Opeth have parted ways with drummer Martin Axenrot due to “conflict of interests.” As a result, the band will now be playing their immediate live shows with fill-in drummer Sami Karppinen (Therion).
Opeth issued the following statement:
“Due to conflict of interests, Martin Axenrot is no longer part of the Opeth collective. His replacement for the North American tour with Mastodon and Zeal & Ardor will be powerhouse drummer Sami Karppinen. His first show will take place today (November 16th) at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, NC.”
Mikael Åkerfeldt added:
“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 at 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 an 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…”