A week after announcing his departure from WHITESNAKE, guitarist Doug Aldrich has released a new statement explaining the reasons behind his decision to leave the group as well as offering a glimpse into his musical future.
Said Doug: "As there is still some question regarding my situation with WHITESNAKE, I want to officially clear the air.
"I can confirm that on May 7th, I made the insanely difficult decision to leave the WHITESNAKE band.
"At that time, although not contractually bound, I moved forward with David [Coverdale, WHITESNAKE singer and leader] starting pre-production for an upcoming WHITESNAKE project. Coinciding with my with the start of that project, I also had several recording and live commitments, so I needed a more flexible schedule to conclude these before going full force as normal. Unfortunately, my schedule was not workable.
"As usual, the results between me and David were extremely positive and fun, so that made the decision even harder.
"I treasured my 11-plus years in the band. Two studio records, two DVDs, three live records and roughly 30 Coverdale/Aldrich songs! Killer...
"The privilege of being an ambassador for WHITESNAKE is a responsibility I took very seriously.
"David started the band 35 years ago with high integrity. It was an honor to maintain that standard while I was in. And now, like lots of great things, it has come to an end.
"I want to thank the great WHITESNAKE band. Reb [Beach, guitar], Michael [Devin, bass], Tommy [Aldridge, drums], Big Foot [Brian] Tichy, Rudy [Sarzo], Marco [Mendoza], Uriah [Duffy], Timothy [Drury] and the Fraz [Chris Frazier] for the good times, great shows and records always kicking major ass over these years. The opportunity travel the world together with such amazing musicians in so many countries was just unreal.
"For me, this is a new beginning and area of my musical future. I'll definitely be moving forward working on new music, recording and touring and will have a bit more time to pursue some offers that I never had time to fit in before. A fresh start, new ideas, and another chance to push myself as a musician.
"Thank you, brother DC, for the great times and for allowing me space to put my heart and soul into the history of your great band."
Aldrich played on the last two WHITESNAKE studio albums, 2008's "Good To Be Bad" and 2011's "Forevermore", and appeared on several live releases, including last year's "Made In Japan" and "Made In Britain/The World Records".
Asked in a 2013 interview with Classic Rock Revisited how he has been able to stay in WHITESNAKE so long considering how "tough on guitar players" David has been throughout the years, Doug said: "Honestly, I think he really cares about how hard I work and how much I care about his musical vision. I might make a mistake and overstep my bounds, now and then, but David knows I am only doing it because I really care. I think that is a part of it. My style fits in with him, as well. Reb [Beach, WHITESNAKE's other guitarist] and I really work well together for WHITESNAKE as well.
Doug added: "I think for me, [Coverdale] is at the point to where he does not need to prove anything to anybody, but he still wants to move forward, anyway. I love that. At the same time, I'm going, 'Let's try this!' I am not pushing him, but I am enthusiastic about our music. I love the guy and he is one of a kind and I have a lot of respect for the fact that he is still going for it. I love being in WHITESNAKE and David knows it. By the same token, if David said to me that he wanted to go back to any one of the past guitar players, I would absolutely respect that and I would be appreciative of everything that we've done together."
Regarding how he came to join WHITESNAKE, Doug said: "When David first contacted me about doing WHITESNAKE, I had heard he was going to reform the version of WHITESNAKE with John Sykes. I said, 'David, there is no reason for you to talk to me if you're thinking of getting back with Sykes. I have my own thing to offer and I am not going to be in a band with him.' David said,'No, no, no, I want you.' So I thought, 'Yes!' 'Okay, cool. Let's talk.'
"There was a period, in 2003, where he said that he might do something with previous members and he wondered if I would consider being a part of it. At the time, I said no because I hadn't put my mark on WHITESNAKE yet. It wouldn't have felt right to me at that early time. Now we have 30-plus songs together and I'm very proud of them. Now we jam with past members all the time and its fun. I am humble and inspired working with David and very thankful for our relationship."
Aldrich has spent the past few months performing with Raiding The Rock Vault — dubbed "the ultimate classic rock concert experience" — which plays the LVH Hotel And Casino in Las Vegas four or five times a week. Boasting the ultimate set list, the show takes audiences on a magical musical journey, traversing the genre's history from the '60s through the '80s.
Raiding The Rock Vault features classic anthems from THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO, THE DOORS, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX, THE EAGLES, QUEEN, VAN HALEN, AC/DC, JOURNEY, FREE, BRYAN ADAMS, SUPERTRAMP, TOTO, DEEP PURPLE, and more.