ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante and guitarist Scott Ian have issued separate statements confirming the departure of bassist Frank Bello. What follows are Charlie and Scott's statements in their entirety:
Charlie Benante: "Hey everyone in Anthraxland, I know things are getting out of control and I wanted to speak to our friends about this situation. The story is true — we have parted ways with Frankie. This was a difficult decision to make. We didn't want things to turn out this way, but they have. I can't get into "why" this happened, all I'll say is ANTHRAX were going one way and Frankie was going another.
"We have a ton of stuff coming up — 'Music Of Mass Destruction - Live From Chicago' CD and DVD, Japan/Australia, summer festivals and the live in the studio thingy. We are moving ahead and I hope that you will continue come with us.
"We have asked Joey Vera to fill in for the Japan/Australia dates. He's been so kind to help us out in this situation. I know everybody talks shit and it's sad that it happens. I hear the comparisons to KISS and all that shit and I'd like to say... Being in a band is like being married, some days you can handle it all and some days you just can't. People don't see eye to eye all the time, there is always some form of SCHISM. These problems can either be worked out or punched out (that's humor for the fans, not you shit posting jerk-offs). We will miss my Nephew and I hope he misses us too. Hopefully a separation is all this needs??? ... The back bunk on the left side of the bus will be available.
"I've said enough, Charlie B."
Scott Ian: "Comrades, I am sorry to say the rumors are true. Frank is out of the band. The details of the situation are personal and belong between the five people that make up ANTHRAX.
"I can only ask that for now, you respect this decision and give us the time and space to deal with it. I wish I had more to tell you. I know we owe you that as our loyal listeners. I can tell you that nothing is being cancelled. We are going to Japan and Australia as planned. Our good friend Joey Vera will be playing bass with us.
"On behalf of the rest of the band, I promise you that things will continue to move forward for all of us. Scott"