ICED EARTH - Drummer Steps Down, Replacement Announced2013-05-07
Iced Earth's drummer Brent Smedley has announced his departure from the band, owing to personal responsibilities. After recording three albums in his third, seven-year-long stint with Iced Earth, Smedley will be departing to devote more time to his older family members in Jacksonville, Florida.
On the band's Facebook page, he writes: "I have family members that are elderly and frail and need my help here in Jacksonville. It's been one of the hardest decisions of my life but I simply cannot commit to the kind of schedule the band deserves and requires so I decided to ask permission to step down from my post."
Smedley will be replaced by Raphael Saini of Chaoswave, Corpsefucking Art, and Emergency Gate. Saini joins Iced Earth just in time to take part in the recording of Plagues Of Babylon, the follow-up to 2011's Dystopia, which is expected to be released in October of this year. It will be followed by a world tour beginning in early 2014.
In addition to Smedley's message, the band posted this statement on their Facebook page: "Brent has been a valued member of the group for a long time. We thank him for his contributions, friendship and energy and wish him all the best for the future. We want to welcome Raphael with open arms and are expecting for our fans to give him the welcome he deserves."