Feb 14 2011
What?! Ben's leaving Skillet!

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.

 Thank you.

 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,

John Cooper

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Comments (8) -

2/14/2011 4:19:41 PM
Hannah United States
Oh my goodness!! I wish Ben his best!! I've known Skillet for 3 years now... and I don't think I qualify for a Panhead...but Ben and Skillet have touched my life for eternity. Thank you, Ben! I wish you well!!
2/14/2011 7:28:38 PM
nic day United States
nic day
does this mean that skillet is no moreFrown
2/14/2011 7:30:17 PM
nic day United States
nic day
i hope ben has a good life and stays straight with his walk with God
2/15/2011 3:28:58 AM
Debbi United States
I've been a Panhead since the very beginning, and it's going to be hard to see Ben go after so long.  Wishing you the best, Ben, on your new endeavors.
2/15/2011 2:35:27 PM
p4nh34d United States
This cant be happening!
2/16/2011 1:18:00 PM
Air1Coppelia United States
@nic day The band is staying together. It's just that Ben is moving on to other personal projects. It's all good!

I'm sure they'll find another amazing guitarrist!

Diehard panheads remember when drummer Lori Peters announced she was leaving Skillet. There was no way anyone could fill her shoes! But Jen's done a pretty amazing job + she's added her own flair to the band!

So I'm sure God's got plans for both Ben and the band...and I can't wait to see what's gonna happen next!
2/20/2011 5:16:40 PM
michael United States
they should get karl Messner who used to play for apologetix to be their new guitarist  
2/20/2011 5:40:13 PM
Joy Grace United States
Joy Grace
I am going to miss Ben and all of his cool guitar solos! I hope God guides his new path apart from Skillet.