A lot of people are wondering what has happened to Third Day guitarist Brad Avery. Isn't he with the band anymore? Where did he go? Why did he leave? Is Third Day going to replace him with another guitarist? I thought I'd put a page here to help point people in the right direction.
On February 28, 2008, the official news came from the band's blog on ThirdDay.com.
Third Day and Brad Avery have made the very difficult decision to part ways.
We appreciate Brad’s many contributions to the band's career to date, including his work on our forthcoming album, but the time has come for us to follow our separate paths.
He has been an important part of Third Day for the last 13 years as we've traveled the world together and performed over 1,000 concerts. We will miss him as a band member but he will always remain our brother and our friend. Brad is a wonderful person, gifted songwriter and talented musician. We trust that God has amazing plans for his future.
ChristianityToday.com did an interview with Third Day by Andy Argyrakis. This is the excerpt in which Andy asks about Brad leaving.
Did going from a five-piece band to a four-piece affect the sound of the CD?
David Carr: Actually, the record was recorded with Brad, so you'll still hear the five of us there. But Howard was not so much into having fifteen different guitar parts anyway. Instead we'd take one part and then double it, or maybe even triple or quadruple it, which makes it stand out without having a jumbled mess of parts trying to figure out how to play them live. I was initially a challenge for us to figure out how to perform as a four-piece, but so far it's translating really well and still pretty true to the record.
Why did Brad leave the band?
Tai Anderson: It's not a big drama or [anything gossipy] like TMZ. Brad gave us our signature sound, like the second electric guitar on "Consuming Fire." He also brought professionalism to the band that we really needed. But the only thing constant in life is change and change is hard. It was really hard to a lot of our fans and even our kids—when I told my kids that Brad was leaving the band, we sat on the floor and cried.
Did he tell you he was leaving, did you ask him to go, or was it more of a mutual decision?
Tai Anderson: It's a simple question, but kind of hard to answer. We all came together and it wasn't a fighting thing. We were talking and praying through this together and the result was it was just time to part ways. I know that sounds vague, but there have been different feelings by all of us before and after [Avery left]. It wasn't that Brad quit or that we kicked him out—it was a collective decision.
David Carr: Collectively, we recognized that there were some differences. And again, I'm not trying to be vague, but you can open up a can of worms and then it turns into more.
We understand, and certainly don't want to pry. But people talk, especially when the circumstances are so vague.
Tai Anderson: That's been our challenge with it. There wasn't any scandal or a big fight. But neither Brad nor the band wants to create lies either. We don't want to say he's pursuing a solo career when he's not, or to say he's spending more time with family and imply he's having trouble at home. And we want to be careful because we don't want to cast the record with any of this. I think it's about going forward and all being unified around this album, and it became clear it's time to part ways and go on different paths.
David Carr: We know this isn't an easy time for him and it hasn't been an easy time for us either. There comes a point I think in a lot of bands and relationships when you really hit a crossroads. You don't even realize it's coming up as soon as it is. I think it hit us between the eyes in a way, even though I think we were feeling over the years that our paths would someday diverge. I think we all denied it and put it off because we didn't want it to happen. So it's not that we're trying to be vague, but we're [not being specific] out of respect to Brad and to us. The biggest thing we asked on our message boards shortly after it happened was just to trust us that Brad and the band doesn't make such decisions haphazardly or flippantly. We prayerfully considered the matter together.
None of this gives us much information. But how much information do we, the fans, really need? We know Brad is no longer with Third Day, and that they are not planning to replace him. We don't know what Brad will be doing in the future, but he and his family are in our prayers, as are the men of Third Day as they continue to rock our world!