Singer Cathrine Paulsen of Norwegian metallers TRAIL OF TEARS has released the following statement:
"[Singer] Ronny Thorsen has decided to leave TRAIL OF TEARS. The band supports him in his decision, although we think the timing is very bad. The reason for his decision has been various problems during the making of [the new TRAIL OF TEARS album] 'Oscillation', where Ronny have contributed with lyrics and vocals.
"The making of the album has been a very hard process on all of us. Ronny Thorsen felt the prosess was going too slow. Meanwhile, others have worked very hard to finish it. This major contrast between those who have spent almost every day during the last three years to make the album as good as possible, and those who have been more busy pushing some in the band to the edge of breakdown, is the main reason in this conflict.
"I have to speak my mind this time, and I really feel that I need to speak the truth.
"Through the years TRAIL OF TEARS have suffered several splitups. Last time the whole band left Ronny. I need to say there are reasons when the whole band leaves like that. Ronny was responsible for their tour in Mexico at the time. He told the band there was a contract for the tour, which there wasn't. In Mexico, all went wrong, and with no contract the band didn't have any rights. Ronny went behind their backs and sent them to Mexico with no contract — and lied about it. That's why the band left last time.
"I was thrown out of the band in 2004. After 'A New Dimension Of Might' , I waited for new songs. Then I received a SMS saying I was no longer wanted in the band. In the magazines I could read that we had agreed that I quit. That was nothing but a lie that they made up. I never quit, I was kicked out without any explanation.
"In many years, Ronny and I had no contact. I was devastated after this treatment and especially when I had to read all these lies in the magazines. I feel okay about this now, but I want to finally tell what happened.
"When the band left Ronny Thorsen after the tour in Mexico, I contacted him for the first time in years. I wanted to say that even though I felt bad about beeing kicked out, I thought it was sad to hear that the band had split up. Then he asked me to work with him again, he wanted to continue TRAIL OF TEARS. I had my doubts about that, but I felt that I still had a lot to do in the band. As I said, it was never my decision to leave the first time.
"I was the one putting the new TRAIL OF TEARS together. I offered my bandmates from LUCID FEAR to join the band. That's how Bjørn Erik Næss and Cato Jensen became a part of it. Endre Moe played with Cato in CUTTHROAT, and we brought him onboard as well. I told Ronny that I expected him to show me respect, and to not backstab me again.
"During this cooperation I have felt frustration and sadness many times. I found out I still don't have any reasons to trust Ronny, as I and the rest of the band have started to read news about the band on Facebook. That means that he doesn't communicate with the band anymore. I cannot work like this, so it's easy for me to support his decision to leave the band.
"Ronny made this decision in October, still he keeps running the show alone, making decisions for the band without even asking or telling the rest. That becomes even more wrong when everyone else do most of the work in this band.
"I feel like shit writing this, but I will not tolerate anything but the truth anymore. This is hard for me, because I am an honest person who really cares for those around me. That means to take care of the other guys' interests, as well as my own. I have to set a limit and put an end to what's going on behind the scenes, before lies will be spread all over the world again."
A short time after the above statement was posted on the TRAIL OF TEARS Facebook page, Ronny Thorsen released the following response, offering his side of the story:
"Wow, what a day!
"I just came home after having dinner with my wife for her birthday. Halfway through dinner, my phone all of a sudden started going nuts and messages from all over the place started ticking in. Apparently it turned out that I had left TRAIL OF TEARS.
"After reading the statement on the official TRAIL OF TEARS Facebook page I can honestly conclude that a certain female singer has lost her final remaining piece of sanity. It is indeed fascinating how much nonsense and lies one person is able to spew forth.
"In all honesty, the working climate within the band has indeed been difficult for a while. This has been the case for quite some time and the whole thing escalated when Cathrine and guitarist Bjørn Erik Næss became a couple about a year ago and started forming their own little alliance within the band.
"It was a mutual decision amongst the members that we were going to finalize and release this new album and then go our separate ways as it was no longer possible to see eye to eye on how to run this band.
"I want to make it perfectly clear that I had every intention to do just that, to release one last killer album and then for everyone to go on with other musical endeavours. This, obviously, was not possible.
"Cathrine says in her statement that the timing is bad. Well, no shit. I had no intention to announce any departure before we had honed up to commitments and released this final album. It was my sincere wish that everyone could act as normal, regular adults here and do the right thing, both towards our fans as well as our business partners. Again, a pure ego trip from her side prevented that from happening.
"What is also interesting to see is that Cathrine failed to mention that both bassist Endre Moe AND drummer Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow have also decided to leave the band. The three of us have done so because we are tired and completely drained from the drama caused by Cathrine and her guitarist boyfriend. So, to quote Cathrine's own words, when several members leave, then there is indeed a reason for it. Well, three members just walked out on you and your boyfriend, Cathrine, including the founder and sole original member of the band, so maybe you should look in the mirror and ask yourself if it's everyone else's fault or if the problem is in fact closer to yourself that what you like to think.
"I have been more than fair with Cathrine and stood by her side and supported her after behaviour where few others would. I also find it puzzling that Cathrine has chosen to stay in the band for as long as she has if everything was as bleak, frustrating and sad as she claims it to have been.
"As for her comments about what happened in Mexico seven years ago, I'm not even going to comment on those, as it is absolutely retarded for someone to have such strong opinions on something that you were not part of.
"Were you in Mexico, Cathrine? No, you were not.
"The last time that the band experienced member exits, I chose to take the high road refusing to to lower myself to the level of those who left, who tried to set a new world record in shit-talking. Because of that, I allowed people who I regarded as friends to be brainwashed by only hearing one side of the story. Well, this will not happen again and this time I will stand up for myself.
"Because of the fact that I have been blocked from the band's official Facebook page (very mature), you can read my words here on my personal page.
"So, as something ends, something else begins.
"I have been planning to launch a new band for a while and there will be some news about that in the near future.
"TRAIL OF TEARS has been a part of more than half my life since it was started more than 15 years ago. It has been a tremendous ride and I've had a blast.
"From now on let's look ahead. There is a lot more fun to be found out there!
"Stay safe all of you, thanks for your amazing support and I look forward to see you all soon!"
TRAIL OF TEARS' seventh full-length album, "Oscillation", will be released on March 22 via Germany's Massacre Records. The CD was recorded last year at Sound Suite Studio in Marseille, France with producer Terje Refsnes.
The "Oscillation" cover art was created by Finnish artist Jan Yrlund and can be seen below.
Fan-filmed video footage of TRAIL OF TEARS performing a brand new song, "Eradicate", at last year's edition of the Metal Female Voices Fest, which was held on October 19-21, 2012 at the Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium, can be seen below.
"Eradicate" (new song) performance: