“I didn’t see it coming” says Mark McClelland…

Sacked Snow Patrol bassist MARK MCCLELLAND has hit back at his former bandmates following the announcement of his departure yesterday (March 16).

“This is one thing that I thought would never happen,” he told the Daily Record after leaving the band. “I think Gary (Lightbody) wanted more control and less interference. It’s a solo effort now because he’ll be the only one really contributing to the band.”

McClelland, who founded Snow Patrol with Gary Lightbody in 1994 when the pair were studying at Dundee University, said he taken by surprise when asked to leave the group.

“I didn’t see it coming because there was no real indication of these pressures they were talking about,” he explained. “I went down for a meeting to discuss what I thought was about when we were going to start rehearsing and writing for the new album and they just sprung it on me.”

McClelland added that it was Lightbody who broke the news. “Gary said to me, ‘We’re not getting on. I don’t feel I can write music with you in the band and you’re going to have to go,’” he recalled. “It was as simple as that. I wanted an explanation but there was none forthcoming.”

However writing on [url=] Lightbody apologised to fans for the news emerging via the band’s record company and not them, but insisted the decision was for the best.

“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,” he wrote.

“I know you will all be distressed and may not understand this news but we had to do what was best for the band. At present we are in Ireland writing and demoing the new album. We wish Mark all the love and hope for the future.”

Snow Patrol will be playing the Isle Of Wight festival on June 12. For ticket availability, [url=]go to NME Tickets or call them on 0870 1 663 663.