Ex-AMON AMARTH drummer Fredrik Andersson has blasted his former bandmates for allegedly going out of their way to “backstab and talk shit” about him while simultaneously “robbing” him of his “legacy” and his “chance of getting a decent pension for all that time and work” he put in.
Andersson was fired from AMON AMARTH in March 2015, just as the band was preparing to enter the studio to begin work on its 2016 album “Jomsviking”. AMON AMARTH opted to enlist a session drummer, Tobias Gustafsson (VOMITORY, CUT UP), during the recording sessions for the disc, but hired Jocke Wallgren to join them on the road. Wallgren was named a permanent member of AMON AMARTH in September 2016.
Earlier today, Andersson took to his social to share the following “open letter” to his former bandmates:
“I have decided that for me to get closure, I need to address the things that bugs me, so I have come to the conclusion that if you answer me this one question I will be content with the answer and I will never bug you again.
“My question is; How was it intended to be? In talks with your lawyer he/you claimed that it was never intended that we should split evenly on everything. Despite the fact that was exactly the deal we had decided on.
“I mean, I know this claim. It is the same claim (then) our lawyer did when we almost lost 1/3 of the AMON AMARTH trademark after some of you signed a deal at least I wasn’t aware of. That time you said, if anything, the five of us should own those rights and I fought with you to get them back.
‘That I can understand, it was not intended that two fifths of the band and one outside sixth member should own 100% of the trademark. But regarding royalties and publishing we always said we’d share equally so if that was not the deal, how was it intended? Any leaving member loses his right, or only certain members? I wonder what the deal is when you give up the band I AM SURE NONE of you four will ever lose your rights. So it’s just the drummer? But then there are previous drummers who get to keep their rights, so is it just me?
“You’ve falsely claimed I never contributed musically even though I do believe the drumming is a vital part of the music and despite the fact that I wrote MANY guitar riffs. They were just rarely accepted, and that was fine with me cause we said we’d share equally ANYWAY.
“You’ve claimed crew members couldn’t work with me, this is a lie.
“You’ve claimed I wasn’t a good drummer, and ok, that’s your opinion. I know my legacy of live performance is still on Youtube and I’m proud of it. Also, if being a bad musician was criteria for getting to keep your rights or even being in the band, then surely more members would not be safe. You have also falsely indicated that I have myself to blame because I asked for too much. But I never asked for anything else than MY SHARE. Even back when you offered me more pay for handling web and social media, I declined. I never asked for any share of your amps or guitars, you were the ones who wanted to keep my drums and cymbals. Things I had gotten through personal endorsements. I didn’t even ask for a part of the trademark, even if one can argue that I helped build it up for 17 years and even helped to win it back for you.
“I am not bitter about not being in the band. We both know I was tired of the bullshit I had to take and getting fired was a relief in a way. I am bitter about the betrayal, the lies and that you have gone out of your way to backstab and talk shit about me. I am bitter that you’ve portrayed yourselves as the good guys while robbing me of my legacy, my 17 years and my chance of getting a decent pension for all that time and work I put in.
“So are you men or cowards? Explain to me how, according to you, it was intended to be? Let’s close this book. I’m pretty sure you have time for ‘drama’ at the moment.”
Last year, Andersson spoke to Greece’s The Gallery about the circumstances that led to his departure from AMON AMARTH, Fredrik said: “There had been some friction between me and the other members for quite some time. It seemed to me like they were ganging up on me, even if they never really truly let me in to be ‘one of them,’ not even in the early years. But at least back then we could hang out together and we called each other friends. In later years, and I can only guess, but perhaps they started to feel that since we were splitting all money equally, either I should be more grateful and do what they told me to or they simply started to think it was wrong that I should get equally paid. I don’t know. But in the end, whatever I did or say — it was wrong.”
He continued: “I specifically remember one of the last times I played in Greece. It was the last day of the tour, and we were flying home the next day. While I was warming up for the show, Olli [Olavi Mikkonen, guitar] came up to me and said my snare hits were not consistent enough. He said I played too soft during soundcheck and too loud during the show, or more specifically, he said the individual hits were either low or loud. Since I know for a fact this is bullshit, I got really pissed off. I might not be the most technical drummer, but if something, at least I’m consistent. I thought it was really untactical to come with these complaints five minutes before show, and it ruined the whole show for me. And there were lots of other occasions like this where they would just say I’m wrong about something, that my opinion were wrong or simply silly. It got very frustrating, and it built up to really strong friction.”
In a 2016 interview with Brazil’s “Wikimetal” podcast, Mikkonen stated about AMON AMARTH‘s split with Andersson: “I don’t really wanna go into details regarding Fredrik, but, basically, we just separated. It’s kind of like a marriage that doesn’t work, and you get divorced. And that’s kind of what happened to our band.”
AMON AMARTH bassist Ted Lundström described Wallgren as “a super-solid drummer” who is “very professional” and “very on-the-spot all the time.” He added: “It is much easier to play if you have a drummer who is [tight]. It makes our lives easier.”
— Fredrik Andersson (@DrummerFredrik) September 3, 2020