Sweden's PAIN OF SALVATION has issued the following update:
"We are sad to announce that Johan Langell [drums] has decided to leave the band, to focus on family. This is not a sudden decision, but something that has been pending for several years. As the band now rapidly continues to grow for each year, the time and commitment needed for being in studio and on tours increase. Not really wanting this, Johan chose to include the whole band in his doubts regarding this directly from the start, and now when the time has finally come.
"The search for a new drummer has started, but Johan will stay for the remaining gigs this year, and has also offered to help teach any new drummer his or her parts. 'Whoever the new drummer will be, I want us to have a relaxed relation,' he concludes.
"This is undoubtedly a big change, but change is always dualistic to its nature, always two-sided. It was change that initially brought Johan Langell to the band. It was change that gave us Johan Hallgren and Simon [Andersson, bass]. This aspect of life constitutes the pain of salvation that originally gave the band its name — it is an ongoing progress of constant development that forces you to take another step or give in. And we don't give in. After years of discussion and planning, we are ready to take our next step, and we are happy to have Simon onboard for this. Now we can only turn to the fans and ask them to keep following us on our journey. And hey — don't worry. It's all worth it."
Commented Johan Langell: "After having been the drummer of PAIN OF SALVATION for more than 17 years, I have decided to leave the band. At this point, many of you may wonder why, and the answer is quite simple. For a few years now I have increasingly felt that the joy and passion of playing drums has diminished, to the point where I feel that I just can't go on anymore.
"Looking back, I can see that this process started already five years back, when I became a father. Since then, my priorities have shifted more and more from music and playing drums to family, and I have caught myself feeling jealous of friends who lead typical and normal family lives.
"Some people might find this strange, considering the position and success of PAIN OF SALVATION, but this is actually part of the problem. The bigger the band gets, the more time and devotion is required, and as for myself, family comes first now. That's where I want to spend my time and devotion. I have had difficulties going on tour and spending time away from home, even if it's only a week.
"Here I want to take the opportunity to say that I really love the guys in the band and the music we have created over the years. My decision comes only from the fact that my heart is simply not in it anymore. Therefore, I feel that it is time for someone else to take over, someone with the hunger and willingness to devote himself/herself to the band and fans as much as I think you should always do. I also want to say that we are very good friends, and will be after I have quit as well. This is not a rash decision, but one that has been considered for a long time, and discussed within the band. It will be a big change in my life since we have played together for such a long time, especially me and Daniel [Gildenlöw, vocals] who have practically grown up together, spending virtually all free time in the rehearsing room.
"Yes, PAIN OF SALVATION has been a big part of my life, and then it is still important for me to see it live on, because the band has so much more to give. Thanks to all you wonderful fans that have supported me through the years. Who knows, maybe we'll see each other in front of the stage?"
Daniel Gildenlöw (vocals) stated: "I have been playing together with Johan for 17 years now, and I can honestly say I have never played with a better drummer. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the day when he arrived to his audition. I was sixteen and he was fourteen — he had never played in a band and he didn't even know how a count-in worked, but when he played we could instantly see his full potential.
"During our many years together we have come to a musical understanding that I have shared with few, and he has continued to develop as a drummer and a musician. The sad part is that he is still developing. Sad, because he is not only quitting the band, he is quitting music — at least for now. Johan and us have had discussions about his departure for many years, and I will never understand his decision, even though I accept it.
"There are so many things I will miss when he finally moves out of the rehearsing room, but the thing I will probably miss the most is his way of saying 'it's impossible' when I present a new drum part. 'I will never be able to play this!' Then thirty minutes later he nails it, and you know it will always be there, long after everyone else have forgotten their parts.
"I cannot begin to explain how sad I am to see him go, and for the first time since I was eleven, I had to stop and dare to consider giving up on the band. We all had to sit down and seriously think about the future. It was clear though, that none of us would allow PAIN OF SALVATION to be laid in an early grave, least of all Johan himself.
"It was clear to us before we did the tour for 'Scarsick' that this was going to be Johan's last tour with the band, and it was a profound and bittersweet feeling that I think permeated the whole tour, and hopefully spilled over to the fans attending the shows.
"If you want a chance to see PAIN OF SALVATION with Johan behind the drums, you need to see any of the shows we have planned for the rest of the year. I know that I, for one, will savour these shows, as will the rest of the band."
Johan Hallgren (guitar, vocals) commented: "Johan Langell is a great drummer and friend. I will miss him dearly as a member of POS. He will always be my good friend and we have yet good times to come. I fully respect his decision and I wish him good luck in life. But remember we have a few more shows with the guy. I recommend you attend one to see a great man!"