GORGOROTH guitarist Infernus — who is involved in a legal dispute with his estranged bandmates over the rights to the group's name — has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"I will here present you a press statement which is my intention to be the last in the line of short open letters to the media, where I have informed fans, friends and co-workers on the somewhat strange situation that occurred some one and a half week ago and its progression until now.
"First, I will open with a short summary for those of you who did not get it all from the beginning.
"Late Friday afternoon, October 19th, I got to know that my former band members had made the decision that we should split the band and that their intentions were to continue — without me — under the name and logo of GORGOROTH.
"That people get tired of each other or have reasons for not getting along after a quite long and at times pretty close partnership I find fully natural and understandable. It goes without saying that you learn to know both each other's positive and negative sides. I will nevertheless not participate in any open discussion on the nature or personalities of anyone involved; that is well below my standards. Neither will I do anything to defend myself against whatever accusations people might come up with in a situation like this.
"I have a strong belief that people are able to judge themselves, based on the chronology of how things happened, and from the actions that have already been taken.
"When being told that we should split ways, I immediately proposed that we should do the European tour as planned, then let lawyers do the legal discussions for us, settling the question of ownership of the band's name and logo.
"As its founding member, building the trademark in the formative years, and with a clear intention on keeping the pact with the devil I made in Sunnfjord, 1992, I would, of course, not agree on giving away the name i rightfully own to our third vocalist and sixth or seventh (!) bass player for whatever reasons they might have.
"The vocalist has been considering quitting the band numerous times. The other actually quit last year due to difficulties combining playing in a clear-cut Satanic metal band as GORGOROTH with the fact that he is full-time employed as a primary school teacher.
"It was my intention to do the tour and then, after the tour, come to terms with the legal problems as smoothly and professionally as possible.
"I am sorry for the European audience which at the moment must witness this embarrassing circus it has become, and I am sorry for the Russians and Ukrainians we were supposed to have done a mini-tour for from 23rd to 28th of January.
"Late Sunday evening, October 21st, I received a text message from the vocalist stating that the November tour would go on without me, and that they had consulted legal advice on the matter and that next day they would release a press statement on the issue.
'To keep things straight, I will focus on legal matters here.
"It took me ten minutes to get confirmed that what they did was of a highly illicit character. According to Norwegian law of March 3rd, nr. 4. 1961, § 2 & 7 it is. It is also difficult for me to see how they thought it was possible to achieve what they wanted by doing what they did.
"Next morning I contacted attorney Egil Horstad from Vogt & Wiig. In a letter to their legal representantive he presents the case and parts of the paragraphs, which is now translated into English and available to whoever's interested at [this location]. It also refers to one of metal history's worst cases of backstabbing and greed to date.
"The same Monday I got confirmation that the bass player already before we went on the September tour to South America — without informing me — applied for copyright of the name and the logo. It seems like he actually believed it would be as easy as that to get it transferred to himself as his own personal belonging ad infinitum! It is available to the reader at [this location]).
"Regarding the upcoming European tour, which it seems that they intend to do in the name of GORGOROTH: I have personally been in touch with Henk at Vain Productions offering him a good deal if he would delay it, until i have a new lineup ready. And my lawyer has explained to him the possible legal consequences of him making the wrong choice in this situation. I am convinced they could be able to start up a new and rather good band on their own, and he should rather do a separate tour for that band, whatever else they would choose to call it.
"Now for my future plans: I will devote myself 99% to the present situation and the mess that occurred to help getting clarity in it and to take whatever legal action towards whoever is exploiting the name and reputation of the band. This includes some certain third parties, as there seems to be a few rotten apples among them. This is a necessity for me at the time being, so that I am sure who I can trust when starting to restructure and plan my return. I am afraid this might have to take the time it needs.
"I promise for Satan that I will come back, and I am already now at an initial stage consulting possible future partners, including a new lineup for studio and live. So far both ex-members and other more or less sinister musicians from Norway and abroad have shown interest. Choosing the right partners will be difficult, as I have high demands for these. I will update the world on this when the time is right.
"First things first. When the legal matters are properly settled, I will implode for a while letting media be an arena for other ones. During restructuring I will finish off the writing of new material for the next studio album — 'Quantos Possund Ad Satanitatem Trahunt' — to be released through Regain Records. In between 50 and 70% of the music has already been written (some of it even pre-recorded) as goes for two or three lyrics.
"For the rebirth of the live band it is considered necessary to get this done first, as it is my intention to erase as much as possible of the traces of the last years' periods output. The new live band will focus on old material and brand new and shall in one form or another by Satan last for another 15 years!
"That is about what I have to say at the moment. I will only accept doing a few select interviews and these should be requested via Joerg Brauns at Regain Records.
"I will use the opportunity to not only thank the faithful and dedicated fans around the world for this seemingly endless support I have received the last week, but also Joe Hollow, Satannichen, Frank Watkins and the OBITUARY guys for letting me use their networks and capacities in this time when i do not have access to my own website or even the band's MySpace.
"Thank you a thousand times and praise hail Satan!"
Watch video footage of GORGOROTH performing at Galpon Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile on September 20, 2007: