Bassist McClelland Exits Snow Patrol

U.K. rock act Snow Patrol has parted ways with bassist Mark McClelland.

U.K. rock act Snow Patrol has parted ways with bassist Mark McClelland. "Following a life-changing year in 2004, Snow Patrol found themselves under a whole set of new and unexpected pressures," reads a post on the band's official Web site. "These pressures have unfortunately taken their toll on working relationships within the band, and it was felt that Snow Patrol could not move forward with Mark as a member."

"I started the group with Mark 10 years ago and he was a massive part of Snow Patrol and my life throughout that decade," frontman Gary Lightbody added. "This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make, and believe us when we say we didn't make it lightly. It got to the stage that things couldn't go on as they were, so we felt there was no other course of action but this."

As previously reported, the group is currently in Ireland writing and demoing material for the follow-up to its 2003 breakthrough, "Final Straw." A North American tour will begin April 23 in Spring, Texas, to be followed by a handful of support slots on the European leg of U2's Vertigo trek.

A source close to the band tells that McClelland actually exited prior to the start of the Ireland sessions. "They went over there with a clean slate and nothing hanging over them," the source says, adding that the as-yet-untitled album is "coming along and is in good shape."

The upcoming tour will not be affected by McClelland's departure and "we hope it won't delay the album," says a spokesperson from Snow Patrol's U.K. record label, Fiction. "They'll have someone playing in his place for the U.S. dates."