Drummer quits Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Nick Jago left the band once before, in 2004

NEW YORK -- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club drummer Nick Jago has split with the band for a second time, just before the launch of a European tour. However, core members Robert Levon Been and Peter Hayes insist Jago is not "fired" and that they "look forward to playing with him again in the future."

"We just feel Nick needs time to sort out exactly what he wants right now," they wrote in a MySpace post. "His heart and all his energy and attention is on his own solo project and he needs to see that through. We welcome his singing and songwriting in BRMC, but his focus, at least at the present time, is on doing his own thing and we wish him the best."

In an earlier MySpace post, Jago wrote: "I don't make it easy for them. Maybe playing drums for BRMC all the time is not my calling, and there is something else I'm supposed to do. We will see."

Jago and BRMC first ran into trouble in the fall of 2004, and he left the band for what were then described as "personal reasons." But he returned the following year to play on the band's third album, "Howl," and has remained with BRMC until now.

On the upcoming European dates, which begin Saturday in Brussels, Jago will be replaced on drums by Dead Combo's Leah Shapiro, who recently toured with the Raveonettes. Dead Combo has previously toured with BRMC as well.