Fans were taken by surprise when The Black Dahlia Murder introduced Max Lavelle (ex-Despised Icon) as their new bassist at this year’s New England Metal & Hardcore Festival. At the time, it wasn’t even known that Ryan “Bart” Williams left the band at all, despite missing their European tour earlier this year. However, the Detroit metal group officially confirmed today that Williams is out, and Lavelle is indeed in as his replacement.
Singer Trevor Strnad gave the following explanation for the bassist change up:
“Well kids, enough with all the secrets… it’s about time we in The Black Dahlia Murder clue you fans in and tell all about our recent hush hush bassist situation… I’m sure some of you who have seen us on tour in the last months have grown curious as to who this mystery man bass extraordinaire could be and have wondered what long time bassist Ryan “Bart” Williams could be up to. After months of tip-toeing around it, we’ve decided to break the silence and let you guys know the truth.
After six long, grueling years of relentless back-to-back touring, Ryan Williams has decided to step down from his full time position in The Black Dahlia Murder to pursue a career in recording (please stop and check out his new gig here). Although the remaining members are indeed saddened by his decision, the good news is that Ryan will still be involved in the band in many ways, from continued contributions of songwriting (Ryan wrote those sick Robocop riffs in “Malenchantments Of The Necrosphere,” amongst several others, mind you) to overseeing and co-producing future BDM recordings. As you will clearly see by the statements of all parties involved, the change is completely amicable, and the love and brotherhood we’ve shared with Ryan over the years remains untarnished. We wish him the absolute best of luck with Augmented Audio and all of his future endeavors.
Max Lavelle was literally the first idea of a replacement for Ryan, we had toured alongside him when he was playing with Despised Icon a few different times and had the chance to become pretty good friends with the guy as well as be allowed the chance to see him perform live many times. Max is a diehard metal head, a great bassist, a monstrous live presence and a welcome shot of energy into the bloodstream of this band. His enthusiasm for forwarding the whole is inspiring and exactly what we need at this point in time.”
In addition to Strnad’s statement, The Black Dahlia Murder also released a video including Lavelle AND Williams discussing the bassist swap, as well as footage of the two bassists high-fiving it out and a blooper reel. You can watch Lavelle’s introduction video after the jump, while candid photos of the bands with their former and current bassist (including the one above) can be seen here.