Drummer Richard Christy has issued the following statement regarding his decision to leave ICED EARTH:
"Hello, Richard Christy here. I just wanted to say a few things about my decision to leave ICED EARTH. First off, it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I spent many sleepless nights wondering what to do before I made the final decision to leave the band.
"The reason I'm leaving is because at the end of June I will be auditioning to work for a legendary show that I have been a fan of for many, many years, 'The Howard Stern Show'. Howard Stern's show got me through many years of working at a day job that I didn't really enjoy, my electrician job in Orlando, Florida.
"When I heard that I was one of the ten finalists to try out for Stuttering John's job I could not believe it, it was a dream come true to even be considered. I also want to let everyone know that I don't yet have the job, I am just auditioning for the job at the end of June, then the audience will vote for who they want to replace Stuttering John. This made the decision even harder because right now I am living a metal drummer's dream by playing in one of my favorite metal bands, but the week that I am auditioning for Stuttering John's job on Howard Stern conflicts with ICED EARTH's tour schedule. What it comes down to is that if I didn't try out for the job on Howard Stern I would regret it every day for the rest of my life because that would be the greatest job I could ever dream of having.
"I really don't look forward to going back to my electrician job after touring, so if I work my ass off and do a good job working for Howard then maybe my dream will come true and I can have a permanent job working for the greatest show in the history of radio. Whatever happens, I will definitely still keep playing music, I've played the drums for twenty years now and I will never stop playing.
"Finally I want to say that I love the guys in ICED EARTH and I love the music that I've made with them over the past four years, I am a very lucky guy to have had the chance to tour around the world with one of my favorite metal bands and I'm very sorry for any trouble that I have caused by making this decision. Bobby Jarzombek is my favorite drummer and I am very much looking forward to hearing him play with the band, I know he will do an amazing job.
"Thanks and take care."