Keyboardist Josh Lyford Leaves Four Year Strong

** UPDATE: Lyford has told his side of the story via his blog:

“I was told a little over a week ago, just about two days before we were supposed to leave for tour, that four year strong was headed in a different direction and was moving away from the keyboard. I was out of the band at that point. I’ve known for awhile and it’s been strange not being able to say anything about it. The news definitely startled me, but I wish them all the luck in the world and I know that they’ll do the same for me. While it came as a bit of a surprise, I am excited to get a chance to try and pursue my writing career, play shows with foxfires and (most importantly) get a dog. Thanks to everyone who has ever come out to shows or supported fys in my tenure as keyboard player, those were some of the most memorable years of my life. If anyone feels up to it, I will still actively post stories/video/nonsense on doesawolfshaveitstail.com and probably Twit pic photos of my friends showering on twitter.com/joshachusetts. Much love to everyone, and I’ll see you on the road.”

** ORIGINAL POST: Keyboardist Josh Lyford has parted ways with Four Year Strong. The group released the following statement through their website:

“Someone once told me, as you get older life gets more complicated, and while I always knew that to be true, I don’t think I ever really got the full brunt of that statement. There are the obvious things like love, money, taking on the duties of your parents to make sure you don’t stink or look like a pile of trash before you leave the house, but those are just more responsibilities. The true nature of that statement never rang with me until right now. Having gone through one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to. The emotional rollercoaster FYS has gone through in this past week will have a lasting effect on us. Having to even write this to you now, finding the right words, it feels impossible.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce, that our keyboard player, Josh Lyford and Four Year Strong are parting ways. It was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever had to deal with, but we believe it will be best for everyone.

“Josh will continue on with his band Foxfires and focus more on his writing. Four Year Strong will continue on, focusing on upcoming tours and new record. Alan, Joe, Jake, Josh and myself still remain great friends. This isn’t the type of split where we all hate each other and there’s all this drama. We wish Josh all the luck and success in the world, he’s an extremely talented writer and we can’t wait to read what he writes next. Josh was special at what he did; he wasn’t just a keyboard player. There’s no way to replace what he did on stage or off. So we are not going to try. We are going to continue on as a four piece.

“We would like to thank all of our fans in advance for your support, for all of us. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on this upcoming tour that starts in a few days, please come out and say hello.”

Four Year Strong’s latest studio album, ‘Enemy of the World,’ was released in May 2010 via Decaydance/Universal Motown Records. The band is currently gearing up for a tour with Rise Against and Bad Religion.