UPDATE 7:45 p.m. EST 4/7
Former Four Year Strong keyboardist Josh Lyford has opened up about the circumstances that led to him being out of the band and how his ex-bandmates handled breaking the news to him. In a recent interview, Lyford again reiterates how amicable the split was and he credits FYS for treating the situation "as maturely as it possibly could have been."
He says, "So we met up at a pretty nice restaurant and almost immediately they just laid it out on the table for me and said they’ve been recording new songs and there’s not really any place for the keyboards or for the kind of vocals I do. And so that was kind of that. It was a surprise at the time but looking back it wasn’t as much of a surprise as I think it probably could have been. In the back of my head and in the back of their heads everybody knew that it coming.”
UPDATE 3:34 p.m. EST 4/4
Four Year Strong vocalist/guitarist Alan Day has posted his own statement in response to keyboardist Josh Lyford no longer being a part of the band.
Day writes: "To clear up any confusion, josh did not quit the band. it seems like a lot of people might have thought thats what the statement we released had meant, but that is not the case. The band had been in a weird spot for a long time, with writing new material and all. Everyone was very distant. Things just didnt feel right. We felt that this decision would be the best for both Josh and the rest of the band. It's really hard to explain. but more than anything else, keyboards just didn’t seem to have a place in this band anymore. We’ve never really taken the instrument very seriously from the beginning, it always felt like we just had it there because we had Josh and he was awesome and we needed something for him to do so that we could keep him around and enjoy his company. Letting him go was extremely hard to do, but like I said, I think its for the best. And any FYS fans out there that are bummed by the situation, I do not blame you one bit, I am very very bummed as well. but i can assure you that FYS will continue on, and though there will inevitably always be a little something missing, the four of us will do everything we can to make sure it is not any less awesome. we will make sure the live show is still everything that everyone expects it to be, energetic, fast, heavy, loud, crazy, sexual, funny, hot, sweaty, etc. the core of Four Year Strong is still intact. and more importantly, the creative force behind the MUSIC and SONGWRITING of this band is still here. Dan and I have been working on new material for a while now, and we truly feel that it is the best music we have written. its not the same as it was on rise or die trying, and its not the same as is was on enemy of the world, but that is because we will never make the same record twice. we always want to further ourselves as musicians and songwriters, and we feel the new stuff has done exactly that. i assume that people are going to say this: “the new FYS record sucks because josh left the band”. well this will be wrong. first off ITS NOT GOING TO SUCK! second off, the main songwriters in the band hasnt changed since the day the band started. so anything that has changed over the years has been just me and dan being in a different place in our lives. thats that. anyone who has questions about anything that i’ve said, or anything i didnt say, feel free to ask on my Twitter or my Facebook, i’ll answer everything that i can. Josh will be greatly missed and i as well as the rest of the band wish him the best in everything he does in the future."
UPDATE 10:51 a.m. EST 4/4
Former Four Year Strong keyboardist Josh Lyford has posted a blog featuring his take on the news that he is no longer in the band.
Lyford writes, "I was told a little over a week ago, just about two days before we were supposed to leave for tour, that four year strong was headed in a different direction and was moving away from the keyboard. I was out of the band at that point. I’ve known for awhile and it’s been strange not being able to say anything about it. The news definitely startled me, but I wish them all the luck in the world and I know that they’ll do the same for me. While it came as a bit of a surprise, I am excited to get a chance to try and pursue my writing career, play shows with foxfires and (most importantly) get a dog. Thanks to everyone who has ever come out to shows or supported fys in my tenure as keyboard player, those were some of the most memorable years of my life. If anyone feels up to it, I will still actively post stories/video/nonsense on doesawolfshaveitstail.com and probably Twit pic photos of my friends showering on twitter.com/joshachusetts. Much love to everyone, and I’ll see you on the road."
ORIGINAL POST 9:31 p.m. EST 4/3
Four Year Strong have announced that they have parted ways with keyboardist Josh Lyford and they will continue on as a four-piece.
A statement released by the band reads:
"Someone once told me, as you get older life gets more complicated, and while I always knew that to be true, I don’t think I ever really got the full brunt of that statement. There are the obvious things like love, money, taking on the duties of your parents to make sure you don’t stink or look like a pile of trash before you leave the house, but those are just more responsibilities. The true nature of that statement never rang with me until right now. Having gone through one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to. The emotional rollercoaster FYS has gone through in this past week will have a lasting effect on us. Having to even write this to you now, finding the right words, it feels impossible.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce, that our keyboard player, Josh Lyford and Four Year Strong are parting ways. It was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever had to deal with, but we believe it will be best for everyone.
Josh will continue on with his band Foxfires and focus more on his writing. Four Year Strong will continue on, focusing on upcoming tours and new record. Alan, Joe, Jake, Josh and myself still remain great friends. This isn’t the type of split where we all hate each other and there’s all this drama. We wish Josh all the luck and success in the world, he’s an extremely talented writer and we can't wait to read what he writes next. Josh was special at what he did; he wasn’t just a keyboard player. There’s no way to replace what he did on stage or off. So we are not going to try. We are going to continue on as a four piece.
We would like to thank all of our fans in advance for your support, for all of us. We're looking forward to seeing everyone on this upcoming tour that starts in a few days, please come out and say hello.
- Dan, Alan, Joe, Jake and Josh."
Lyford joined the band in 2006 and played on 2007's Rise Or Die Trying through last year's Enemy Of The World. So how do you guys feel about FYS without keyboard?