Oklahoma hard rockers HINDER have officially parted ways with their lead singer, Austin Winkler.Earlier this year, Winkler left the band's national tour due to personal reasons. HINDER continued to tour with guest lead vocalists helping out, including Jared Weeks from SAVING ABEL. "I'm really proud of what we accomplished over the years," says HINDER drummer (and songwriter/producer) Cody Hanson. "We hold no animosity towards Austin, and wish him the best. Although it was a difficult decision, it was the best thing for everyone involved and time for us to move on" He continued: "This summer/fall tour was a tough one. "We want to thank the fans for all their overwhelming support. We couldn't have made it through everything without you. "We are very excited about the future of HINDER and can't wait to share the next chapter with all of you!" According to The Pulse Of Radio, HINDER apparently wanted "American Idol" season seven winner David Cook to fill in temporarily for Winkler this past summer. HINDER manager Kevin "Chief" Zaruk told The Hollywood Reporter, "David Cook was at the top of our list." He added that season 10's James Durbin was also in the running, saying, "We would've loved to have either, but the timing didn't work out."
Cook turned down the offer in order to continue to work on his own music, but was said to have been "very interested" in the gig. Zaruk also confirmed that Winkler had entered rehab for the second time in his career, saying, "We just want him to get healthy and get happy." HINDER's fourth studio album, "Welcome To The Freakshow", came out last year.