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Sprints announce exit of guitarist Colm O’Reilly: “Life on the road can be tough”

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Sprints have announced the departure of guitarist Colm O’Reilly.

The Irish rockers said they were “heartbroken” to announce O’Reilly’s exit after five years as part of the band in a statement posted to their social media earlier today. They will be continuing as a trio and their forthcoming live shows will not be affected.

“Life on the road can be tough – mentally, emotionally and physically, and does not always allow us to pursue our ambitions and dreams in our personal lives,” they said. “Colm has expressed a desire to retreat from public performance and full time touring to pursue his own passions and we fully support his decision.

“Colm has and will always be an integral part of the Sprints family and we are excited to see how both our journeys unfold.

“Sprints will continue with Karla, Jack and Sam and we will be joined by guest guitarists across our live dates. All live commitments will be honoured and full of classic Sprints energy. We are excited to enter this new chapter and continue to grow.

“Thank you for the support so far and please join us in wishing Colm all the best.”

Frontwoman Karla Chubb recently spoke to NME about her recent ordeal of being sexually assaulted at one of the band’s gigs, and the organisation Girls Against shared advice for other victims and bystanders to stamp out groping at shows.

Last week, the singer explained that she’d had the “abhorrent” experience of being sexually assaulted for a second time at a gig: “Female performers should be able to engage with their audience, step off the stage or perform without fear of groping, unwanted touching, cat-calling and harassment.

“The fact that this is still an everyday occurrence for most women is beyond reprehensible.”

Speaking to NME, Chubb elaborated on the impact that the assault had on her, and made a push for more respectful behaviour towards artists on stage.

“It was just shock initially. I was talking to the guys in the green room and it hit me that it wasn’t normal. The next day, I woke up and I was pretty angry. The more I started to think about it, the more I started to realise I needed to say something because it’s just not OK that it happens to women at all  – let alone at the endemic level that it does across the music industry,” she explained.

“Then I started to notice bruising. Things like that make you feel vindicated at how serious it was.”

Recalling her advice to anyone who might witness sexual assault at a show, she added:  “I would make sure that you tell someone”.

“What’s been very comforting and vindicating was people coming to me to say, ‘I saw this happen to you’. It’s really important to be vocal about that, because there’s a lot of fear when coming forward that people are going to speculate, deny, twist their own narrative, or minimise what happened,” she said. “It’s important to make your voice heard and show solidarity.”

Meanwhile, the band recently released two new singles recorded during the sessions for their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Letter To Self’.

The pair of tracks arrived under the banner of the ‘Black Box Sessions’, and are particularly angsty singles titled ‘Drones’ and ‘Help Me, I’m Spiralling’.

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