Underoath Issue Statement on Split With Longtime Guitarist James Smith
The guitarist and backing vocalist had been in Underoath since 2003, aside from a brief hiatus Smith took midway through his tenure, and has played on all of Underoath's albums since 2004's They're Only Chasing Safety.
"As some of you have noticed, James was not on the Blind Obedience tour and we want to clarify that we have officially decided to part ways," the statement begins. "We care for James, we want the best for him, and that will never change. There were differences that we hoped we'd be able to work through that unfortunately, we realized weren't able to be."
As for what specifically occurred to to warrant the split with Smith, Underoath said they were not at liberty discuss the details. "This was an incredibly difficult situation and isn't something that can or should be addressed on the internet and we hope y'all understand," they wrote before adding, "We appreciate you all. Thank you all so much for all the support over the years and we'll see you soon."
News of Smith being let go came on March 28 when he posted a statement while the band were in the middle of their U.S. tour with Periphery and Loathe. "After 20 years of music and friendship, I was informed that I'm no longer a member of Underoath," he wrote. An update from Lambgoat suggested Smith was let go before the tour started. Read his full statement below.