News picked up by our roving news-wench Talia – Nightwish drummer Jukka Nevalainen is stepping down from the band for an indeterminate length of time to deal with a case of chronic insomnia. Yup, that’s an inability to sleep.
An unusual condition to be heard of in the musical community, but a real enough one and affecting him badly enough to warrant a break from tub-thumping.
A statement from the man himself, posted to the band’s facebook page, reads:
How to begin telling something that you wouldn’t want to have to tell, although you know that the decision you made is the only (at least the only right) one you could make at the moment? I face this dilemma now, and will do my best to find the right words.
For a number of years, I have suffered from occasional but very difficult insomnia, something that has been my unwanted companion during many of our tours, too. I’ve done my best to try to control it or at least to cope with it. Still, we don’t even really know why we need sleep, so unfortunately there’s not much information available on why some of us suffer from sleeplessness. There is no 100% cure for the problem.
During the last month, it has become evident for me that due to my insomnia, I can’t fulfill my duties as a musician in the way that I’d want and with the precision that the music deserves. Thus I have decided to step aside from my duties as the drummer of Nightwish during the recording of the forthcoming album and the subsequent tour. I will still be involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of the band, but the dearest and the most important thing, playing, is, for the time being, not possible. Time will tell what the future holds.
On a personal level, my decision obviously feels indescribably sad. Fortunately, looking at it with some distance, it is “just” part of the constant, inevitable ebb and flow of life. The sad things are part of it as well as the beautiful, unforgettable experiences and adventures that I’ve already had the pleasure to experience in spades. Surely, there will still be many adventures ahead, too.
My good friend Kai Hahto will play drums on the forthcoming album. I’m extremely grateful that he didn’t hesitate for a minute when he decided to help us in this challenging situation. What comes to touring, everything is still open, but we will let you know as soon possible what the line-up will be.
If beginning this was hard, so is ending it. So maybe I will just quote something fitting.
“You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” – Eckhart Tolle
Best regards, Jukka Nevalainen / Nightwish
The band’s official YouTube channel published a video featuring an interview with Jukka explaining his problems, which can be seen below. Replacing him will be Kai Hahto from Wintersun, who will take over drum duties on the forthcoming new album. Kai has worked as a drum tech on previous Nightwish albums, so is already familiar to and with the band. He will continue as a full member of Wintersun, as per this statement from the band:
We are very proud to announce that Kai has officially joined Nightwish, filling in for their drummer Jukka Nevalainen who has had to step down because of serious insomnia. A long time friend of the group and having already worked as a drum tech for previous Nightwish albums, Kai will be now sharing his drumming skills live and in studio with these legends of female-fronted symphonic metal.
Being used to pulling double duty from playing previously in multiple other bands (Swallow The Sun, Rotten Sound, Max On The Rox etc.) Kai stays as a full-time member of Wintersun continuing to record and tour with band. Right now Wintersun is preparing for the Summer Breeze festival happening in Germany next week.
We wish Jukka Nevalainen all the best and a successful recovery!