to our music. I feel as though at some point, perhaps as long ago as a year (or possibly longer), in some quarters an obsession with commercial success usurped the enjoyment and satisfaction we all strove for from the beginning of EARTHTONE9, and without that sense of a common purpose, it was inevitable I guess that eventually this would lead to the end of the band. In any band there must be compromises, simply because no one person can control all parts of how the whole band performs, writes and looks. But in some ways, I feel that the compromises became too unequal, and this left people feeling more frustrated by their feelings of impotence and irrelevance in deciding how the band operated and set its standards. Having said all of this, the last 6 years have been full of good times, laughs, stress, excitement, boredom and fulfillment and I feel grateful to have played my part in a band that achieved much more success than I ever dared hope for. I enjoyed the time we had, and feel that if we were to carry on as EARTHTONE9, it would feel like a contrived and fake version of what should, by rights, be everything or nothing at all. There should be no lowering of standards with the intent of staying together regardless, and I trust that people who are fans of the band will appreciate this. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the friends we made, the people who genuinely cared (and still do) for the band and the music it made. The people who made me feel so welcome and who ultimately made the greatest difference to the belief I had in myself, and made it seem so much more important that we took EARTHTONE9 as far as we could. To these people I am most grateful. Thank you. At this time, it is believed that EARTHTONE9 vocalist Karl Middleton will continue work on a side project with former PITCHSHIFTER live guitarist Matt Grundy, while EARTHTONE9 guitarist Owen Packard will remain involved with his STANDING DEAD CENTRE project (featuring LIBERTY 37 vocalist Ishmael Lewis and SUNNA drummer Richie Mills). Roberts, meanwhile, is believed to be working on solo material.