Did Tony Rohrbough Quit Byzantine? (Again, Sorta)
The first major bummer occurred when we learn that bassist Skip Cromer quit Byzantine just a few months after the band’s triumphant self-titled reunion record brought them back into the spotlight. Cue bummer #2: it now appears as if lead guitarist Tony Rohrbough has also quit. Again. Sorta: Rohrbough was initially not involved in the reunion, but he changed his mind in January of 2012 after life circumstances unexpectedly led him back to West Virginia.
Our source is an interview published on the website of the Indianapolis Metal Fest, at which Byzantine are set to appear for a very rare live performance in September. Guitarist/vocalist Chris “OJ” Ojeda references the news as if it’s already common knowledge:
IMF: Like many bands, Megadeth immediately comes to mind, Byzantine has had a few lineup changes, but throughout you’ve been able to maintain and expand on that core progressive-tinged style you’re so well known for. How have you been able to maintain that kind of consistency through lineup changes?
O.J.: One of the saving graces for us is that everyone we have brought into the group understood where we are coming from, what bands we grew up listening to that formed our sound, what ways we are willing to experiment with and what ways we are not, etc. Plus, over the course of 4 albums we have only had 5 members record on those albums, which is not bad for a 4-piece. Having recently lost our bassist (Skip Cromer) and founding lead guitarist (Tony Rohrbough) we will have a hard road to hoe but luckily we have always experimented with every nuance of Heavy Metal so any new Byzantine album will be no different. An experiment!
No mention of it on Byzantine’s Facebook page, where Rohrbough is still listed as a member. So, uh, yeah, that’s weird. I feel like OJ is the sole creative nucleus of this band anyway, though, so I think they’ll be just fine. But Rohrbough’s leads will absolutely be missed; dude’s a helluva player.
Thanks: Wade S.