Orange Goblin / Martyn Millard departs as 2021 live dates confirmed

Orange Goblin recently celebrated their 25th anniversary with the recent live shows at The Dome, Tufnell Park. During the show, which was streamed to a global audience, it was announced that bassist and founding member Martyn Millard was to leave the band.

The anniversary celebrations were originally planned for December 2020, but COVID-19 delayed those. However, the band have replaced Millard with Harry Armstrong, and having signed a new record deal and announced plans for a new album, there are some 2021 UK shows to look forward to. Orange Goblin will also be performing at Bloodstock, Dynamo Metalfest, Headbangers Balls, Night of Salvation and Dome of Rock festivals.

Martyn Millard told us, “After thinking over my decision for some time, I informed Ben, Chris and Joe, over Christmas 2019 that I would depart at the end of 2020. It’s the hardest decision I have ever had to make but ultimately the correct one for all concerned. I love this band, its music, its members, its fans and all it stands for. It’s been my life for 26 years. But I just knew that my time had come to step aside. I will always be part of this ongoing story, and I will continue supporting my best friends from the side of the stage.

“So, thoughts turned to a new bass player. It was never about ‘replacing’ me. It’s always been about someone fitting what the band needed and required for it to progress smoothly and about the new guy or girl feeling as comfortable as possible in the transition. COVID-19 scuppered that slightly, but in the main, only one name fitted the role from the start. Harry Armstrong. He shares the band’s goals, musical tastes, sense of humour and desire. He is an exceptional musician and singer who we know will more than fit right in perfectly.

“So, join me in welcoming Harry into the family. He’ll crush it, I know he will, and finally, Ben has someone who can actually sing the bloody backing vocals in key.

“Thank you again for all the messages and well wishes. It means more than you could imagine.”

Photo of Orange Goblin
Orange Goblin. Photo: Tina Korhonen

Heavy hearts

Ben, Joe and Chris said, “It is with very heavy hearts that the day has come, and we finally say goodbye to our founding member, bass player, lifelong brother and best friend Martyn Millard. Martyn has made the very hard decision to step down from Orange Goblin and given us his blessing to continue with the band, something that we understand and accept.

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“Things will never be the same without the thunder that only Martyn can bring, but this opens a new chapter in the Orange Goblin story. We all thank Martyn for his contribution and sacrifices to Orange Goblin over the course of the past 26 years and wish him well in whatever he chooses to do next. We know that none of the things this band has achieved since the start would have been possible without his commitment, passion and talent, and we are eternally grateful for that.

“When Martyn informed us of his decision to leave there was only one person that all of us instantly and fully agreed on to fill the huge shoes that Martyn leaves, and so we would like to give a massive welcome to our long time friend and conspirator Harry Armstrong. Harry has been a part of the family since day one. His enthusiasm, talent and encyclopedic knowledge of Heavy Metal mean that he is perfectly suited for the band, and we look forward to what the future brings with this new line-up.

“We have all been fans of Harry and his musical output throughout his career, and we have toured together, drunk together and laughed together enough to know that he is the perfect man for the job. We are about to sign a new record deal, and Harry will play a vital role in the writing of the next record.

“Please join us in wishing Martyn a fond farewell and at the same time welcoming Harry Armstrong as the new bass player in Orange Goblin.”

Harry Armstrong is the lead vocalist with Blind River, and recently spoke to MetalTalk ahead of the band’s recent tour with King Creature.

Last year Ben sat with MetalTalk to discuss how the band formed and remained with the same line up since its inception in 1995, with the exception of guitarist Pete O’Malley who left in 2004 following the US tour. He also discussed touring, every aspect of fame, and their plans for celebrating their 25th Anniversary. You can watch the interview below.

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