BULLETBOYS have parted ways with original members Jimmy D'Anda (drums) and Mick Sweda (guitar).
Mick said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We as BULLETBOYS were scheduled to play the Whisky [A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on December 16], and, unfortunately, at the last minute, realized that Lonnie [Vencent] wasn't gonna be able to make it. So that gig kind of went down the tubes. And if the truth were to be known, that gig was to be Jimmy's last. He decided that he wasn't gonna continue on.
"Anybody that knows anything about this band knows that volatility was a huge component in both its success and everything else," he continued. "So that was something that we expected to deal with at the Whisky gig. What I wasn't sure about at that point was how it was all gonna turn out. I suppose there was a hope that everything would be resolved and we would play the gig and everybody would be happy and we could come to some resolution; at least that was my fervent hope. But it was not to be. And so, as a result of all that, I have also decided that I'm not gonna be continuing on with BULLETBOYS.
"So, unfortunately, even though there are gigs booked, and I am sure they will be played, you won't be seeing Jimmy and you won't be seeing me at these gigs. So in spite of whatever pictures you see, in spite of whatever press you see, BULLETBOYS is not going to, unfortunately, be the all-original members anymore. And I am very sure it won't be ever again."
Sweda went on to reiterate that "BULLETBOYS, in whatever form it's going to take, is not going to be all original. It won't include myself; it won't include Jimmy. So these shows that you'll see advertised, just know that going in. And feel free to spread the word too, because, obviously, my main concern is that people are expecting one thing and getting another, and we definitely can't have that."
As for the reason he and D'Anda have opted to leave BULLETBOYS two years after the reunion of the band's original lineup was first announced, Sweda said: "In the past, I know it's been brought up that anybody who isn't in BULLETBOYS has quit on the fans. And that may or may not be something you'll hear in interviews or whatever. And trust me, it has nothing to do with quitting on fans and everything to do with just not wanting to travel down a path that is fraught with strife and distrust and bitterness and everything else.
"It's really, at this point in our lives, imperative — at least for me; I'll speak for myself here — that I just remove all forms of toxicity," he explained. "And I'm sure all of you understand it just can't be a part of my life anymore. And the fact that we were all original and having some good shows and having a great time playing the shows — there's no doubt about that; I had a wonderful time and I was looking forward to doing it all of 2022 — but once it gets to a point where it's poisonous, you can't have it in your life…
"I'm grateful that everybody understands, and I apologize to you. I was really looking forward to this being a nice run, being a nice year and finding a way to make our way through it. But that is not to be."
The original BULLETBOYS lineup made its live return in December 2019 with a sold-out performance at the Whisky A Go Go.
Aside from one show in 2011, original BULLETBOYS members D'Anda, Sweda, Vencent and singer Marq Torien had not performed together since 1993.
BULLETBOYS formed in 1988 at the very peak of the Los Angeles glam metal movement. As a collection of talented musicians, BULLETBOYS were able to quickly capture the attention of music fans around the world. Unlike other rockers of the day, the BULLETBOYS possessed more hard rock-blues fusion than pure hair metal. Thanks to comparisons to the likes of AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN, talent scouts came running and the band quickly received their first major label contract.
BULLETBOYS' self-titled debut was released in 1988 via Warner Bros. and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned two hit singles, a cover of the O'JAYS classic "For The Love Of Money" and "Smooth Up in Ya", both of which charted on the Mainstream Rock chart and saw regular airplay on MTV. BULLETBOYS went on to release two more albums, 1991's "Freakshow" and 1993's "Za-Za", before splitting up.