"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Keyboardist Nick V Parts with Agro

Keyboardist Nick V has announced his departure from South African band Agro. Here's his official statement:

“Good bye my friends, I’m leaving you today,
The quest is hard, but I know you’ll find a way...”
- Gamma Ray

"I never thought I’d have to write this, but here it is: It’s time for me to leave Agro and say goodbye to you all!

"And no, it’s not because of 'musical' or 'personal' differences, and although of course there are those, the reason I’m leaving is because I’m emigrating, and trust me, it’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, because the Agro boys have been more than my band mates for the past seven years, they’ve been, without sounding cheesy, my brothers with whom all can be shared and fought over.

"Since the first time I saw the band, with Cliff sneaking out of the toilet while the band was in the middle of an instrumental at a tiny Kebab Junction stage, wearing nothing but a g-string with the hugest sock-knob and asking for a light, to the biggest stages we shared years later, I’ve been a fan of the band, the music and what they’ve stood for.

"I want to thank them for giving me the chance, to exhibit my art and craft, to leave a mark on the music scene, and generally putting up with my obnoxious shit for so many years. The day I was told that I’m the new Agro keyboardist is still one of the proudest days of my life! I wanted to tell all and sundry, and seven years on, I’m still as proud to have been a member of this band.

"I also want to thank you, the fans, for your support and love, because if you’re reading this, then you must have played at least a miniscule part in my life with Agro. I trust that you’ve enjoyed our music and company as much as we’ve enjoyed yours, and will continue to support the band, for this is not the end of Agro as a band by any means, or me as a musician.

"I hope that whoever replaces me has in them the same pride and drive as the rest of the guys, because there is no band that deserves success more than Agro. In a climate of general antipathy towards our chosen genre of expression, these boys have struggled and kept on going for more than seventeen years without fail, in the hope that their art will be recognised and I can only salute them for that.

"So, to all of you, thank you for your support, the good times and the great times, the shitty ones I’ve forgotten about, as they have been only a few and insignificant.

"To our stage crew: Robin, Phil, Wez, Alec, Ian and Tiaan (and whoever has ever helped us), you have my greatest respect, and without your help and dedication, we’d be half the band we are! You are The Might behind the Agro steamroller!

"To Shane, Cliff, Robbie, Wes (and Dan and Grant), you have my eternal gratitude and support, and I’ll always carry a part of you with me. When the day comes when Agro are to headline the biggest metal festivals, I’ll be the one with the proudest smile, watching from the side of the stage. Thank you for making my time in Agro one of the most unforgettable experiences ever, I’ll never forget you!

"Stay true and never give up!
Nick V"

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