MESHUGGAH Drummer Dismisses Shoulder Surgery 'Vicious Rumors'

Philip A. Wickstrand of Metaleater conducted an interview with MESHUGGAH drummer Tomas Haake this past Sunday (March 30) at the Roseland Theater in Portland, OR. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metaleater: First off, how's the tour been so far? You're what, about a week into it?

Tomas Haake: "Yeah, this is like the fifth show today, so it's kind of early on in the tour. It's been good so far, though. We missed a show in Calgary and we only played a super-short set at the first Vancouver show due to different delays and stuff like that, but from now on, I think everything's sorted and everything's kinda running smoothly, so we shouldn't run into any more of that stuff, I think. It's been good, absolutely we had a great reception last night, the Vancouver show; the second one of those was good. The first one, we only played like fifteen minutes, three songs because of all the delays and stuff."

Metaleater: What's it feel like being selected as main support for MINISTRY on their final U.S. tour?

Tomas Haake: "It's great. It's awesome, you know. We're stoked to be out here and we're glad that they wanted to bring us along for this and for us, it's also perfect timing with the release of the new album and everything, so we couldn't have had a better tour than this, so it's all good."

Metaleater: I read somewhere you might have to take some time off for shoulder surgery sometime during the tour.

Tomas Haake: "No that's a vicious rumor."

Metaleater: Oh, okay.

Tomas Haake: "Yeah, where did you see that? Was it Blabbermouth? Okay. I don't know how you would go about killing a rumor like that, 'cause it's not true. At all. That's totally a rumor. I mean, I have shoulder impingement. I do exercises now on a daily basis and I've done so for the past month and a half. I haven't felt it once yet on any show and hopefully I won't even need to have the surgery, but I'm at least hoping to be able to play all the tours for this album out before I have any surgery done, so there's no way I'm going to do anything in the middle of this tour and it's not bothering me at all now. Like, three, four months ago, I could barely lift my arm up straight up to the side like this. There is no, not even a hint, of pain of me doing that now, so those exercises have really helped. Like, the exercises basically just strengthen the rotator cuff and the muscles around the shoulder and once I started doing those, I've had really good effects from that so far, so it's been working really good. So, unfortunately, that's just a rumor."

Metaleater: I should say fortunately.

Tomas Haake: "Yeah. (laughter) Fortunately, it's a rumor, but unfortunately, there's a lot of rumors always."

For the record, the so-called "rumor" stems from an interview Haake gave on February 3, 2008 to Petri Silas of Finland's Soundi magazine in which Tomas stated, "We are going to make this public with an official statement soon, so I guess I can talk about it here. I have shoulder impingement in my right shoulder and will have to undergo surgery. It's quite a usual ailment with men of my age and the surgery is a totally routine operation. But the recovery period will make me have to forget about playing the drums for a couple of months. In fact, I shouldn't even go on the MINISTRY tour as my doctor would prefer to operate right now. But we managed to negotiate our showtime down to 35 minutes in order to make it easier on me. And I hope everything works out. As a matter of fact, we were just hatching up a plan B yesterday with the guys. If worse comes to worst during the MINISTRY tour, the band will continue to the end with another drummer. Luckily I should be in full condition and recovered at the end of the summer, as we will then play some more festival shows. In September we will embark on our own European headlining tour and expect to play a total of three shows in Finland."

The original report that was posted on BLABBERMOUTH.NET only stated that Haake "may be" forced to miss some of the shows on the band's current North American tour with MINISTRY not that he definitely will and it was based entirely on Tomas' own words, as quoted by Soundi. Assuming that he wasn't misquoted in the Soundi interview, Tomas should look in the mirror if he wants to find the source of this particular "vicious rumor."

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