Veteran German metallers GRAVE DIGGER have issued the following update:
"We have to make an announcement that most of you probably never expected.
"A band like GRAVE DIGGER has to develop constantly. The problem is that this is only possible if the musicians have the same goal and the same attitude. And they have to feel good with what they are doing.
"If you have some permanent stress in the band, there is no more productive work possible and in the long run the music suffers from this situation.
"Unfortunately, there were so many disagreements recently building up between Manni [Schmidt, guitar] and Chris [Boltendahl, vocals] that this would affect the productivity and creativity in a bad way. Because of all this, Manni decided to leave GRAVE DIGGER. This happened by mutual consent.
"We wish Manni all the best for the future and say thank you for many nice and eventful years.
"But we also have some good news. There is no effect on the concerts that are already booked.
"The last word about the replacement guitar player is not spoken yet. We first want to wait for the results of the rehearsals. After this, we will introduce you to the replacement guitarist. We already spoke to a possible candidate and we will start the rehearsals in the next days."
Fan-filmed video footage of GRAVE DIGGER performing on the Sweden Rock Cruise, which departed from Stockholm on April 2, 2009, can be viewed below (courtesy of "blackopalrough").
"Ballads Of A Hangman", the latest album from GRAVE DIGGER, registered the following first-week chart positions:
The CD was released on January 9 via Austria's Napalm Records.