(Photo : Provident)

Bad news for RED fans ... After six years of playing drums with the Christian hard rockers, Joe Rickard has decided to step down to pursue other things. Though there is no animosity between Joe and his (now) former bandmates, the decision appears rather sudden as Joe and RED guitarist Anthony Armstrong stopped by Loudwire.com just two short months ago to talk about the album and how the songs were going over live.

On the band's Facebook page, RED posted:

What's up REDNATION!!! We trust that you are all doing great! We wanted to officially announce that tonight in Phoenix, AZ we played our final show with Joe. After 6 years in RED, he has decided to step away from touring and try new things. Joe will be joining us in the studio to work on the Spring release of "Release the Panic: Re-Calibrated", but will no longer be drumming with RED. We love him and wish him the best as always! RED will move on as Michael,Anthony and Randy and we aren't going anywhere!!! Can't wait to see you all in February on tour. We Love you all!!! RELEASE THE PANIC...

Joe, the co-owner of StayEasy Apparel, started drumming at the age of 13. He was playing for his church one month after getting his first kit for Christmas. By the time he was 17, he was ready to go pro, despite only being a Junior in high school. His first professional audition was with a band called Sky Harbor and he got the gig, leaving home and high school in his rearview mirror as he hit the road. From there, Rickard was the drummer for Mourning September, followed by The Wedding. Meeting Hayden Lamb, the former (and second) drummer for RED, got him the gig as a drum tech for the band. When Lamb was in a car accident and injured his shoulder, Joe stepping in to fill his role behind the kit was a natural.

Now, with a new tour just days away, we're left wondering who will be handling the drumming duties and will they match up to Joe's mad skill.