Enlarge Photo Credit: Stian Andersen

Vocalist Erlend Hjelvik Leaves Kvelertak


This is sure a shitty way to start your week: vocalist Erlend Hjelvik has left Kvelertak.

In a statement posted to the band’s Facebook page this morning, Hjelvik explained he and the band have gone in “different directions” and that their “individual goals, needs and motivations have changed.” While that wording makes the split seem amicable enough, Hjelvik reveals he will not be participating in the band’s remaining shows this summer in Norway — the first of which is July 20th, later this week! — which would seem to indicate some kind of pressing issue leading to the split. We can only speculate until the band inevitably ends up addressing the situation in interviews down the road.

Erlend’s presence in Kvelertak — as both a vocalist and live performer — were crucial elements to the band’s sound and presentation and will be greatly missed; it’s difficult to imagine Kvelertak without him! Still, this surely won’t be the end for the band… we expect a replacement will be announced shortly with the aforementioned shows on the horizon. Kvelertak’s website lists only one upcoming show, although Erlend’s statement specifically mentions four.

Here’s Erlend’s statement:

“Hey, Erlend here, there is no easy way to say this, so I’ll just get straight to it.

“It’s necessary for me to part ways with Kvelertak.

“The experience of building a successful band has been fun and rewarding but has also been equally intense and challenging. Over the years, this has taken its toll. As we’ve been developing personally and professionally, our individual goals, needs and motivations have changed, leading us in different directions.
Though it is a heavy decision to leave a life I’ve been living and breathing for the last decade, I feel happy and excited to explore new possibilities for the future.

“Regrettably, due to circumstances out of my control, I am not able to perform the last four shows in Norway this summer. I apologize to the festival organizers and fans planning on these shows.

“I would like to thank Bjarte, Kjetil, Maciek, Marvin and Vidar, our crew, bands we’ve toured with and everyone else who has worked with Kvelertak. Most importantly, I appreciate our awesome fans that have made everything possible. I’m very proud and grateful for everything we’ve accomplished as Kvelertak. I am genuinely thankful for everything we’ve experienced together and wish the band the best of luck and success in the future.

“Kvelertakk for meg!

“Erlend Hjelvik”

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