Black Country, New Road have opened up about singer Isaac Wood’s departure last week. The announcement came just four days before the release of their second studio album Ants From Up There which was released on Friday to a positive critical reception.
“I have bad news which is that I have been feeling sad and afraid too,” Wood wrote in a statement. “And I have tried to make this not true but it is the kind of sad and afraid feeling that makes it hard to play guitar and sing at the same time.”
Adding: “To be clear: this is completely in spite of six of the greatest people I know, who were and are wonderful in a sparkling way. If you are reading this maybe you would have seen some of that. It has been a great pleasure and I would like to say the words ‘Thank You’ to everyone.”
News has now come in that the remaining members have spoken out about the shock announcement in an interview with Rough Trade. Drummer Charlie Wayne explained that Wood’s departure was “a big thing” and that he had been a “massive” influence on the band.
“But if Black Country New Road had rested solely on the merits of one person then we would have ended the band with Isaac leaving,” Wayne said. “But because it’s doesn’t, we haven’t. In very tangible ways the band sounds pretty similar. The songs are definitely different and we are exploring spaces we have never been to before, but we are the same musicians playing our instruments.”
Bassist Tyler Hyde said the band had “discussed an evolution” long before Wood had decided to leave, which would involve “new voices coming in and roles and responsibilities changing,” Hyde said, adding: “It’s taught us that it’s really important to relieve people of responsibility in order to keep everyone in check and to actually live up to this thing that we have been saying about everyone holding the same responsibilities.”
Hyde continued: “It’s daunting to be ‘the voice’ of a band. Even if we do make the music 100 per cent collaboratively, there’s an added pressure that the vocalist gets and we have learned that we really need to share that.”
While Black Country, New Road are looking to continue in Isaac Wood’s stead, they have been forced to cancel an upcoming show in London as well as their US tour later this month and some further UK dates in spring to allow them time to reevaluate.
Stream ‘Concorde’ from the new album below.