FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook will sit out the remainder of the band's European tour because he needs additional time to recover after recently having his gallbladder removed. He will be replaced at the remaining shows on the trek by Andy James, widely regarded as one of the U.K.'s top rising stars in the world of shred and metal guitar.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH announced Hook's absence from the tour in a social media post on Tuesday (February 4) ahead of the band's concert in Hamburg, Germany. The group wrote: "Hamburg Knuckleheads, due to unforeseen circumstances, our brother Jason Hook will not be able to perform tonight. He needs additional time for his recovery and must step back from the current tour in order to have the opportunity to do so. We discussed this as a band and Jason's well-being is our priority — health comes first.
"It was Jason's express wish that we continue the tour so with Jason's blessing we have invited our friend Andy James who has agreed to step in and finish the tour for Jason.
"We are grateful for Andy stepping up and will continue to deliver the great show the fans deserve every night.
"We've been having an incredible run with our friends in MEGADETH and BAD WOLVES so far, and the vibe of the tour has been amazing. We look forward to seeing all the German fans next and appreciate all of you joining us in wishing Jason a speedy recovery."
James also issued a statement of his own, writing on Instagram: "As some of you may have heard I have been asked by @5fdp to come and fill in for Jason Hook as he heads home to better health as they finish their European tour. I'll do my best to help maintain the high level of show these guys smash out every night and do the material justice not just from a professional standpoint but also being a huge fan of the band!
"I'd like to thank @ivanmoody @zoltanbathory @5fdpchriskael @charlieengen and their amazing crew for making me feel very welcome as we complete the rest of the European shows for all you knuckleheads out there that wanna come and throw down."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's European tour will conclude on February 22 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Hook's operation took place on December 12, just hours after the band was forced to postpone a show in Duluth, Minnesota. The final two concerts of FIVE FINGER's fall 2019 tour were also called off: in Omaha, Nebraska and in Des Moines, Iowa. A representative for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH told TMZ at the time that the guitarist had been experiencing pain that prompted two visits to the emergency room. Finally, during a third ER visit, doctors determined Jason needed to have his gallbladder removed due to blockage.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will release its eighth album, "F8", on February 28 via Better Noise Music.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, our brother Jason Hook will not be able to perform tonight. He...
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As some of you may have heard I have been asked by @5fdp to come and fill in for Jason Hook as he heads home to better health as they finish their European tour. I’ll do my best to help maintain the high level of show these guys smash out every night and do the material justice not just from a professional standpoint but also being a huge fan of the band! I’d like to thank @ivanmoody @zoltanbathory @5fdpchriskael @charlieengen and their amazing crew for making me feel very welcome as we complete the rest of the European shows for all you knuckleheads out there that wanna come and throw down????AJ Photo credit @wombatfire
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