ICED EARTH have announced the addition of guitarist Jake Dreyer (WITHERFALL, WHITE WIZZARD, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS) to the band. He replaces Troy Seele, who announced his departure from ICED EARTH in August due to family responsibilities.
ICED EARTH guitarist/founder Jon Schaffer states:
"Brothers and Sisters,
Please join us in welcoming Jake Dreyer, our new lead guitar player, to the Iced Earth family. We’re excited for Jake to be a part of the team as he has the talent, drive, and the personality we were looking for. Jake joined Stu and I last week to do some tracking at Independence Hall and he hammered out some ripping guitar solos on several songs from the new album. Jake will play on the upcoming ICED EARTH studio album and will perform his first live show with us in November at Hammerfest in Germany.
I want to personally thank all of the guitarists who auditioned for the position, it was an overwhelming response, and there are many very talented guys out there. So again, thank you for your passion and interest.
We are progressing at an excellent rate on the new record and I can say with all sincerity that this will be one of the most significant albums in the ICED EARTH catalog. We are pumped. It’s the next level.
Stay tuned, and best to you all."
Guitarist Troy Seele announced his departure from ICED EARTH due to family responsibilities back in August:
"After close to ten years as a guitarist in ICED EARTH, the time has come for me to step away. Some of you know, but many do not, that I have a child with Autism. In the past I had a great support system that has allowed me to pursue a career in music. That is no longer the case and it has forced me to make a difficult decision. I’ve always believed that family comes first, and now it is time for me to focus on that.
"The demanding life style of being in a professional heavy metal band is no longer an option for me. Knowing the band is focused on a new album and touring cycle, and given my circumstances, this is the best time for me to step down.
"Playing in ICED EARTH has been a great experience. It’s taken me around the world many times and given me the chance to meet many of my heroes, as well as play in front of crowds larger than I ever dreamed of.
"I personally want to thank Jon and the guys for the music and the amazing times through the years. Thank you to the fans for understanding and for your support." - Troy Seele
ICED EARTH singer Stu Block remarks on Seele’s departure: "It’s very sad that Troy is leaving. He will be missed and will always be considered family to us. I wish him the best of luck in everything he does."
Jon Schaffer states: "Troy was a good friend before he became a part of the team, and always will be. I understand and respect his decision. We shared some of the most amazing times of our lives together. We laughed hard, and we laughed often. Be well brother. We all wish you the very best."
Troy Seele’s last gig with the band will be Knotfest in Mexico City, October 16th.