Amon Amarth - Ex-Drummer Explains Controversial Departure


The long time drummer of Amon Amarth, Fredrik Andersson, who split up with the band back in 2015, has now decided to speak up and share the details about why the split happened between the band members after 17 years of performing with each other. At the time of his departure, the band didn't say much about what had happened.

Fredrik Andersson posted a lengthy explanation via Facebook: "I didn't quit Amon Amarth. As I still get messages like 'why did you leave' and 'come back' etc. I would like to make it clear to everyone that I didn't choose to leave Amon Amarth. It's been described in some media as if it was a decision I made. That is not the case.

"So what happened? Well, I do have lots of things to say about the whole situation, but I will refrain from too many details. But for now: let's say we had had our issues and differences for a long period of time and it all added up into what eventually became a harsh split. For a long time I felt I wasn't respected and treated as a full member despite all the years in the band and I guess it came to a boiling point from both sides.

"The actual split happened at a band meeting after my last tour in 2015 where I was asked to leave, along with a very unworthy offer where I would 'get to keep' my share of the public performance rights, something we had already split equally since 2003, but nothing else. Nothing else was on the table. No publishing, no recording royalties, no accumulated band profits or anything else. Oh yeah, I would also get to keep already paid out salary and my drum stuff (most of which I had paid for myself or gotten through my endorsement deals). When I asked for a few months monthly pay to get back on my feet they said keeping the performance rights was well generous of them.

"I believe that if you're an equal partner, it's not only the economy you share: your ideas and opinions should be equally (or even more!) valued too. Of course, the way I felt the other band members treated me is pretty subjective. But trust me, in the talks after our split they made it VERY clear that I was not an equal member. And it wasn't even the offer they gave me that was insulting, but the fact that they thought they could dictate how much my share was worth.

"There were no financial reasons for what transpired, and the rest of the band must've known that just as well as I did. The band's economy was rather poor at the end of 2014, mostly due to very big investments we collectively did. But money was coming in and all the work we had done was about to bare fruit. And it did; the Amon Amarth company made, according to the public numbers, around 1 500 000 ($1 875 000) last year alone (2017). Far more than the band ever made before. Now this is money mostly from the new album and its touring and I'm not saying I should have any part of that. What I'm saying is they could've afforded to let me keep my share of the past albums.

"In 2016, after a year of fighting them for what I thought, and still think, is my fair share I was broke and in debt. And at a very hostile last meeting, where I felt both insulted and threatened, I had no alternative but to accept the terms I was offered. Which meant I would start receiving recording royalties from Metal Blade and get my ⅕ of the last touring profits, but also included signing away my shares of the public performance rights and publishing which we had also split equally until then.

"All I expected was that my share would reflect that I had been equal part of what we had been building up together for 17 years. When I joined the band it still hadn't reached the big success we were to achieve later on. The debut album had shifted around 10.000 copies, so it wasn't like CD's were flying off the shelves back then. I would say it was mostly due to our hard work together and our relentless touring that built up the band into what it is today. So why should I not get the same cut from our shared past as the other members? After all, that's what we agreed on many years ago when we decided to go all in for the band:

"Maybe the biggest factor is that we share all the money equally, no matter who writes what and usually money is the thing that people fight about." -Olavi Mikkonen, Headbangerslifestyle.com, March 14, 2016 (!)

"When we started to roll in money, we made a decision to share everything equally. It does not matter who writes what, all the royalties are being shared." -Olavi Mikkonen, crypticrock.com, Dec 30 2014

"Well guys, it sure feels quite tough to see these words translated into an offer where I got my cut of the last year's touring income that I had been part of and recording royalties. A significant amount don't get me wrong, but still just a part of my share. You get to keep all of yours AND as a little bonus on top you get to split the rest of mine into your already growing accounts. And to add insult to injury you decided to post this photo below, celebrating the deal we had just signed as victorious. Real classy.

"I do understand that this can come across as me complaining, but I would just like to explain what happened and how it affected me. I was forced out of the band, and in the process all my years of hard work were reduced to a payout that still to this day feels demeaning.

"Now that time has passed I am actually quite relieved to have the chance to focus on other things and even though I am still very proud of my time in AA and what we built up and created together I am happy to not be a part of them anymore. To me the money is mostly a symbol of my worth for them and in that sense, what hurt me more is actually how they treated me.

"It's frustrating that all the hours in the rehearsal room, all the days sleeping in vans, airports and on venue floors etc etc are not valued when they decide to part with someone who has devoted 17 years alongside the other members in order to create one of the most successful death metal bands in the world. And that is what boils up in me when people ask me why I 'decided' to leave. Not for pity or to cause harm to a band I am very proud of, but to set the record straight regarding the realities of my departure.

"In the end at least I get to keep my values and my integrity, but it came at a very high personal cost. And still, I don't regret my involvement in the band a minute. Being in a metal band isn't a career choice for me, it's a lifestyle. And I had lots of fun too, met lots of awesome people, some friends for life - none of them in Amon Amarth though.

"I want to thank those of you who have supported me after the split, both personally, and musically with my drumming in This Ending, Netherbird and also recently in re-activated A Canorous Quintet. Bands where I can be creative among other creative people and play the music I live for, and where I'm also being respected and my ideas are appreciated. Thank you \m/ Fredrik.
"



Courtesy of Fredrik Andersson's Facebook page


Source: facebook.com
Band profile: Amon Amarth
 
Posted: 29.06.2018 by HaaskAksaaH


Comments

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Comments: 18   Visited by: 366 users
29.06.2018 - 13:56
Isalith
Sounds like Amon Amarth are a bunsh of assholes.
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29.06.2018 - 13:58
[the cyrhus]
It reminds me the Solstafir story, maybe less dramatic.
Still, this is sad.
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Keep supporting melodic death metal !
http://www.lastfm.fr/user/The_cyrhus
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29.06.2018 - 14:38
Risto
Wandering Midget
Dear bands,

Please stop being disrespectful towards all the drummers.
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29.06.2018 - 15:09
WorpeX
Was he not a good drummer or something? There has to be a reason they didn't see him as a full-time member and wanted him out. Maybe it was cause he was a dick. Didn't sound like he had any friends in AA and maybe they wanted him out because he didn't gel with the rest of them. Not trying to belittle the clear disrespect he was given by the rest of the band from his perspective, but you don't just get rid of someone after 17 years for no reason.
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29.06.2018 - 15:58
Vombatus
Potorro
What's up with the drummer hate? I thought it was bass players no one respected


On a more serious note, I know there is always two sides to a story but we see a pattern (like with Solstafir or Ghost)... Whenever a band starts to make a popularity breakthrough and money pours in, people tend to act like dicks. The "professionalisation" of a band just brings degradation, in personal relations and especially music quality/creativity. Oh well, they now have money.
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29.06.2018 - 17:01
s_t_s
Sad to see how things can turn bad after almost 2 decades of "friendship" but it's no surprise. AA are no better than most bands out there.
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29.06.2018 - 19:49
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
Written by WorpeX on 29.06.2018 at 15:09

Was he not a good drummer or something? There has to be a reason they didn't see him as a full-time member and wanted him out. Maybe it was cause he was a dick. Didn't sound like he had any friends in AA and maybe they wanted him out because he didn't gel with the rest of them. Not trying to belittle the clear disrespect he was given by the rest of the band from his perspective, but you don't just get rid of someone after 17 years for no reason.


I just doubt the AA guys would've kept an asshole with them for a whooping 17 years. Unless they are bigger assholes than him.
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29.06.2018 - 20:28
Blindearth
An amazing drummer who helped a lot all those years the band to built their name not just playing the drums but making the songs more than interesting with his playing style!! Many times have seen them live and he was always having amazing performances!!! So sad to hear that for a band that I really like. Its a shame to treat a fellow member of a band like that..
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29.06.2018 - 20:41
Aries Rising
How hard is it for bands to just pay their fucking members equally.
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29.06.2018 - 23:45
Opethian
For what its worth I'm glad you're no longer with them. This band continues to bore me even further with each new release.
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30.06.2018 - 02:01
Alakazam
Amatsu Mikaboshi
If there was ever a perfect time to sweep the floor from these guys once and for all and sell off all your lame ass merch collection of theirs to clear the slate clean like me, it would be now.

EDIT - I feel he should try to go for the Enslaved job and show the money making Swedes how quality music with emphasis on their heritage along with bonus recognition from listeners is really made.
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30.06.2018 - 03:09
MyNameJeff
That's why they have been sucking for the past few years. Amon Amarth is a sinking ship.
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30.06.2018 - 09:33
Lord Lanrac
"And I had lots of fun too, met lots of awesome people, some friends for life - none of them in Amon Amarth though."
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What is the difference between the man who fools you from the pulpit, and the other man who fools you from the platform?
Both of them seek to obtain power over you - To rule your mind, control your property interests or labor power.
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30.06.2018 - 15:32
Mountain King
K i K o
A very regular band with nothing so special. Whether he is right or not, nobody can know for sure but it's not a loss to leave such a band. Go make some good music, better than the average stuff of AA.
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01.07.2018 - 14:21
Psilopylot
It can get really scummy in the music biz, just like in this case it seems.
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03.07.2018 - 12:59
redstar6486
Can't really judge based on one side's story. You have to listen to what both sides have to say before jumping to any conclusion.
But one thing is for sure. Money corrupts everything and Music is no exception. Music must be considered as an Art. not a way to make money with.
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06.07.2018 - 03:42
Traezeus
Well, I've been caring less and less about Amon Amarth since Twilight of the Thunder God... let's just add another nail to that coffin.
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12.07.2018 - 23:57
scorp18
Quote:
So what happened? Well, I do have lots of things to say about the whole situation, but I will refrain from too many details.

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