Spiritualized's Pierce Fires Bandmates

Spiritualized is floating in another space these days. Britain's "New Musical Express" reports that the neo-psychedelic group's main man, Jason Pierce, sent pink slips to nearly all of his bandmates just weeks after he had them sign employment contracts.

The three musicians fired from the group were drummer Damon Reece, lead guitarist Mike Mooney, and bassist/harmonica player Sean Cook. The only member not let go was the newest recruit, saxophonist Ray Dickaty.

The magazine also reports that keyboard player Kate Radley (Pierce's ex-girlfriend and current wife of former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft) had left the group some time ago.

The tossed trio issued a statement that said in part that they were given no official reason for their termination, and that they had asked questions but received no answers.

The bandmembers also told "NME" that they hadn't been together since putting some finishing touches on a live album last fall.

A publicity spokesperson for Spiritualized

told "NME" that Pierce hasn't contacted them in six months, and that they don't know where he is. The band's manager told the publication that Pierce was in the studio recording a new album.

Spiritualized was in the States early last summer touring with Radiohead, and it cancelled a late summer tour of Europe not long after. Pierce was said to have been suffering from nervous exhaustion, but he expressed via his official Web site that the problem was a lack of tour buses.

As we previously reported, Reece and Cook (two of the now-fired bandmembers) had been working with Jim Reid and Ben Lurie of Jesus And Mary Chain fame on a side project (see: "Jesus And Mary Chain's Jim Reid Apologizes For L.A. Incident, Makes Post Tour-Plans With Spiritualized").