katatonia drummer

It’s no secret that more often than not, being a member of a relatively successful and celebrated band often isn’t enough to pay the bills, let alone support of a family. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why bands like In Flames and All That Remains have become more commercial — death metal’s cool and all, but it won’t put food on the table like a catchy radio-friendly song will. We’re fascinated with the often “boring” 9-5 grind that many metalheads have to go through to be able to support their passions, and we bring it up in interviews all the time.

At the end of the day, music, merch, and ticket sales split five ways simply doesn’t make ends meet for many bands. Evidently Katatonia is one such band, and their situation has put drummer Daniel Liljekvist in a position where he has to choose either his art or providing for his family. This isn’t exactly a tough choice to make — when it comes down to it, making sure your kids come home to a house with proper food and utilities supersedes all — but it’s a harsh reality to accept. Liljekvist has left the band in order “to concentrate on my family and get a normal job that gets the bills paid.”

Here’s Liljekvist’s statement, courtesy of Lambgoat:

“I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of months and I’ve come to the sad conclusion that i have to leave the band. It’s got nothing to do with ‘difference in views´or any other bullshit. I just cannot combine job, family and commit 100% to Katatonia. Times for musicians are rough and i’ve decided to concentrate on my family and get a normal job that gets the bills paid.

“I’ve had some of the best moments in my life the past 14 odd years together with my favorite people in the world. I’ve been all over the planet with this lot…my second family. Thank you! I’m gonna miss playing with you and I’m gonna miss hanging out with you on the road so much. And I’m gonna miss meeting all the great Katatonia fans all over the world. You know who you are. You are truly amazing! I’m not gonna miss all the freaks and idiots we’ve come across during all the years. You probably don’t know who you are. And I will not miss bad catering, shit beer and banana juice…

“This is Daniel, rocking the fuck off! Cheers!”

The rest of the band elaborates:

“We are sad and hollow to see Daniel leave our ranks, but yet his decision has our sincere understanding. Nothing lasts forever and all good things must come to an end sooner or later. Yet it makes it so much more frustrating when it happens for the wrong reasons or before reaching our terminus. Particularly, we can’t pretend the current climate has nothing to do with it, in fact this is undeniably yet another outcome of musicians struggling at the crossroads of today’s ‘scene/industry’. Tragically, this situation forces a member, brother – and our fans favourite long-time drummer – to resign from a band he sacrificed a decade and a half to build. While encouraging this topic to inevitable debate and re-evaluation, we will always be grateful for the years we shared together and we wish Daniel the best of luck in the future. It goes without saying, we part as band members, but certainly remain as friends.

“On a further positive note, this will not affect any of the upcoming tour dates. The ‘Dethroned & Uncrowned – Unplugged & Reworked’ tour next month will proceed accordingly and see JP Asplund taking on percussion duties – he was the one who actually played all original percussion on Dead End Kings/Dethroned & Uncrowned albums. Stand-in drummer Daniel Moilanen (Ex-Engel) will perform on the upcoming summer festivals. Let’s welcome our helping hands, have a goodbye toast for Daniel (note that would be 11 sips for him) and keep our eyes on the horizon: new tours coming up in South America and Australia as well as the long awaited 20th anniversary ‘Last Fair Day Gone Night – Live at Koko’ DVD coming out this fall and much more…”

This is a huge bummer, and we definitely feel for Daniel for having to make the call. Hopefully he can continue making music on his own free time. Good luck out there, Daniel!

– JR

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