Feb 132010

Your NCS Authors have been devoted fans of In Flames for a very long  time. We’ve seen their live shows in the Northwest every chance we get, we’ve met the band, we dig the music. So we were kinda stunned to see the news that guitarist Jesper Strömblad, who founded the group in 1993, has announced his departure:

“I have decided it is best for me to leave In Flames and to quit the band permanently. The last 17 years have been a blast, and I am proud to have been part of this great journey, with the most talented and amazing people anyone can wish to have the privilege to work with. I’m also the luckiest guy in the world, to have the BEST fans in the world, who have been supporting me during my difficult times. It means the world to me, and I’m determined to fight and defeat my demons once and for all…. and by the help from you guys, I’m on my way. I’m far from done with music, metal, or whatever my direction is taking me, so be sure to hear from me in the future.”

The remaining members of the group had the following to say:

“We are losing a great guitar player and musician, but in order to keep a very dear friend this is probably for the best. If this feels right for Jesper we are behind him 100% on his decision. It is way too early to speculate about the future and possible replacements and things like that. However, we can assure you that In Flames will continue as a band, release albums and tour the World. The door to In Flames is always open to Jesper. We are, and will always be behind Jesper 100% on his way to recovery.”

Jesper has been in rehab for alcohol abuse for the last year, though his appearance playing live with the band in December (see the video we posted here) lifted our hopes that he was headed for a comeback. All we can say now is, SHIT! This is a major league bummer.

Dec 132009

in flames

Swedish melodic death metal pioneers In Flames will always hold a special place in my heart.  They were my introduction to extreme metal, and though their music has become poppier over the years, I still love what they do.  I’ve been lucky enough to see them play in the Northwest on three occasions and to meet the guys in person on one of those tours (and they’re about as nice and unpretentious a group of dudes as you could hope to meet).

Guitarist Jesper Strömblad is one of the founders and the only remaining original member of the band. So it was with some trepidation that I read in February of this year that he’d checked himself into a rehab clinic to get treatment for alcohol abuse and would therefore miss the band’s Australia/SouthAmerica/Japan tour. A significant and positive step for Jesper, but one that raised some questions about how it would affect the future of In Flames.  In March, drummer Björn Gelotte gave an interview in which he had this to say about the situation:

“Well, as with every problem of this kind, it’s not something that you want to tell everybody. It is something that you are sort of embarrassed about, but we’ve been living around this problem now for many many years. The thing is that with something like this you can’t really force anybody to go to the doctor or to feel better. You have to wait until this person realizes that himself. And what happened is that it got to be too much and he had a breakdown and he realized when his body said, “This is it.” He had to go and get medication, get some treatment and lock himself in for a couple of weeks and take it easy and take care of himself. And this is the only way of waking up, I think. I don’t know how it is with other abuses, but with this one — it’s kind of embarrassing. It’s tough for him to realize it, but when he finally did it, now he’s doing something about it. But it takes time to get back.”

I hadn’t heard much more about this situation until today, when I saw a story that really brightened up my Sunday morning.   Continue reading »