Three bands touring Australia lose drummers

Three rock bands who are touring Australia in the months ahead have found themselves without drummers.

First there’s Against Me!, who are playing the Big Day Out as well as two sideshows. Their drummer, Jay Weinberg, unexpectedly updated his Twitter on Wednesday to announce that he was leaving the band. No reason has yet been given, nor is there word of a replacement, although bandleader Laura Jane Grace has tweeted that any drummer who is willing to come to Florida for three weeks to learn some songs before flying out to Australia is welcome to join them.

Weinberg, the son of Max Weinberg from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, had previously played in New York hardcore act Madball. He was dismissed from that group in 2010, halfway through a Canadian tour, with frontman Freddy Cricien explaining, “I just feel he doesn’t represent this band well on a character level.”

Status Quo, who are touring in 2013, have said goodbye to their drummer of 12 years, Matt Letley. He played his final show with the band at the O2 Arena on Wednesday. Next year, Status Quo will be re-forming with their ‘classic’ lineup, consisting of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coglan, for a reunion tour and a new album. However, Letley says that his decision to leave now has nothing to do with the re-formation. In a statement on his website, he wrote, “No doubt there will be much conjecture that this is somehow related to the upcoming reunion gigs but I’d like to assure everyone that it has no bearing on my decision. Indeed I wish the guys every success with this tour and certainly hope to come along to see one of the shows!”

Finally, Thin Lizzy are about to undergo a transformation. While they’ll still have drummer Brian Downey with them when they visit Australia in March to play with Kiss and Motley Crüe, after that they’ll be reshuffling the lineup and renaming themselves Black Star Riders. Downey is planning to take a break from their hectic touring schedule, while keyboardist Darren Wharton also won’t be joining the new band. The Thin Lizzy name is owned in partnership by current frontman Scott Gorham, Downey and the estate of former frontman Phil Lynott, who died in 1986.

While it’s been a rough month for drummers, obviously none of these band’s problems can hold a torch to Spinal Tap.

Against Me! Big Day Out sideshows:

Thursday, January 17 – The Manning Bar, Sydney

Tuesday, January 22 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne

Big Day Out 2013:

Friday, 18 January – Showgrounds, Sydney

Sunday, 20 January – Parklands, Gold Coast

Friday, 25 January – Showgrounds, Adelaide

Saturday, 26 January – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Monday, 28 January – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth

FL presents Kiss, Motley Crüe and Thin Lizzy:

Thursday, February 28 – Perth Arena, Perth

Sunday, March 3 – Clipsal 500, Adelaide

Tuesday, March 5 – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Wednesday, March 6 – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Saturday, March 9 – Allphones Arena, Sydney

Sunday, March 10 – Allphones Arena, Sydney

Tuesday, March 12 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane

Saturday, March 16 – Virgin Australia Stadium, Mackay

Thin Lizzy sideshows:

Saturday, March 2 – Selina’s Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney

Friday, March 8 – Evan Theatre at Panthers, Sydney

Wednesday, March 13 – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast

Friday, March 15 – The Venue, Townsville

Sunday, March 17 – Brothers Leagues Club, Cairns

Status Quo tour:

Wednesday, March 27 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Thursday, March 28 – Convention Centre, Brisbane

Tuesday, April 2 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide

Wednesday, April 3 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne