This year started off rocky, pardon the pun and 2013 has made for a difficult year for several Rock N Roll bands in the United States. From January to December, something has deeply affected the internal make up and the overall structure and line up of the bands. Three Days Grace, Hinder, Slipknot and Saving Abel are just a few, but Hinder hits closest to home, as they too are from Oklahoma.
It started on January 9, 2013 Adam Gontier, lead singer and frontman for Three Days Grace, left the band for "personal reasons". Adam was replaced by Matt Walst, lead singer and frontman for My Darkest Days, who had recently had their lead guitarist, Sal Costa leave the band and was starting a new solo venture. Matt stepped up to the plate to cover the summer tour with Shinedown. It is still unknown as to who will be replacing Adam and where Three Days Grace goes from here.
In July, the Boys who hail from Oklahoma City, OK, better known as Hinder, were forced to make the decision to have lead singer and frontman Austin Winkler enter a drug rehab program. Although they had just released their new album Welcome To The Freaksow, the tour could not stop because of his drug addiction. Jared Weeks, lead singer and frontman for Saving Abel has personally known them for several years and has toured alongside of Hinder for two years, so he knew the internal structure almost as well as they did. Jared feeds off of the crowd just like Austin does, so the transition was smooth for them both. Austin kept in touch with the outside world via twitter. Just before Thanksgiving, November 20, 2013 it was made public that Austin Winkler was let go from the band. Cody Hanson put out in a press release, "We hold no animosity towards Austin, and wish him the best. Although it was a difficult decision, it was the best thing for everyone involved and time for us to move on. This summer/fall tour was a tough one. We want to thank the fans for all their overwhelming support." Hinder fans, though shocked, should have seen it coming.
Not a month later another band, Slipknot, let the world know on December 13, 2013 that drummer Joey Jordison was leaving the band for "personal reasons". In the official release, Corey Taylor stated, "It is with great pain but quiet respect, that for personal reasons Joey Jordison and Slipknot are parting ways. We all wish Joey the best in whatever his future holds. We understand that many of you will want to know how and why this has come to be, and we will do our best to respond to these questions in the near future. It is our love for all of you, as well as for the music we create, that spurs us to continue on and move forward with our plans for releasing new material in the next year. We hope that all of you will come to understand this, and we appreciate your continued support while we plan the next phase of the future of Slipknot."
It came as no surprise when Jared Weeks announced on December 27, 2013 that he would be leaving Saving Abel. He and Jason Null started the band and after his touring as the lead vocalist for Hinder this summer and they have yet to announce who they are putting as their permanent lead vocalist, it is possible that Jared may be their choice? Jared released a statement to the public; "A lil over 10 years ago Jason Null and myself (Jared Weeks) started the band Saving Abel, and little did I know how much our lives would change for the better. It's been so amazing over the past decade, to meet so many fans, tour with so many of my favorite and amazing bands, and travel all over the world, to places I couldn't never imagine myself going. It really has been one hell of a ride for me. I've had such a great time experiencing all that we have accomplished with my brothers in SA: Scotty B., Eric T., Mikey M., & Jason N. these fellas have been family to me on the road and part of my family at home, but most importantly all our FANS that have that have been there and supported us through thick and thin, through the good and bad. You guys have always held my head up and have always picked me up when I was down. I personally could never thank you enough for who you are and what you do for Saving Abel, "Hell" what you do for Rock 'n Roll. With all that being said, and now that I'm writing this down for all to see, it seems a little harder for me to do, but sometimes you have to follow your heart even if you don't know where it's gonna take you. So as for today, I am following my heart and am NOT continuing as lead singer of Saving Abel. This wasn't a "spur of the moment" decision, I have fought & thought about this with myself for sometime now. I have also spoken with the rest of the guys in SA and even helped get everything together for SA to keep doing what they always do, and that is...write Rock N Roll songs, keep Rockin and keep touring with the best live shows. Scott Austin will be replacing me as the New lead singer, he is the front man from a band called Trash The Band, and he is very capable of the job. I have personally seen his live shows and know he will keep the SA train rolling successfully. As for me, I'm currently moving to Nashville TN to record a solo album with producer Skidder Mills. This was and is an amicable decision between both me and the Saving Abel fellas. As I said earlier those boys are part of my family and always will be, I do wish them all the best success and support them in their careers, as they do me. I apologize to any and all fans who might feel "let down" or upset with my decision, but like I said before, sometimes you have to follow your heart, even if you don't know where it's gonna take you. I hope to have your support in the next couple of months while recording and I sure as hell hope to see you at the shows when I'm finished with the new album and back out touring. May God bless SavingAbel & may God bless you all."
With all of the rumors that are flying all over the internet, without interviewing them individually, there is nothing more than speculation as to what their "personal reasons" are. At the end of the day the bands have to and did do what was best for them as band. It is what it is and we have to trust that they made the best decision, although we may not see it as that. Time will tell if the replacements make or break them. Good luck to each and every one of them.