After 10 years with the band, Skillet's guitarrist, Ben Kasica, announced that he is leaving the band.
Here's what they shared on Skillet's Facebook page:
Panheads, fans, friends, and rockers,
What's up everybody? We have just returned home from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, where we had an awesome tour!
However, as we are taking a little time off, we have a sad message to share with you. Our long-time guitarist Ben Kasica is going to end his time with Skillet. We have had 10 years working together, and It has been an amazing ride! From the years we spent driving through the night in a van; to playing concerts all the way around the world, I've seen Ben transform from the kid who was nervous to play a guitar solo, to the rocker who now plays a solo...with his teeth! I always knew the time would come for Ben to leave and pursue other dreams, and now it is here. We are a family and we are going to miss him. We appreciate how hard he has worked for us and wish him the best in his life off the road. We have asked Ben if he would like to give a message to the fans, being that I'm sure all of you would like to hear from him, and of course he did:
Hello panheads. After 10 amazing years of playing with Skillet, as John has told you, I will be leaving the band. This has been an incredible journey for me. Joining the band shortly after turning 16 and basically growing up on the road, I had no idea how long the ride would last but have enjoyed it immensely and been thankful to God for everything I've been a part of. We've traveled to loads of places, met many many wonderful people, drunk way too much coffee, made tons of memories and hopefully touched lives with eternity. I feel completely blessed and honored to have been a part of Skillet's history. I want to thank John and Korey for the opportunity of a lifetime. They've been encouraging, compassionate, long-suffering with me and it's been what's kept me going on all these years. I'm grateful for their years of input in my spiritual, personal and business life. They're amazing, inspiring hardworking people that i have the utmost respect for. I wish them the absolute best in their future in and outside the band.
After getting off the road, I will be focusing on building my other companies, producing and developing artists at Skies Fall Studios and designing for LifeLoveMusic Clothing. I also look forward very much to being home and catching up on churchlife, family and friends.
I want to thank you panheads for 10 years of incredible support. You've been encouraging over the years and made touring an amazing experience. You are the absolute best fans ever.
Benjamin Judah Kasica
We appreciate Ben's work , we love him, and wish him the best in his music and various business ventures. Thanks to all of the fans for your support, and we will see you all soon on tour!
Stand and be strong,