Whoa! This is a shocker. When Sick Drummer Magazine first reported that Animals As Leaders might have a new drummer, I didn't want to believe it. How could drumming mastermind Navene Koperweis quit a band that he is very much an important member of? Then, late Friday night, we received a press released that confirmed Sick Drummer's suspicion. Navene is indeed out of the band.
It looks like Navene is departing on very amicable terms, as he released this statement about his departure:
"Tosin and Javier (Reyes, guitar) are the two most generous, caring and understanding individuals I've ever met and I look forward to a lifetime of friendship with the both of them. Over the past decade I have done nothing but music. Recording, writing, playing, practicing, touring and producing. It's taken me beyond what I could have dreamt of as a kid when I started. My new goals extend beyond the drum kit and I'm the type of person who will constantly chase new dreams. You'll be seeing a lot more of me soon."
Animals As Leaders main man Tosin Abasi shared the positive vibes, with nothing but great things to say about Koperweis:
"I've shared some of my most memorable musical experiences to date with Navene and truly consider him a brother. I commend him for following his own path in life, even if that means i'll no longer be sharing the stage with him. I feel blessed to have had the pleasure of working together and creating a lifelong friendship."
As for the new guy, his name is Matt Garstka and he seems like quite the capable drummer if this footage is any indication: