For months, rumors circulated on message boards that the Used had parted ways with drummer Branden Steineckert. On Tuesday, those rumors were confirmed.
The announcement came via a statement posted on TheUsed.net, telling fans the band "needed to move forward."
"It is with much sadness that we want to tell you that Branden is no longer the drummer in the Used," the statement reads. "We felt that we needed to move forward without Branden as our drummer. We wish Branden well and owe a great deal of gratitude towards him for his hard work over the years. We could not have gotten this far without him. We all wish much happiness and success in Branden's future endeavors — wherever they may lead."
Steineckert helped form the Used in 2000 and saw them release two gold albums: 2002's self-titled debut and 2004's In Love and Death (see "Tension, Tragedy Spawned The Used's In Love And Death"). But in recent years, Steineckert has seen his focus shift toward running his skateboard company, Twenty Twenty, and producing up-and-coming acts at his Unknown Studios — both of which fans saw as reasons for his ouster.
In a statement on his MySpace page — which doubles as the home of Unknown — Steineckert tried to steer clear of all that speculation. But he did hint that the split was decidedly less than amicable, writing in a post titled "Kicked Out Of The Used — My Brief Letter" that "[Guitarist] Quinn [Allman], [frontman] Bert [McCracken] and [bassist] Jeph [Howard] have agreed that they no longer want to play music with me. I'm truly sorry that it has come to this.
"The band will carry on, and I will cherish my good memories," he continued in the post. "I am so proud of what the four of us little nobodies from Utah accomplished. We broke out from nowhere ... [and] I feel so very grateful for the things I've experienced, the touching stories I've heard from such die-hard fans, the incredible people I've met and places I've been. To anyone who ever supported the Used during my time with the band, I thank you sincerely. I don't know what else to say. ... I wish Quinn, Bert and Jeph all the best. I will carry on doing what I love, which is playing drums and producing bands."
According to the Used's label, Reprise Records, there has been no replacement chosen for Steineckert and the band is hard at work with producer John Feldmann (who helmed its two previous albums) on a new record, which is due in early 2007.