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Opeth Split with Drummer Martin “Axe” Axenrot Over “Conflict of Interests”

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After sixteen years, Opeth have parted ways with drummer Martin “Axe” Axenrot, the band announced today.

The reason behind the split was an unspecified “conflict of interest.” Therion’s Sami Karppinen will fill-in for Opeth’s co-headlining tour with Mastodon, which kicks off tonight in Asheville, NC.

Opeth mastermind Mikael Åkerfeldt comments:

“However sad it is to not have Axe in the band anymore, we’re not in a position to linger on anything that is going to hold us back. We need to soldier on.

“Needless to say, we’re incredibly thankful that Sami is helping us out, making this tour possible and all. On top of that, he’s quite outstanding, really!

“All of us wish the best for Axe in all and any of his future endeavors. He has been a incredibly important part of the band for many years now, and we’re all heartbroken it didn’t work out in the end. But that’s life, I guess…”

Axenrot began touring with Opeth in 2005, replacing Martin Lopez, before joining the band permanently in 2006. He has played on all of their albums since 2008’s Watershed.

Dates for the Opeth/Mastodon tour are below. Support comes from Zeal & Ardor.

Nov 16 – Asheville, NC – ExploreAsheville.com Arena [tickets]
Nov 18 – Boston, MA – The Wang Theatre [tickets]
Nov 19 – Albany, NY – Palace Theatre [tickets]
Nov 20 – New York City – Hammerstein Ballroom [tickets]
Nov 21 – Washington, DC – The Anthem [tickets]
Nov 23 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium [tickets]
Nov 24 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern [tickets]
Nov 26 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater [tickets]
Nov 27 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom [tickets]
Nov 28 – Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land [tickets]
Nov 30 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre [tickets]
Dec 01 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium [tickets]
Dec 02 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater [tickets]
Dec 04 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Union [tickets]
Dec 05 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom [tickets]

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