Christofer Johnsson, founder, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist for the symphonic Swedish group THERION, has announced today via the band's official web site that he will be retiring from vocal duties. The following is an excerpt from his post:
"As was announced at the Metal Mania festivals, I am going to retire from vocals. The reasons for this are two: One is that I feel it's not fun to sing anymore (even though I have enjoyed playing the old songs on guitar). [My] voice is getting weaker over the years and I experienced problems at the end of the U.S./Canada tour. The problem isn't only getting older, but rather that we basically never rehearse as a band and therefore, I don't keep my throat 'warm.' It simply doesn't work to not sing for half a year and then go on tour for two months and shout every evening. It used to work when I was younger, but now I feel it's not comfortable anymore and when it doesn't feel right, it's definitely time to stop.
"The second reason is that we would like to stop playing old songs, anyway. By old I mean 'Lepaca Klifffoth' and older. We are now working on our 13th studio album and it is getting harder and harder to choose which songs to play live. The number of 'classics' — songs that we more or less must play — is growing all the time and we don't want to end up like one of those bands where you know beforehand 95% for sure what songs that are going to be played. We want to be able to have space to play a couple of unexpected songs each new tour. We, of course, realize that many fans will miss those old brutal songs, but we are convinced that those fans also will prefer to hear something new each time from the Theli album and onwards.
"The ProgPower festival in England will be the final show where I do vocals on stage. This will be our 106th and final show supporting 'Lemuria'/'Sirius B'. We will not be on stage again until 2007. I have planned a special surprise for this festival (not even the other band members know it), so don't miss this festival if you live in the U.K.!"
THERION will be releasing "Celebrators Of Becoming", a four-DVD+ two-CD set (featuring over ten hours of video footage and two hours of live audio) in North America on June 13. Artwork for "Celebrators Of Becoming" is available at this location (check under 2006 releases, then scroll down to June 13).