Addressing rumours of his departure, it has now been confirmed that Five Finger Death Punch have officially parted ways with long-time guitarist, Jason Hook.
Hook had to step away from the band back in February midway through their sold out tour across Europe, with complications arising from emergency gallbladder surgery that he underwent a short while prior.
Having joined the band in 2009, Hook has performed on all of their full-length albums to date aside from their 2007 debut, ‘The Way Of The Fist’.
Confirming his departure from the band, Hook had this to say.
“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.”
Hook has now officially been replaced by Andy James, who stepped in as a fill-in guitarist for the remainder of the tour dates following Hook‘s absence, but has now been enlisted as a full-time member.
Rhythm guitarist Zoltan Bathory commented on the line-up change, sharing the following.
“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.”
Frontman Ivan Moody also had this to say.
“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 madness to be over so we can go back out on the road.”
The band’s second greatest hits compilation, ‘A Decade Of Destruction, Volume 2’, is out now (with vinyl to come on November 20th 2020) via Better Noise Music.