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Annihilator Jeff 'shocked' by Padden's exit

Guitarist stunned by singer's decision to walk away

Annihilator mainman Jeff Waters has opened up on his shock at singer Dave Padden's decision to leave the band.

Padden told Waters he wanted out towards the end of last year, leaving the guitarist to step into the lead vocal role for the group's upcoming 15th album Suicide Society.

And according to Waters, he didn't see it coming at all. He tells Metal Talk: "In December, he said he was just getting tired of the whole process. And I was kind of in shock, because this is my life, my career, and I never saw it coming.

"And he's been my guy – we never got in arguments. I said, 'Is it money? Do you want some more money? Is it me? Or is it the music? What's going on?'

"And he said it had nothing to do with any of that. It wasn't money, it wasn't me. It was simply he was getting sick of the travelling."

What made the decision all the more surprising for Waters was that the Canadian band's fortunes seemed to be on the rise at the time. He adds: "The last three records have been going up and up in sales, so I was just blown away. Why would you leave now when it's doing the opposite of what most bands are doing with declining CD sales?

"In hindsight, I was lucky to have him for 11 years, because he helped save my butt for quite a few years when, without a singer, I would have tanked. But also, he helped advise me. He was a sounding board. But the last couple of Annihilator CDs, he was not into it."

Suicide Society is released on September 18 via UDR Music. The band recently released a video for the title track.

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