Guitarist Rob Caggiano has officially announced his departure from thrash legends Anthrax after 12 years and two studio albums.
The news may come as a bit of surprise for fans, given the band's recent revitalization, culminating in a Grammy nod for the Worship Music track, "I'm Alive."
In an official statement, Caggiano explained that he wanted to focus more on production and studio work and that he has no regrets about his years in Anthrax.
His full statement reads:
"I'm extremely proud of my time in Anthrax. Actually, that's an understatement! We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys. As a band, we also weathered quite a few storms along the way. It's been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn't change one single thing about the last 12 years. This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now.
I've always been one to follow my heart in everything that I do and while this might be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it feels like the right one for me at this time. Scott, Charlie, Joey, Frankie (and John Bush) will always be part of my family and this decision doesn't change the way I feel about that in the slightest. I would also like to say thanks to all the amazing fans I've met and hung out with worldwide over the years. You guys always were and always will be the reason why I make music! In this day and age, being a musician isn't always easy — also an understatement — but the fans truly make it worthwhile for me. I hope to see each and every one of you again really soon. The fact that Anthrax is at the top of their game right now and totally 'out for blood' after all these years is a testament to this band's longevity and conviction! I'm truly honored to have been a part of their brilliant legacy.
I can't wait to get back in the recording studio again! Over the years, I've been blessed with the privilege of working with a wide range of great bands/artists from Anthrax and Cradle of Filth all the way to Bruce Springsteen, and I look forward to a hopeful continuation of that side of my career while I figure out my next move as an artist. BTW in case anyone was wondering after reading all of this, I do FULLY intend to get back out there on the road very soon in some way shape or form ... it's in my blood! Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @RobCaggiano for any and all updates on what I am up to."
Anthrax issued a short statement in response, saying, "Rob has been an integral part of Anthrax for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all, as our close friend. His contributions to the band have been enormous. While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road."
The band are expected to make an announcement regarding their lead guitarist situation for the upcoming Metal Alliance tour soon.