HALFORD have announced that producer Roy Z will remain in the group as a session guitarist for the remainder of the band's upcoming touring activities."Well we're going to backpedal a bit," HALFORD manager John Baxter wrote on the band's official web site. "After 7 shows (3 U.S. & 4 in Japan), Rob [Halford] has pointed out that the band are working so well together, there is no need to bring in another guitarist at this point in time. Roy Z's producing schedule was the motivating factor in locating a new guitarist [as soon as possible]. However, after several conversations, Roy has agreed to work his schedule around the band's forthcoming tours. "Inevitably, many will ask if submissions for the position will continue to be accepted, and our response is yes. We will bring [original choice for new second guitarist] Chad [Tarrington] back in later this summer, and we'll also conduct several auditioning sessions, so we're certain we've considered all potential candidates." In other news, Baxter has announced that, contrary to previous reports indicating that HALFORD bassist Ray Riendeau would leave the band to tend to undisclosed personal matters, he has now apparently decided to stay in the group. HALFORD's next gig will take place on Feb. 28 at L'Amour in Brooklyn, New York.