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Jesper Strömblad Says “Alcohol is a Quite Small Part of” Why He Quit In Flames

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Jesper Strömblad Cort Guitars 2013 Promo ShotWhen guitarist Jesper Strömblad left In Flames in 2010, it was heavily implied that his departure was the result of his ongoing recovery from alcoholism. Strömblad had checked himself into rehab a year prior, and missed most of the band’s shows after that; then, once he officially quit the band, In Flames released a statement in which they said that “We are, and will always be behind Jesper 100% on his way to recovery.”

But now, in a new posting on his Facebook page, Strömblad has made it clear that this was not actually the case:

“Will I ever return to In Flames? No one never knows what the future brings,but the chances are slim as they embarked on a different musical journey,they have a solid lineup and Im on a totally different path in life right now. I would never go into details why I quit, but there is always one official story and there is the other……Alcohol is a quite small part of it. That can also answer the next question, what do I think of their new stuff. Listen to [Strömblad’s post-In Flames project] The Resistance and that explains a bit of it . We simply went different directions. I need to stand behind and feel inspired with what I do 100%, I owe it to the fans and obviously the band. All respect to In Flames and their new approach, but for me the band was a guitar/riff based melodeathband. And Its not anymore, but still amazing musicianship and I dont think its wrong. But its not the vision I had when we started out.”

Strömblad goes on to praise his successor, Niklas Engelin, but also notes that “I do not and will never compromise with my music.”

The last IF album on which Strömblad appeared was 2008’s A Sense of Purpose, by which point the band were already starting to apply what Strömblad calls “their new approach”… although it hadn’t yet reached the blandly beige proportions of Sounds of a Playground Fading and this year’s Siren Charms (and I know there are a lot of fans who’d claim the band jumped the shark twelve years ago, with Reroute to Remain). So it is totally plausible that Strömblad saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship before In Flames turned into the soporific band they are today.

The silver lining, I guess, is that The Resistance are actually quite good, and there’s no shortage of other talented melodeath bands who have picked up where Clayman left off. And, of course, we can always hope that someday In Flames come to their senses, lure Strömblad back to the fold, and once again kick all of our asses the way they long to be kicked.

Thanks: Dusan K.

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