Christofer Johnsson, the creative force behind Sweden’s genre-defying THERION, has issued the following statement:
“Now that we have posted Nalle(y)’s message to the fans, I’ll give some comments on it myself.
“Naturally, it may sound worrisome that there has been announced two changes in the live line-up in such a short time frame. But the Nalle situation is not something that has happened recently; we have known this could be the case since last year and we have had a replacement ready for months. Nalle told us immediately about his new family situation in the beginning of the year and given the fact he periodically had really tough drinking problems, we thought it was the right thing to do, to stay away from long tours and deal with the problems and be home with the kids instead. The band can always get somebody else to play the bass, but his kids only have one dad. And they need him in good shape. Some things are simply more important in life than heavy metal and beer. We also applaud his bold decision to start studying at his age, so that he will have options other than music for making a living in the future. Kudos!
“The reason we waited with announcing this was that we wanted to play these Mexican shows and European festivals with Nalle and avoid the funeral atmosphere of everyone knowing someone is about to leave (or take a break, as in this case).
“What about Nalle in the future? We have had discussions in the band if we should get another bass player, but we have decided to keep him as a member of the band and wait and see. It is possible that we will have him playing on the albums and have a live bass player for touring. One thing is sure, though, I’ve never been more happy with the bass on an album than with Nalle’s work on Sitra Ahra and it would be awesome to continue to work with him.
“So who’s gonna play bass on the tour? It will be Waldemar Sorychta, an artist mainly known for his skills as a guitarist and songwriter with his own bands Grip Inc., Enemies of the Sun, Eyes Of Eden, and Despair. He also created a big name as a producer, working with bands like Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, The Gathering, Samael, Tiamat, etc.
“I got in contact with Waldemar when I made the Vovin album back in 1997. He did some additional guitar on “Draconian Trilogy” and also recorded some stuff that would not make it to the album (it was later released on [1999’s] Crowning of Atlantis instead). I was impressed with his skills, so when me and drummer Sami [Karppinen] went down to Germany to record the song “The Crowning Of Atlantis” one year later, and I got stuck not getting the right groove in the rhythm guitars of that song (it’s a pretty difficult type of tempo), we gave him a call. He showed up and I explained what I thought was missing. He grabbed the guitar and a couple of takes later, it was nailed to tape exactly like I wanted it.
“Fast forward and many years later, I’m looking to find a replacement for [lead guitarist] Kristian Niemann. Waldemar was on my list of interesting guitarists, but he was already engaged with other bands at the time, and I was also still trying to persuade the amazing Lori Linstruth that THERION was the band where she belonged (an idea that Kristian Niemann heavily supported as well ,actually). In the end, I ended up working with Waldemar as a session guitarist doing most of the rhythm guitars (new talent Christian Vidal was brought into the band just in time to record the solos). I recalled Waldemar saying he did a lot of jobs as a bass player as well, so when the need of a live bass player occurred, he was naturally one of the top names on our list.
“He’s gonna do a fantastic job on the tour and being a very nice guy as well, I think we’re all gonna have a really good time on tour together.”
The artwork to the new THERION album, Sitra Ahra, is posted on their homepage & MySpace page. Mixed by Lennart Östlund (Led Zeppelin, ABBA) at the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, the new album will be available in North America on October 26th.
The track listing for Sitra Ahra is as follows:
01. Sitra Ahra
02. Kings Of Edom
03. Unguentum Sabbati
04. Land Of Canaan
07. Cu Chulain
08. Kali Yoga III
09. The Shells Are Open
11. After The Inquisition: Children
View THERION tour dates here (Mozilla Firefox browser).