Guitarist Peter Wichers has left Sweden's SOILWORK. His official statement on the matter reads as follows:
"I have decided to part ways with SOILWORK.
"This has been one of my hardest decisions to make, and SOILWORK has not only been my band but my second family and very good friends for almost 10 years.
"I'm just worn out from all the touring and I have reached a point in my life where touring is just not possible for me anymore. I need a break from the touring so that I can actually begin to build a more solid ground to stand on for the future.
"I have on this journey met so many amazing people, made so many new friends, played in front of thousands of people, and I got to travel to places I have always dreamt of visiting.
"SOILWORK has reached a level I never thought was possible, and I am so proud to have been a part of this amazing band experience and working alongside with such amazing people like I have.
"I know that in order for SOILWORK to reach a new level there has to be even more touring done, and I feel as if its only fair that someone else therefore fills my spot now instead of later.
"I have decided to continue with my second passion in life, which is music production & recording, and in order to achieve this goal I need to put all my time and energy into this.
"SOILWORK and me will remain great friends and I wish them all the success in the future. I also wish to extend a gigantic 'THANK YOU' to all the fans, the label, friends & bands and magazines for the great support and encouragement. I can also say that this is not the end for me in music, but the beginning of something new!"
In other news, drummer Dirk Verbeuren — who played on the band's most recent CD, "Stabbing the Drama", and has been touring with the group as a session drummer — has announced the he will be joining SOILWORK as a permanent member of the group. His statement follows:
"It has been almost two years since Peter first gave me a call offering me to join SOILWORK for their first headlining tour in Europe.
"Many tours and one album later, I feel like a part of the family. Be it on a human or musical level, everything has clicked perfectly since day one, and it has been a truly mindblowing experience. Therefore I am very happy to announce my becoming SOILWORK's official full-time drummer!
"As some of you may already know, I also play in my own band SCARVE, and I will keep on doing so. Schedules will probably be hectic at times, but SCARVE will keep on writing music and touring as much as possible.
"It's a time of many changes, but the future is ours and SOILWORK has many more things to offer. We are all very confident about what lies ahead, and we WILL kick your asses!!!"
Commented SOILWORK vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid:
"Peter's decision came of course as a shock to me and the other guys in the band. I want you to know that we really respect his decision and that we wish him all the luck in the future.
"His decision will not affect SOILWORK's touring, we will continue just as planned. A replacement will be announced in a month or so and i can assure you that we won't make you disappointed even though it's really hard replacing such an amazing musician and a loyal friend.
"I also want to take the time to welcome our amazing drummer and good friend Mr. Dirk Verbeuren on board. He´s been with us for almost two years as a session drummer and has now confirmed his permanent spot in the band.
"We will announce European tourdates in about 2 weeks. This will mainly contain dates in countries that we missed out on the previous headline tour. Tourdates for the U.S. will also be announced in a near future...
"At last, I wanna say that I'll forever treasure every single moment I shared with Peter and wish him all the best, you rock bro!!!"