Sacramento's WILL HAVEN has released the following "open letter" to its fans:
"I first want to start of this letter by saying thank you to all of our amazing fans, and people who have supported WILL HAVEN over the years. When people come up and say they love WILL HAVEN they always have such passion in there eyes when they say it, you know it's true. When we started this band we never even thought our music would reach anyone outside of our house, but over the 12 years we have been together it's been an amazing ride. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
"The big announcement in the WILL HAVEN camp is that Grady [Avenell, vocals] has had to limit his time with will haven to concentrate on his family and career. There is always rumors about band members leaving so we want to set the record straight. Grady had originally left the band three years ago because he was just burned out as we all were at the time. After a few years we decided to get together and do some shows and perhaps put out a new record. Everything came together quickly and we began doing a U.K. tour and writing some of the most amazing music we have ever done.
"Most people think that WILL HAVEN is our only job; that is so far from the truth. This band is a creative outlet for us, it doesn’t pay our bills to support our families. Touring for us are merely vacations at this point, but being creative is the most important thing to us. So keeping this band together has been a hard struggle sometimes due to financial strains on us personally. If you're in a band you know how hard it is. It's a beautiful thing but if you're not a mainstream band it's not very glamorous. So that being said, all of us still have careers outside of the band to support our families. So Grady has had to take a job opportunity to make sure his wife and two beautiful children are very well taken care of. This job is a very good thing for him and we support his decision as we all agree family is first and foremost. So whatever rumors you may hear, the facts are Grady is still a member of WILL HAVEN, but is unable to tour and give the time he wants to the band. He is our brother, our best friend and is continuing helping with the band, He wants us to keep the band going and let the world hear what we started, he wants to be a part of it but he cannot give the time he wants. He is helping with the new record and, if has time, will sing on a few songs.
"Now the new era of WILL HAVEN begins. We had a tough decision to make when Grady had to limit his time, we could break up or continue to create some of the best music we have ever done. After long discussions and Grady telling us to move forward we looked within our family to find someone to step in. We asked Jeff Jaworski if he would work with us on the new record. He was very happy to step in.
"Jeff is one of our favorite musicians and sings for one of our favorite bands RED TAPE. He is a big reason WILL HAVEN sounds the way it does, He is the one who introduced me to NEUROSIS, which is probably the biggest influence on WILL HAVEN, so Jeff is a big reason WILL HAVEN is around today, a reason why we wrote a song about him, 'Jaworski', on 'WHVN'. He also played bass for us on a SOULFLY tour when Mike could not go with us, so he is a very close friend of ours and has always been part of the band.
"After sitting down to write some songs for the new record, it just felt right, His vocals were amazing over the stuff we were writing. He has brought so much to the new material it's been amazing.
"WILL HAVEN has always been about the music. We never set out to be rock stars or make tons of money — it's about making the most original, heaviest music out there. So that's why we have decided to keep the name WILL HAVEN and continue on with our journey because the music we are creating is about what WILL HAVEN stands for. With Jeff in the band we can go out and play shows and tour and spread the WILL HAVEN noise. So it is a tough decision. Grady is an amazing frontman but WILL HAVEN is a family of amazing, passionate musicians and Jaworski is definitely that. We couldn't think of anyone else who could come in and make WILL HAVEN just amazing as it's always has been. So nothing has changed, WILL HAVEN is still timeless as always, and Jeff has added some amazing stuff to WILL HAVEN. This new era of WILL HAVEN will be the best chapter yet. We are very excited about what's to come and the music will speak for itself.
"As for the U.K. tour, we DID NOT cancel the tour — we were ready to go and were very excited to play. The real reason is that when the U.K. promoters found out Grady was no longer in the band they canceled most of our shows. It's very unfortunate that they did that because WILL HAVEN is stronger than ever but they felt that the WILL HAVEN fans would not support us. So that is the reason that the U.K. dates were canceled. The DEFTONES tour is still happening so hopefully then we can show people that we are here to stay. If the promoters are shown that our fans still want us over there then hopefully they will rebook the tour sometime later this summer. So we are very sorry for cancellation but it was not our doing.
"So thank you for reading.
"I know there will be some people who will question Grady's departure and we understand. We never wanted to be in this situation. We hate replacing our brothers but we understand its about the music. If we thought we would not be as good then we would not continue but we know that with Jeff we are growing as a band and will not lose anything we have gained over the past 12 years. So there will be an amazing new album out this summer, and hopefully a lot more WILL HAVEN shows."