Reunited seminal Swedish hardcore band REFUSED has parted ways with guitarist Jon Brännström. He revealed his exit from the group in an October 31 posting on REFUSED's Facebook page, where he wrote: "I was fired from REFUSED a while ago. I wasn't given a reasonable explanation and wasn't even invited to sit down and talk about it, so I'm not completely sure why they decided to go on without me."
He continued: "We've always been better at punk rock than democratic processes and dealing with conflicts, so I guess I'm not too surprised it went down like this. Quite sad indeed, but perhaps it's all for the best.
"I have always been more interested in writing music than reproducing it, more at home in the studio than on the road. Comfortable with slow intellectual processes rather than reacting instinctively in tumbling settings. What hurts me the most is, obviously, the gesture.
"We've had our ups and downs, but we've made art together and have been tied to together through REFUSED for twenty years.
"I used to be proud to call these people my friends.
"Enough rationalization and moaning, though. I'm writing to you through this forum to express my gratitude. If it weren't for you, REFUSED wouldn't have happened in the first place. All of you who made, and still make, wonderful art, thus inspiring us to also try to do so. All the people whose fights fueled ours. Those who couldn't stand oppression, who took action against capitalism, racism and sexism. All of you who through words and activism lit sparks, kept ideas of solidarity alive, who actually made a change. And, of course, all you beautiful people who came and made our shows. Who gave us feedback on our music through dancing, shouting, late night discussions, through bombarding us with human feces. You made it happen in the Nineties, you made it happen during our reunion a couple of years ago. Touching, to say the least. And I know you'll keep it up. Fighting, dancing and creating forever. I know I will. Through my music, through my work, through interactions, through speaking up. Just not through the forum of REFUSED anymore."
Earlier today (Saturday, November 1), the remaining members of REFUSED posted the following response to Brännström's announcement:
"Any collective effort will have its ups and downs, and when people really pour their hearts into something, things get complicated.
"We cut ties with Jon already in 2013 because he did not share our passion for the band. We don't know why he decided to emit this narrative on Facebook or why he did it now, instead of just calling one of us up, but we wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Back in 2012, REFUSED embarked on a reunion tour where the band performed tracks from its classic 1998 album, "The Shape of Punk To Come", at festivals around the world. The final show of the trek took place on December 15, 2012 in REFUSED's hometown of Umeå, Sweden.
REFUSED's legacy was chronicled via the "Refused Are Fucking Dead" collection, which featured never-before-seen material and videos. In addition, REFUSED's landmark 1998 album, "The Shape Of Punk To Come", was remixed and remastered in 5.1 surround DVD audio format, and was re-released through Epitaph Records. Also re-released were remastered editions of REFUSED's "Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent" and "The EP Compilation" CDs.