On July 4, Hinder announced that frontman Austin Winkler decided to temporarily leave the band’s tour for personal reasons. It’s since been confirmed that he has checked himself into rehab.
We want to let you know Austin has decided to temporarily leave the tour for personal reasons. Our thoughts and prayers are with him in this time and we know that he will be just fine. HOWEVER, the band has decided, instead of canceling shows and leaving our die-hard fans hanging, we’re going to keep the good times rolling on the road this summer. We have some guests filling in to help us out and promise you won’t be disappointed!
Hinder reached out to David Cook to see if he could fill in temporarily. The former Tulsan reportedly showed some interest but turned down the offer to work on his own music. Cook is currently considering a recording contract with Verve Records, which is owned by Universal Music Group and run by veteran producer David Foster.
Winkler told EW of his admiration for Cook back in 2008:
“He shows that the world is starving for a little bit of rock-n-roll. Hopefully we can write some tunes for him.”
Filling in for Winkler on Hinder’s tour dates will be Jared Weeks from Saving Abel and Marshal Dutton from Drankmore – who co-produced Hinder’s latest album, Welcome to the Freakshow, with Cody Hanson. Weeks is the curious one here, as his band had beef with Hinder back in 2009.
The band also reportedly reached out to ‘American Idol’ season 10 contestant James Durbin, who also passed on the offer to focus on his next record.
According to Hinder manager Kevin “Chief” Zaruk, Winkler checked himself into rehab after feeling like he was slipping a little bit and, so far, he’s doing well.
Winkler previously entered rehab after the completion of Hinder’s 2012 album, Welcome To The Freakshow. His self-described “really dark drug binge” fueled much of his songwriting on the album. In 2008, Winkler previously faced DWI charges in Jonesboro, Arkansas.