Word broke out on Friday that Animals as Leaders had picked up a new drummer named Matt Garstka for their upcoming tours. This left many to wonder, “what happened to Navene?” Well, now we know; Navene Koperweis left the band to pursue other projects, and everything seems copacetic. Via Prosthetic Records:

Says Koperweis, “Tosin and Javier (Reyes, guitar) are the two most generous, caring and understanding individuals I’ve ever met and I look forward to a lifetime of friendship with the both of them. Over the past decade I have done nothing but music. Recording, writing, playing, practicing, touring and producing. It’s taken me beyond what I could have dreamt of as a kid when I started. My new goals extend beyond the drum kit and I’m the type of person who will constantly chase new dreams. You’ll be seeing a lot more of me soon.”

Abasi says, “I’ve shared some of my most memorable musical experiences to date with Navene and truly consider him a brother. I commend him for following his own path in life, even if that means I’ll no longer be sharing the stage with him. I feel blessed to have had the pleasure of working together and creating a lifelong friendship.”

So it’s good to see the split amicable with no drama. The band wasted no time and picked up a replacement to fill in on their upcoming tours in Europe and North America. Matt Garstka will be bashing the skins as reported, and he’s ridiculously good:


As of now, he doesn’t appear to be a permanent member, just filling in on the tours. Hopefully the relationship sparks and they decide to keep him around on a more permanent basis. As for Navene, I know he’s working on electronic music, but let’s hope this leads him to continue work on a second Fleshwrought record.

– JR


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