Former DARK ANGEL and current DREAMS OF DAMNATION/PAGAN WAR MACHINE guitarist Jim Durkin has spoken out on his non-participation in the upcoming DARK ANGEL reunion tour.The Los Angeles-based thrashers, who were set to embark on a West Coast mini-tour in early December, have replaced Durkin in the group's lineup with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD axeman Jed Simon. The Canadian guitarist will join the rest of the band — drummer Gene Hoglan, guitarist Eric Meyer, vocalist Ron Rinehart, and bassist Danyael — at the rescheduled West Coast dates in the spring, to be followed by an appearance at Wacken Open Festival in Wacken, Germany in early August. Durkin's statement regarding his departure from the group is as follows: "Regardless of what people are saying, regardless of what people are hearing or think they are hearing... everyone has theories and opinions regarding me leaving DARK ANGEL. That's fine. My reasons are just that — MINE. This will be my first and last posting regarding me being replaced in DARK ANGEL. "I was unable to commit to the December tour. Nor did I feel we would be ready with no bass player and drummer to rehearse with. I just felt — as did certain other members at the time — that we would not have enough rehearsal time for it. That story seems to have changed now. Also the fact remains I would not be able to commit to anything after December so far in advance. So the remaining members decided to replace me. This is fine by me. The little bit we did get to play together was fun. They have excellent help in booking all upcoming shows, and although I don't know Jed, he IS an awesome player. So I apologize to the fans for the delay and wish the DARK ANGEL guys luck. And I'll just leave it at that."
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