According to HardDrive Radio, Rob Patterson — former OTEP guitarist who was in the back-up band for KORN's Family Values Tour in 2006 — is replacing KORN guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer on the band's current European trek.
Shaffer left the tour for "personal and family reasons," according to a statement posted by the band at its official web site. Singer Jonathan Davis said, "We fully support Munky's need to be home right now and because we want to come through for all of our European fans, the tour will go on. It's what Munky wants us to do, too. We promise to give it our all every night!"
In a MySpace bulletin, Munky stated about his decision to leave the tour, "If you want to better understand my departure, then listen to the words in the song 'Watching the Wheels' by John Lennon."
Although his departure is not seen as permanent, Shaffer is the third original member of KORN to exit in the last three years. Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch left in early 2005, while drummer David Silveria went on "temporary hiatus" in late 2006 and has yet to return.
Shaffer posted an update online just a few days ago, saying that he had a "big surprise announcement coming very, very soon" about his future plans.
KORN's current touring lineup includes guitarist Shane Gibson and ex-ARMY OF ANYONE drummer Ray Luzier, in addition to remaining original members Davis and bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu.