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Simple Plan bassist Desrosiers taking leave to treat depression

Simple Plan bassist David Desrosiers says he's taking a temporary leave from the pop-punk band as he fights depression.

The band is marking 15 years since their debut album was released

Chuck Comeau, David Desrosiers, Sebastien Lefebvre, and Jeff Stinco, are shown on Nov. 6, 2012 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Simple Plan bassist David Desrosiers says he's taking a temporary leave from the pop-punk band as he fights depression.

The musician posted a message to fans on his Instagram account on Thursday outlining his decision to bow out from the European leg of the band's tour.

Desrosiers says he's long struggled with depression in private, which has forced him to step aside from the Montreal-based act in the past.

"The time has come to explain why there are times when I cannot be with my bandmates playing shows for you," he wrote.

"At the moment, I am fighting a major depression that prevents me from enjoying life and doing the things I love such as playing music."

Several upcoming shows in Canada

Members of the band issued their own note on Facebook supporting Desrosiers's decision.

"After talking to him this week, we've made the decision together that it was better for David to stay home and focus on his recovery," they said.

"It really breaks our hearts to see our friend and bandmate go through these difficult times, but we know he will overcome this and be back on stage with us very soon."

The European tour starts on Sunday in Berlin and runs through late June. The band returns to North America late month, playing Timmins, Ont., on June 27. They will play two shows in Quebec in August, followed by nearly a dozen dates across Canada in September.

It is not clear if Desrosiers will return for the North American dates.

Simple Plan says it hopes discussing the situation publicly will help their fans who are facing similar mental health issues. They've also focused on awareness for depression through a foundation they started in 2005.

The band, which is marking the 15th anniversary of their debut album, faced another tour hurdle last year.

They pushed back several Canadian tour dates last November after lead singer Pierre Bouvier injured his vocal cords while singing in the studio.

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