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[Photo via Spotify]

Following the announcement that they are working on a new album, Norma Jean shared some less positive news, the departure of longtime guitarist Jeff Hickey.

Hickey has been with the band since 2011, but the two parties will be separating to allow him to focus on his battle with alcohol addiction.

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The band made the somber announcement via Facebook today, expressing their support for their bandmate and “brother.”

“Jeff is an incredible musician, but more importantly he is a brother to us – and right now, we need to be his brothers before his bandmates,” the band says.

Despite Hickey’s departure, the band stressed that they are looking to support and help him recover.

“In no way do we want to shame Jeff,” the band says. “He has bravely weathered many storms in his life, and we know the path to sobriety is not an easy one. This is not an issue we are taking lightly. There is no one we would rather have on stage with us and that is exactly the reason we feel we must make this announcement.”

The band continued the message, saying Hickey’s well being takes firm precedent over the band.

“The world of addiction swallows up its victims,” the statement reads. “The darkness can become terminal. Though losing our guitarist is unfortunate for Norma Jean, as individuals we are far more worried we will lose our brother.”

You can view the band’s full message below.

Norma Jean will hop on in support of Fit For A King on their upcoming summer tour. Limited presale and VIP tickets are on sale now. You can check out the full list of dates below.

Dates:

07/17 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
07/18 – Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie
07/19 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
07/20 – Oshkosh, WI @ Rock USA
07/21 – Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
07/23 – London, ON @ Call The Office
07/24 – Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
07/25 – Quebec City, QC @ Le D’Auteuil
07/27 – Bangor, ME @ Impact Music Festival
07/28 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
07/30 – Memphis, TN @ Growlers
07/31 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
08/01 – Midland, TX @ Rock the Desert
08/02 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
08/03 – Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
08/05 – Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge
08/06 – St. Louis, MO @ FUBAR
08/07 – Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose
08/08 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation
08/09 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Citadel
08/10 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
08/11 – Elmira, NY @ iMatter
08/13 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Peabody’s *
08/14 – Jacksonville, NC @ Tarheel *
08/15 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel *
08/16 – Nashville, TN @ The Cowan *
08/17 – Springfield, MO @ The Riff *
08/18 – Tyler, TX @ Crossroads *
* – Afterlife in place of Currents

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