"After 5 years of dedicated service which included recording 3 albums and various US/Euro tours, we have decided to part ways with Dave Hellstorm," USURPER guitarist Rick "Scythe" Sprague said in an official statement. "There are no hard feelings. Dave was, and is still is, our metal brother. It was just time for us to get some fresh blood in the band.
"Dave informed us that he was unsure he wanted to continue with USURPER after the mini tour we did with MANOWAR back in March 2002. He said he wanted this to be his last tour so he could concentrate on his own life and work on his own drum project, but he said he would help us out until we found a replacement. We then talked to a few people (including the original USURPER drummmer Joe 'Apocalyptic' Warlord), but then we had the fire at our rehearsal building which set us back nearly 2 months without rehearsing.
"Since we needed to get the album done as soon as possible, we had no time to waste, and since Dave Hellstorm already knew all the songs, we decided to work together for the good of the band. Although the drums on [the upcoming album] 'Twilight Dominion' are Hellstorm's masterpiece (by far his best work to date), he wanted this recording to be his swan song. He wanted to exit on a high note! He wanted to push himself harder than ever, and top anything he's ever recorded... mission accomplished!
"As of now, nothing has changed for the band. Earache [Records] will release our new album on April 22, 2003 and then we will tour the US, Europe and anywhere else we can shortly after that. We currently have a couple killer drummers we are working with and soon we will make a permanent decision. We won't rule anything out, we just want someone in the band that really wants this!"