Austin Winkler's temporary hiatus from Hinder earlier this year turned into a permanent split. The official announcement came last week from his bandmates, and now the singer has spoken out about parting ways with the band, his recent sobriety and starting a new project.

Hinder, who used guest vocalists on their summer and fall tours, have announced they will continue on with a new singer, but have not announced plans for finding a vocalist yet. The band's latest album 'Welcome to the Freakshow' was released in 2012, but the group is best known for hits such as 'Lips of an Angel,' 'Get Stoned' and 'Use Me.'

Winkler's statement reads as follows:

To All Hinder Fans,
It's with a heavy heart that I announce after 12 years of being the lead singer of Hinder, the band and I have decided to part ways. I wish the guys nothing but the best in the future.
I want to thank each and every one of you all for your love and support over the years, and especially over the last 4 months on my road to recovery. All the messages you sent me on Twitter and Instagram really helped me get through this difficult time in my life. I'm happy to say I've been sober for 150 days.
I'm really passionate about the new project I'm working on. I have been in the studio nonstop and can't wait to share this new music with you. Make sure to follow me on Instagram @AustinJohnWinkler and Twitter @IamAustinJohn as I will be making some announcements real soon!
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being with me on this journey…we're just getting started!
- Austin Winkler

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