FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Rumored To Have Split With Guitarist DARRELL ROBERTS

According to Metal Sludge, a hot rumor floating around NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show this weekend is that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has fired guitarist Darrell Roberts and replaced him with Jason Hook.

Jason has worked with many acts over the years, including BULLETBOYS, STEPHEN PEARCY and VINCE NEIL. He also has a solo album out, called "Safety Dunce", which won the L.A. Music Award in 2005 for "Best Independent Instrumental Album." The CD saw Hook partnering with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH drummer and co-producer Jeremy Spencer to make a collection of recordings that strayed from traditional guitar instrumental music.

Video footage of Jason Hook rocking the axe for FPE-TV can be viewed below.

Darrell Roberts played guitar for W.A.S.P. for several years and took part in the "Neon God" recording and touring cycle. He was also a member of TUFF and he played the "James Hetfield" role in the popular late '90s West Coast METALLICA tribute band ALCHOLICA.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH was cited as one of the breakout rock bands of 2008, with their debut album, "The Way of the Fist", selling more than a quarter of a million copies and producing three singles, including the new "Stranger Than Fiction". With the new track climbing the charts and more touring on the horizon, singer Ivan Moody told The Pulse of Radio that the stakes are getting higher for the band in 2009. "It's getting intimidating, yeah," he said. "It seems like the more people falling into us, the more weight is put on our shoulders, the higher the expectations, but you know, I've never been one to run away from that kind of thing. For me, if it takes a little bit more pressure to get us out there to more people, and to make the shows better, I'm all about it. Bring as much of the pressure as you can possibly manage."

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's previous single, "Never Enough", was taken from an expanded edition of "The Way of the Fist" released late last year.

The group will head to the U.K. and Europe for a tour next month, possibly to be followed by more U.S. dates. The band also hopes to get into the studio and begin writing a new record this spring.

"The Way of the Fist" has sold 278,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Canadian version of the CD, which was released on November 4, includes a live version of "The Devil's Own" and an acoustic version of "The Bleeding".

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