Ben Combe Leaves Particle
It appears that Particle will part ways with its third guitarist over the past two years. In October of 2005, Charlie Hitchcock left the group. Four months later the band added two guitar players: RANA’s Scott Metzger and Ben Combe (Bad Shoe). Then in July 2006, Metzger announced his departure from the band. Now it looks like Combe has done the same.
Combe explains, via a press release:
_The last year and a half has been an exciting and life changing period. Particle afforded me the opportunity to continue to live my dream. I am forever grateful to each of the members for the opportunities this journey has brought me. I have had the honor of playing throughout the country with some of my long time musical heroes of rock past, present and future. This is a part of my life and career that I will never forget. _
_With that said, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to part ways with Particle to pursue a more collaborative musical direction. I have a deep respect and admiration for the group but for some time now I have felt that my interests, and the three original members’ musical direction, no longer coincide. As much as Eric, Darren and Steve have welcomed me into the ‘Particle World,’ it has become clear that despite my involvement, our ideals of solidarity differ too much for me to continue to stay with the group. _
_The Particle fans have been nothing short of amazing, and I thank each one of you for the support, especially after I took the reigns of guitar after the departure of Scott Metzger. I sincerely hope that after the dust settles from my decision, that everyone involved will understand why I have come to this conclusion. The Particle fans’ energy and caring has always been overwhelming and I look forward to experiencing additional time together in a new and exciting project in the very near future. _
_In closing, I want to assure each of you that this decision has come over months and months of soul searching; this was not decided over night. I have nothing but respect for Particle and more than anything, this decision was made as a matter of artistic principal and integrity. People change in a creative context as they do personally, and sometimes the best efforts are unable to sustain and refocus the relationship in such a way that everyone feels fulfilled. _
_It is my hope that this message allows everyone involved to take pause for reflection and regain momentum for future positive musical endeavors. _
_I look forward to seeing each of you very soon. _
Particle keyboard player Steve Molitz is currently on the road with Phil Lesh, so that the group’s next scheduled gig is not until October 27 in Garrettsville, Ohio at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park.