Thanks to a serious injury earlier this year, drummer Paul Bostaph was forced to sit out of the recording process for Testament’s new album. And though the band tapped Gene Hoglan to record drums for The Dark Roots Of Earth, as well as to fill in on the road, frontman Chuck Billy told us in a recent interview that Bostaph would be returning to the fold after he finished recording his side project. Well, a lot has happened since we spoke, as Billy confirmed to Terrorizer that Bostaph has officially left Testament.

Billy revealed the following to Terrorizer:

“We just found out last week Paul Bostaph is not coming back to the band, he’s starting his own new project and doing some things on his own. So we’re actually going to be holding a couple of auditions with probably small group of drummers that we chose – we don’t want to have a revolving drum stool, we have a new record we want a permanent drummer.”

Though Bostaph’s departure seems to have come out of the blue, Billy insists that the split was amicable, saying the following:

“We’re still buddies, it’s just that Paul feels at this point in his career he wants to be in a little more in control of the artistic creation of the songs and with his new project they are all involved with that process whereas with our group Eric [Peterson, guitarist] is pretty much the main songwriter and that’s just the way it’s been with us for 25 years.”

According to Terrorizer, the project Bostaph is now apparently focusing on is BlackGates, also featuring former Anthrax singer Dan Nelson. We’ve heard demos of Bostaph and Nelson’s group earlier this year, and it would appear we can expect to hear more soon (depending on if Nelson isn’t too busy in court). As for who Testament will find to replace Bostaph, who has been in the band for a short period of time in 1993 and rejoined in 2007, is still up for guessing. Though considering that they’re aiming for The Dark Roots Of Earth to be released in April/ May, you can bet that Testament will find a new permanent drummer sooner than later.