Former ANNIHILATOR drummer Randy Black has issued a statement countering the band's official account of his departure from the group.
In ANNIHILATOR's press release announcing their split with Black (dated October 9), mainman Jeff Waters claimed that "despite having guaranteed the band that he would be performing on their upcoming new release, and being scheduled to record drum tracks in five weeks, [Black's] last-minute 'requests' made it impossible to continue a positive working relationship [with him]."
Writing on the official web site of German power metallers PRIMAL FEAR (whom he recently joined as a full-time member), Black dismissed Waters' account as "not true" and attributed his split with the band to the guitarist's heavy-handed negotiating tactics.
"You probably all know by now that I'm not in ANNIHILATOR anymore," Randy's statement begins. "I don't want to turn this into a mudslinging-fest, but as Jeff has placed statements on the Internet that are not true, I have to protect my reputation and can't let this go by without comment. So here is my side of the story:
"Jeff and I were in negotiations for the next CD and touring cycle. September 6th we signed a letter of intent, with a final contract to be worked out later. After weeks of negotiations Jeff sent me his final proposal on October 8th. At that point I had already agreed on recording 10-16 drum tracks in November for a very modest amount of money to be paid by April 2004 (or whenever the street release date would be).
"I was also to get a % of future CD profits, which I would lose immediately if I missed a single ANNIHILATOR gig or press appointment for anything other than medical reasons. This contract made it clear that I would only be recording the CD if I committed to touring for a minimum of 350 EUR per week plus a five way split of any possible profit made on tour. I've toured with ANNIHILATOR for the last years and know for a fact that there is little to no profit made on tour. This summer I toured for nearly no income! I think I've proven my intentions of good will and commitment to ANNIHILATOR by going out for so little money. The minimum I was asking for now was hardly more per week, which Jeff completely refused.
"There were more questionable points to the contract, which we discussed over those weeks. So it is just not true that it was my last-minute demands that caused the negotiations to fail. I regret thoroughly that it didn't work out with Jeff because I really loved playing in ANNIHILATOR. I thought the line-up with Joe, Russ and Curran was the best ever! I'd like to thank the ANNIHILATOR fans for their support over the years. I had a great time playing for you every single night.
"Hope to see you soon on Devil's Ground! Randy Black"