THE CROWN drummer Janne Saarenpää has issued a statement via the group's web site attempting to clarify the band's comments to Sweden's Close-Up magazine about their split with vocalist Tomas Lindberg (ex-AT THE GATES).
In the article, portions of which were translated by and republished exclusively on BLABBERMOUTH.NET earlier today, THE CROWN bassist Magnus Olsfelt said, "We spend our time in a small bus and not at all have a habit of becoming drunk before gigs. Tompa is the other way around. That's his way of being, and he can't change that. Everyone should be able to be themselves in the band, and I suppose that's what made things go overboard. He did a perfect job on stage, but at the same time, no one could deal with him when he was drunk. [Tomas' previous band] AT THE GATES split up for that same reason."
Writing to www.thecrownonline.com, Saarenpää said, "It's once again time to clear things up before someone looses an eye.
"Case: Tomas Lindberg.
"Many, many interviews including the impossible task of fending off difficult questions about a subject the band and now ex-singer decided to not discuss with media.
" 'Why did Tomas leave?
" 'Err...umm.. he didn't exactly leave... but... urr... it was kinda mutual... or something...'
"Go figure that one out... Being rude and saying 'none of your fucking business' just isn't the way I do interviews. I tried to tell people that the decision was mutual, at the same time trying to let people understand that we weren't exactly standing there, sobbing, begging him to stay.
"(For fuck's sake, we fired him. He wanted to quit anyway, at least he said so. He was okay with it! No big deal.)
" 'Why did you state on your website that all questions about the matter would be answered with 'No comments'?
" 'Well, because it's personal, and no-one else's business. We thought people would respect that.'
" 'Does this have anything to do with his other side projects?
" 'No, we knew what we went in for, we knew that the man is involved in all kinds of stuff.'
" 'What happened, then?'
" 'As I said in the last question that... blabla... 'no comments'...blabla...etc”
"And so on.
"Typical questions and answers, in many interviews between the summer of 2002 and now. This was after we stated that Tomas was out of the band.
"People wouldn't settle with 'no comments'. As simple as that.
"Then people start speculating on THE CROWN messageboard around this (politically correct) 'parted ways'- stuff. People have all kinds of opinions on something they know nothing about, you just sit there and watch stuff go apeshit. We somehow manage to calm people down by saying that shit simply doesn't work all the time, sometimes people part ways without ripping out each other's eyes. Everything cool. At least we thought so.
"But then comes the promotion for the new album. New interviews. New questions concerning Tomas, scaringly resemblent of the questions in many interviews a year ago...
"I thought we had survived the endless questions about Tomas. No way dude.
"Being a bit tired, a little off guard to all these questions again, we let the word 'alcohol' slip out, and all hells break loose:
"Trying to put an end to the questions we (me & Magnus) reveal to Close-Up magazine that the chemistry didn't work. Old news. Not buying that. Try again.
"Then I (not Magnus) mentioned that as in many cases in many, many other bands all over the world, alcohol was included in the picture. Tomas wanted to get drunk before the show, the rest of the band prefers to do it after the show. Simple as that. Of course friction appears when a drunk person wants to reason with a sober person and vice versa. Things sometimes get out of hand on tour. Too different people, no need to start trying to change each other fundamentally, parting ways is the easiest solution.
"Robban (Close-Up) calls Tomas and asks him for a comment. Exactly what they talked about is a mystery to me, but Tomas gets very upset and calls Magnus and asks him kindly to alter the answers in the interview.
" 'Why' asks Magnus.
" 'It makes me look unprofessional,' says Tomas.
"What I (Janne) don't get is what it is that makes him look more unprofessional than us. We all failed in cooperation, right? NO BIG FUCKING DEAL.
"After half an hour, talking in circles, Magnus gives in and promises Tomas to call Close-Up to check on misquotations.
"No misquotations - check.
"No-one slammed for anything - check.
"So Magnus snaps and gets back telling that Tomas behavior while being drunk is indeed unbearable, and that it even made AT THE GATES split up in the end. There it is. So fucking what?
"This quotation finally ends up in the interview, weirdly in the same breath as we speak about that Tomas was indeed our only option when Johan left, and that the shows themselves went very well.
"The same day as I receive the Close-Up magazine, the 'news' are all over the internet:
" 'Swedish thrashers THE CROWN have slammed former singer Tomas Lindberg over his departure from the group, blaming his split with the band on his excessive alcohol consumption while on tour.'
"How nice is that? Comments start growing like a tumour on messageboards. All kinds of speculations, again.
"Us slamming Tomas? What did he expect?
"A monkey can do the math: If Tomas never would have started to call around and act like he could tell both us and C-U what to say or not, that very precious ATG-'secret' of his would never have leaked out.
"Where did this whole pre-school-soap-opera begin, really? I lost track a long time ago.
"I really, REALLY hope this clears shit up and that it won't take up ANY time in ANY of our future interviews. Pretty please, with sugar on top…