The band confirmed the break Nov. 20 and said he has left the band for “personal reasons.” Read as: Too much party, not enough band. This summer, he also took time off to go through rehab, his publicist confirmed. No replacement has been announced.
During the making of the band’s most recent 2012 album, Welcome to the Freakshow, Winkler told Billboard, “I was in a very, very, very dark addiction. I think you can definitely hear the turmoil in my voice.”
But that doesn’t mean the rest of the “Get Stoned” hit-maker is finished, the band said in a media statement.
Winkler is a founding member of the wild rock act, which has often enlisted sponsorship (and on-bus dispensers) of Jagermeister and the notorious Girls Gone Wild crew. The band was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
“We hold no animosity towards Austin and wish him the best,” drummer Cody Hanson said in a media statement. “Although it was a difficult decision, it was the best thing for everyone involved and time for us to move on.”