Opeth has parted ways with drummer Martin Axenrot over what is described as a conflict of interests. According to a statement from the band, Opeth has recruited drummer Sami Karppinen (Therion) for their upcoming tour. Axenrot played in Opeth since 2006.
Here is the full 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 16) at Harrah’s Cherokee center in Asheville, NC.
“Said Mikael Åkerfeldt: ‘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!.’
“He continues: ‘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….'”