NewsJanuary 21, 2006 12:29 PM ET6,739 views

Zao confirm guitarist's departure

Blabbermouth has posted the following statement from Zao drummer Jeff Gretz regarding the departure of guitarist Russ Cogdell: "Russ's departure wasn't officially released as a statement from the band because there is no statement to make. His knee injury was well documented after our early exit from Warped Tour and subsequent outing with Unearth and The Dillinger Escape Plan that we were forced to do without him. His current status is that he is not in proper health to tour and work on the record. We did not announce it because we felt there was nothing to announce, the music would speak for itself. Of the eight prior studio albums that Zao has recorded, Russ has played on three (he had left once before and returned only for 'Funeral of God'). The core of Zao's writing has been Dan Weyandt and Scott Mellinger for the past five albums (Dan going back even one more than that). The band is perfectly happy with the current situation (as is Russ) and the door is open for him to return when he is willing/able. For years, Scott was the only touring guitarist for Zao, Russ's involvement was more the exception than the rule. Now, you may continue with your Christ-core jokes and suggestions for us when or when not to end our band."

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