COHEED AND CAMBRIA has announced the return of drummer Josh Eppard. He rejoins the band following the departure of Chris Pennie, who let the group due to creative differences.
Commented COHEED AND CAMBRIA: “We didn’t originally plan to make a big splash about this, but when Chris made his announcement, we were ultimately compelled to. We didn’t want anyone to be concerned about the state of the band, and trying to keep things quiet was proving to be really tough. And besides, we’re just really excited and wanted to share that feeling with you.
“Chris Pennie is a dear friend, a superb bandmate and one of the best drummers in the world. He brought a workmanship and sense of professionalism to COHEED that completely improved us as a band, and allowed us to reach new heights. He will always be a member of the COHEED family, and we ask you to support all his endeavors.
“As the songs for the new record began twisting into shape, it slowly became apparent that these songs were very dynamic, and could truly flourish with the groove-oriented approach that Josh naturally brings to the table. We also missed Josh as a person — what he meant to us as friends and the energy and humor he exudes. But this isn’t about nostalgia; it’s about who we are now, and what we can achieve musically and as a family, together going forward.
“We understand there are risks involved bringing Josh back into the fray. Even with his two years of sobriety, this is a giant leap of faith on our part. But at the end of the day, we have all grown up, and we have all been through so much, that playing with Josh again is sort of like coming home. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar, it just feels right… it’s hand in glove.
“Last week, we entered Applehead Studios with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner to begin work on our sixth studio album. We’re three songs in, can’t wait to share it.”
Eppard, who left COHEED AND CAMBRIA in 2006 in order to receive treatment for substance abuse, added: “I think it’s fair to say that COHEED AND CAMBRIA, while often mysterious, has always had a meaningful and honest relationship with its supporters.
“I thought it’d be appropriate at this time to address the people that keep the COCA universe alive and well and that’s you guys…the fans.
“The last five years was both a humbling learning experience and a heart-breaking journey into darkness and, eventually, the light.
“I honestly never thought I’d see the day I would be reunited with my bandmates and lifelong friends.
“I regretted not being a part of COHEED from the day they moved on.
“Although many things were said in the early part of my first years without the band, I think it’s clear to those who know me that it was the byproduct of anger and disappointment — with myself.
“Claudio and Travis‘s (and Mic‘s) music has always spoke to me in a way that no other music did. I love them both dearly and missed them with all of my heart.
“After my time in COHEED, I eventually got clean and got real with myself. With the help of my loved ones I got back on my feet and that meant playing music again.
“I’d like to extend an enormous debt of gratitude to Fred Masherino, who I played with in TERRIBLE THINGS for the last two years. It’s no secret that with the damage I had done to my reputation, no one was taking any chances on me. Fred did and I thank him for that. He taught me so much about humility and reminded me of why I play music in the first place. That being said, it was always clear to me playing with anyone that it would never be the magic that I felt with COHEED.
“I can’t believe I get a chance to play for the best fans in the world again. Not many people get a chance to put back together the things they broke long ago.
“It’s good to be back. Welcome home, indeed.”
Pennie officially joined COHEED in 2007, replacing Eppard and touring extensively with the band internationally. He is featured on COHEED‘s most recent studio album, “Year Of The Black Rainbow”.