MR. BIG have posted a farewell message via their official web site explaining the reasons for their decision to disband and go their separate ways. Here is the message in its entirety:
"MR. BIG has had 12 great years of making music all over the world. We thank all of our friends and fans everywhere. As of February 2002, MR. BIG is no longer together. We will continue to update this site with news of several CD and video releases that will be coming soon. A box set is in the works and several other releases of hard to find recordings are possible, but as of February 2002, MR. BIG will no longer be performing together.
"There are absolutely no plans of any kind whatsoever for MR. BIG perform together in any way shape or form in the future.
"Thanks for 12 great years!
"Many people will ask, 'What happened?'
"Here's a brief explanation: MR BIG has had many internal conflicts since the beginning of the band in 1989. These were kept under control for the most part. The original guitarist Paul Gilbert quit the band in 1996 after the Hey Man tour, though he contributed to a greatest hits album after that. The band took some time off, then in 1999 decided to play together again. We needed a new guitar player (we asked, but Paul refused to play with MR. BIG anymore) so we hired our good friend Richie Kotzen to play guitar. We did the Get Over It album and started playing again.
"In the spring of 2001 we began recording the next album, though many disagreements and conflicts remained regarding several issues.
"The latest album Actual Size was released in Japan and a video was to be shot of a song for the first single 'Shine'. At the video shoot the mood was very tense due to extreme disagreements within the band about the Actual Size record itself, management, the band's direction and sound, touring plans, the video shoot itself, and many, many, many, other things. The next day the band decided the solution was to fire Billy Sheehan and continue the band without him. Upon hearing this, the promoter in Japan cancelled the upcoming MR. BIG tour. Soon after a meeting was called to ask Billy Sheehan to return to MR. BIG. He agreed to do the previously mentioned tour, but he would not to return to MR. BIG without a drastic change in the conditions surrounding the band, which unfortunately was impossible. The tour had already been booked and Billy as well as the rest of the band felt obligated to honor their commitment. At that point, or soon after, the rest of the band decided not to continue the band after the tour - to make the tour a real farewell tour. They did the tour, and broke up. And so, like many bands before them and many bands after, MR. BIG is no longer together. The last show in Tokyo was recorded for a CD & DVD release as a final moment together commemorating 12 great years, millions of records, millions of fans, and some of the best years of their lives. Thank you all!"