At The Drive-In Co-Founder Departs Band Ahead Of Global Reunion Tour

21 March 2016 | 11:48 am | Staff Writer

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Resurgent post-hardcore pioneers At The Drive-In have experienced turbulence before they've even hit a single stage for their impending, eagerly awaited global reunion tour, announcing at the weekend that co-founding guitarist Jim Ward would no longer be a part of the sojourn.

"As our ship prepares for voyage, we announce that Jim Ward will not be joining us for future journeys," the band wrote in a blunt message posted to Facebook at the weekend. "We wish him well and are excited to see you soon."

The development comes despite assurances from frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala just a week ago that "At the Drive in rehearsals [are] going great". Ward has not elaborated on the reasons for his departure on any of his (largely defunct) social media channels — his most recent post on the page of ATDI offshoot Sparta was on 1 December last year — but, as Rolling Stone notes, with the band's first show scheduled for 22 March (tomorrow), at The Observatory, Santa Ana, fans have made their displeasure clear, with some asserting that the band, without Ward, is "not ATDI then" or "is just The Mars Volta".

"That's some fucking bullshit," one fan wrote underneath the post. "There were rumors before you guys announced the tour that Jim wasn't going to be involved. Now I feel like you guys knew the whole time. Now I have to see some random dude play guitar and on the other side [guitarist] Omar [Rodriguez Lopez] with his 'why am I here' attitude."

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"I love you guys, no matter what..... but you duped us," wrote another. "Some of us wanted to see At the Drive-in. It would be fair if we were allowed refunds for some of those expensive tickets we bought."

At The Drive-In Minus Jim Ward have dates lined up in the US, Canada and Europe through till early July; Australia is still not a part of their announced travel plans.