San Francisco Bay Area metallers HEATHEN have issued a short statement regarding the passing of their former bassist Mike "Yaz" Jastremski. The statement reads as follows:
"We are truly stunned by the news of the passing of our metal brother Mike 'Yaz' Jastremski. He passed on this morning [May 23]. We will all miss him dearly. May he rest in peace."
Jastremski performed on HEATHEN's classic 1987 debut "Breaking the Silence" before leaving the group a short time later to form PIGS. He eventually rejoined HEATHEN in time for their appearance at the August 2001 Thrash of the Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy.
HEATHEN parted ways with Jastremski in June 2004 over what was rumored at the time to be Yaz's "continued drug and drinking problems." He was replaced in the group by Jon Torres, who had previously participated in such bands as THUNDERHEAD, WARNING SF, ULYSSES SIREN, LAAZ ROCKIT and ANGEL WITCH.
HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus said at the time of Yaz's final departure from the band, "We're sorry to see [Yaz] go and wish him all the best. He is a good friend and I'm glad that we parted ways without any animosity and can still remain best of friends."