Tony Choy, former bassist for the reactivated seminal technical metal pioneers ATHEIST, has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding his departure from the group:
"This is a courtesy statement to all my fans due to the surprising comments by ATHEIST concerning my absence on the new album.
"I would like to clarify that I was not dismissed from ATHEIST. I left on good terms and made a courtesy call to Steve Flynn [drums] ahead of time stating that my heart was not into the music and that I couldn't be a part of something that I just didn't feel right about.
"Also, I would like to make clear that the business logistics where never clear nor concrete from the word go in regards to this new album.
"This is a statement strictly for my fans so you know the truth and you hear my personal voice in this matter.
"I wish ATHEIST the best.
"I have always been a huge fan of the ATHEIST legacy and music and them saying that I just rode on the coattails of [late ATHEIST bassist] Roger Patterson left me very insulted and hurt by people who I considered friends.
"I have always respected and given credit to Roger and may he continue to rest in peace. He was not only a solid bass player but my friend as well.
"For the record, I do music for music. I embrace all styles of music and I play all styles of music. Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy anything that is good music.
"I am Tony Choy and I play bass like Tony Choy and I consider all musicians to be good musicians. As long as you have passion towards your music, regardless of style, then you are truly a good musician.
"I am not in this industry to be competitive. Like my father always says, 'Tony, there is always somebody better out there.' So I just seek to be original.
"I thank you all for always supporting me. Without the fans, we are nothing.
"I would like announce that I have my first official project called SYNCHRONICITY. The album should be done by the end of August we are looking for an october release. My fellow band members are guitarist Santiago Dobles from AGHORA, drummer Matt Thompson from KING DIAMOND and AGHORA, myself on bass, Arbise 'Motif' Gonzales on keys and programming, and some surprising guest artists.
"This is a metal album with many elements of all styles and our roots. It is a real fusion album loaded with 100% heavy metal balls , groove and tech.
"The band is managed my great friend and fellow musician Frank Watkins and Back From The Dead Productions.
"You will soon see us on tour to support our new release coming soon!"
ATHEIST recently completed work on its long-awaited fourth album, "Jupiter", for a tentative November release via Season Of Mist. The CD was recorded at LedBelly studios in Atlanta, Georgia with engineer Matt Washburn and was mixed by Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, CHIMAIRA, DEVILDRIVER). The bass tracks on the effort were laid down by ATHEIST guitarist Jonathan Thompson, who also plays bass for Flynn's other group, GNOSTIC.
Regarding Choy's split from ATHEIST, the band said, "Tony was never instrumental to ATHEIST's sound in the first place. The true genius behind the technical bass lines of 'Unquestionable Presence' was co-founding member Roger Patterson. . . Roger actually wrote all the bass tracks just prior to his ultimately sad and tragic death and deserves the credit. Tony simply played what was written . . . Tony had no influence on the band's original sound . . . [and his] contribution to the sound of ATHEIST consists only of his participation as a fifth contributing member in writing 'Elements'." (ATHEIST's full statement regarding Choy's departure can be found at this location.)
Photo below courtesy of ATHEIST's MySpace page