Canadian rockers Billy Talent have cancelled their upcoming European tour to mourn the death of a loved one.

The band has scrapped eight shows, including dates in France and Germany, and they have issued an apology to fans.

In a message posted on the group's official website, singer Benjamin Kowalewicz writes, "We have lost someone who was very close to us and it's been the most surreal week we've ever experienced. We are not the type of band that cancels shows and never have been in our 20 years together but we feel under the circumstances, that we have to pull out of the remainder of this tour.

"It's a very hard thing to do for us... but we honestly feel that right now we have to be with our friends and family to get through this. We will make it up to you all we promise."

The band previously cancelled shows last year (12) when drummer Aaron Solowoniuk underwent open heart surgery.