Guitarist Patrick Lachman has left HALFORD in order to commit himself fully to his band DIESEL MACHINE.The following is frontman Rob Halford's official statement on Lachman's departure: "Last month, November 2002, Pat Lachman notified all of us at HALFORD Central that he had decided now was the time to commit himself fully to his band DIESEL MACHINE. Further, he wanted to focus on collaborations with several other musical contemporaries this coming year. Therefore, he would be unavailable for the forthcoming HALFORD tours. "Although we respected Pat's decisions, we did make multiple efforts to sway him into keeping the option of touring with HALFORD open. Sadly for us, Pat made matters official this past Wednesday — informing us that his decision to work on the above opportunities was what he felt was most important in his life at this time. "Myself, Bobby, Ray, Mike, Roy Z. and JB are enormously grateful to you, Pat, for the musical and emotional commitment extended to the band over the last 2 ½ - 3 years. We wish the best for you, and hope we will be able to collaborate with you again in the future. "The HALFORD band have been auditioning guitarists and I will announce in short time who will be stepping into the band for the forthcoming tours. For the time being, however, please take a moment and extend your thoughts and best wishes to Pat. We all would be very grateful if each of you continue to support him as he moves into the next phase of his career. "Thank You." "Rob Halford"