Valis Ablaze part ways with drummer Rich New

Valis Ablaze have confirmed that drummer and founding member Rich New will leave the band after this weekend.

They’ll perform a final set with him at this Saturday’s Prog Metal Madness in London, with New reporting that he’s leaving “with a heavy heart.”

And, confirming his departure, the band have released a video for their track Reflections in his honour.

New says in a statement: “So with a heavy heart I am announcing that I'm stepping down from the drum throne with Valis Ablaze. After an incredible six years right from the start with Ash, I never thought it would be my time.

“I have incredible memories and I wish the band all the best for the future! I'll await my Download Festival Back Stage pass one day…

“To everyone else, thank you so much for supporting us on my adventure. For everyone who's listened to our music, come to our show and bought our merchandise – which I’ve most likely posted to you – I thank you. Without you, the band wouldn't be where where it is now.”

I have incredible memories and I wish the band all the best for the future

Rich New

He adds: “We've achieved so much like having our first gig in the 40 capacity Gryphon in Bristol, right up to touring the UK a few times and playing main stage UK Tech Fest. The band has a bright future so look out for them in a venue near you soon.

“Lastly, thanks to my amazing family who supported me with the decision and I look forward to spending more time with family and loved ones.

“Music runs in my blood, drumming gives me energy and life. I'll not stop playing or being involved with music somehow. But for now, it's over and out.”

The band have been forced to cancel their planned September shows as a result of New’s departure as they seek to find a replacement.

They say: “Our drummer, Rich New, is leaving Valis Ablaze. As a founding member of the band, we're very upset to see him go.

“Rich means a lot to us and has been integral to our internal processes, as well as a constant voice of reason and usually the sensible one on tour. 

“But we totally understand his desire to spend more time with his loved ones, starting a family and wish him nothing but all the best for his future.”

Valis Ablaze released their debut album Boundless in April this year via Long Branch records.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.