Guitarist Jason Hook has formally left Five Finger Death Punch, to be replaced, as expected, by Andy James. Following emergency gallbladder surgery at the end of last year, Hook had to leave the band’s European Tour midway through to address further complications.
Jason Hook tells us: “I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of you in person. Thank you for the endless stories of how our music has touched your heart in some way!
“But the best part of being on tour the last 12 years, by far, has been playing my guitar and seeing the joy on your faces every night.
“I will miss that more than anything. As far the reason I’m leaving…well, there really isn’t just one. I’ve been in bands my entire life and I feel like I’ve done all the good that I can here.
“It’s time to pass the baton and move on to new challenges.”
Guitarist Zoltan Bathory said: “Jason is an incredible guitar player, so we had to find someone on the absolute top of their game.
“Someone like Andy James, who was already a well-known virtuoso and had the chops to step into Jason’s shoes. Andy completed our European Tour with us back in February so he was already tried by fire.
“We instantly clicked both musically and personally so he was the obvious choice.
“We even have the same birthday… Some things are just meant to be.”
Vocalist Ivan Moody said: “I just congratulated Jason on his recent wedding and I hope he finds peace and happiness.
“As for us, I’m really excited to keep working with Andy and I just can’t wait for this COVID-19 madness to be over so we can go back out on the road.”
And James added: “I’m excited to announce I have joined 5FDP 👊🏻.
“2020 has definitely had it’s up and downs for all of us, but there’s still hope awesome things can and do happen! I want to thank everyone who’s reached out with positive messages of support and to the Five Finger Death Punch fans for making me feel more than welcome.
“Also big thanks to Ivan Moody, Zoltan Bathory, Chris Kael and Charlie Engen for trusting me to embark on the next chapter of the band.
“Thank you and see you all very soon.”