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HOPE OF THE STATES SPEAK OUT ABOUT DEATH OF BANDMATE

The group ask that Jimmi Lawrence's passing "not be co-opted as a glamorous 'rock 'n roll' death"...

Hope Of The States have spoken for the first time about their sense of loss following the apparent suicide of guitarist JIMMI LAWRENCE.

As previously reported, police were called to the Real World studios near Bath in the early hours of this morning after Lawrence was found hanged. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

The band have issued a statement to NME.COM today (January 16), that reads: "It is with enormous sadness that we have to inform you that our best friend and bandmate Jimmi Lawrence took his own life early yesterday morning at Real World Studios near Bath.

"We have lost our friend in a tragic and heartbreaking way. His sense of humour, sensitivity, talent, intelligence and above all genuinely caring nature will be sadly missed. Our last days with Jimmi were the happiest we have ever shared together. He was immensely proud and happy with his work on the record and could not wait for others to hear it. We are devastated that he will never hear it with us, never play guitar, have a drink, a laugh or a conversation with us again. We are all forever grateful for the many messages of support and condolences we have received not just from friends and family but from people who had fleetingly met Jimmi or heard him play. The depth of feeling shown by you all means so much, not only to the band and his friends, but also to Jimmi's family.

"Finally we would ask that this awful event not be co-opted as a glamorous "rock 'n roll" death. We will forever believe this was not supposed to happen and our dear friend would hate to be thought of in this way."

Hope Of The States were due to release their anticipated debut album in late spring after months spent recording in Russia and then Ireland. The finishing touches were being put on the album at Real World this month.

The Chichester six-piece, who signed to Sony imprint Seeker following an intense bidding war, have been working with Sigur Ros producer Ken Thomas.

The band were due to finish recording in late January, with a single expected in late February, followed by the album later in the spring.

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