by Sony Music has just announced that longtime drummer Ron Welty has left the band. A statement from Ron reads "After more than 15 great years with The Offspring I've decided to leave to devote all my energies on a new project called Steady Ground. I wish Dexter, Noodles and Greg the best of luck moving forward and it's time for me to focus on my own thing." Ron will be replaced by Josh Freese in the studio for the upcoming album. No word on if Freese will become a permanent member of the band or not.