The band's original sticksman thinks he's till in the band - but the rest of them don't think so...

Vines debut album, ‘HIGHLY EVOLVED’, arrived at NME.COM last week – and we can confirm that it’s every bit as sensational as their recent UK live shows suggested it would be.

But the release of the album has been thrown into confusion, after the group’s original drummer, David Olliffe, appeared on various Internet sites, insisting he’s still a full-time member of the band and that he co-wrote the track ‘1969’. He also states that he’s started work on the group’s next album.

‘Highly Evolved’ was recorded in LA’s Sunset Studio Sound complex in a six month period beginning in July 2001. Produced by Rob Schnapf – previously responsible for Beck’s ‘Mellow Gold’ among others – the sessions were apparently fraught from the outset, culminating in the decision to replace Olliffe about three months into the process.

The record was then completed with Beck drummer Joey Waronker and former member of Elvis Costello And The Attractions, Pete Thomas. The band now have a new drummer in the shape of Hamish Rosser.

Sources close to the band’s record label have suggested that Olliffe was replaced due to both his erratic behaviour and his inability to get on with Schnapf. Interviewed on fan site, Olliffe says of the producer: “He’s not creative, his friends are losers and he’s the biggest cunt there is.”

He goes on to add that he’ll be rejoining the band during their Australian tour “in the middle of this year”.

The band’s label, Heavenly insisted the album will be released as planned on July 8.

Although they refused to comment on any ongoing legal battles, they released a statement which said: “David Olliffe was a founding member of Vines and was an integral and valued member of the band for many years. Prior to the completion of the recording of Vines debut album ‘Highly Evolved’ in LA, he felt it necessary to return home to Australia for personal reasons. Dave’s drumming features on eight of the tracks on ‘Highly Evolved’.

“Dave also co-wrote the record’s brilliant closing track ‘1969’ with Craig. He of course receives songwriting credit for this on the album. It goes without saying that Dave will receive recording and songwriting royalties from the album.

“Dave is no longer a member of Vines. The band fully acknowledge his contribution, and do not discount the possibility of working with him again in the future.”