Five Finger Death Punch Guitarist Sitting Out More Tour Dates

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Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook will sit out the remainder of the band's European tour because he needs additional time to recover after having his gallbladder removed in December.

Hook will be replaced at the remaining shows on the trek by Andy James, widely regarded as one of the U.K.'s top rising stars in the world of shred and metal guitar.

The band announced Hook's absence from the tour on Tuesday (February 4th) before playing in Hamburg, Germany. The group wrote: "Hamburg Knuckleheads, due to unforeseen circumstances, our brother Jason Hook will not be able to perform tonight. He needs additional time for his recovery and must step back from the current tour in order to have the opportunity to do so."

The statement continued, "It was Jason's express wish that we continue the tour so with Jason's blessing we have invited our friend Andy James who has agreed to step in and finish the tour for Jason . . . We look forward to seeing all the German fans next and appreciate all of you joining us in wishing Jason a speedy recovery."

Guitarist Zoltan Bathory told us a while back that even under the best of circumstances, life on tour can be challenging for anyone: ["When you're out on the road for, like, couple of months on a cycle, then everything sort of disappears. You're in this routine, you are in this machinery now that it's really, really interesting how real life and time, time especially, like, dislocates."] SOUNDCUE (:14 OC: . . . especially, like, dislocates.)

Five Finger Death Punch's European tour will conclude on February 22nd in Sofia, Bulgaria. The band recently announced the dates for a new spring North American tour that kicks off on April 8th in Sunrise, Florida, winding down on May 20th in St. Paul, Minnesota. A new album, titled F8, arrives on February 28th.