Nasum Drummer on the Future of the Band
NASUM drummer Anders Jakobson has posted the following message on the group's official web site:
"Many things have happened since the identification of Mieszko's [Talarczyk, NASUM guitarist/vocalist, victim of the Southeast Asian tsunami] body on February 17, 2005, the day we closed down Nasum.com. I wrote, 'You know why' on the page that met the visitors. Truth is that you don't know the whole truth. We closed the webpage down to pay respect to the memory of Mieszko, but we also closed it down to escape the fans.
"Between the day of the tsunami and the day of the identification we were virtually overwhelmed by support and comfort to the point that it suffocated us. At least I felt that I hadn't space to breathe and think and cry and feel, something that I needed to do. Every time I looked in the guestbook there were 10-15 new posts with wonderful words from people who cared, and as time went by it became harder and harder to read these posts, especially since we were quite assure that Mieszko was dead as early as mid-January.
"At one point I was at a local concert and people wanted to pay their respects and one completely unknown guy came to me and said, 'He's coming back, don't worry!' and even though I said, 'Thanks' in return I just wanted to grab the guy and scream, 'Don't you get it? He's not coming back! Mieszko is fucking dead!' in his face. Not a nice thing to do, and not a nice thing to feel like doing.
"So I was prepared to close Nasum.com one or two weeks before the identification. I even wrote the family to get their permission to declare Mieszko dead, just so we all could go on with our mourning (at this point we were not sure that the body would be identified at all). As I was waiting for a reply the word came and it became natural to close the site.
"I don't want this to sound like I'm whining, because I am very thankful for all the support and care we got during the dark months that started of 2005. As I've said numerous times, the huge fanbase helped us to get through the worst shit we've faced in our lives, a help that other people related to the victims of the tsunami didn't have. There were over 100,000 hits on Nasum.com during a very short period and the guestbook — as I mentioned earlier — was flooded with supporting posts from people we know, bands we know, bands we don't know, people who are fans, people who aren't fans — all sorts of people that just wanted to pay respect. And apart from a few fucking scums of the Internet who disrespected our situation and Mieszko's family just because they didn't like NASUM, we got only love and support. Again: Thanks for everything!
"I really, really wanted Mieszko to return just so he could see all the nice words people said about him (and to read the newspaper articles who mentioned him as a 'heavy metal star'!). I really, really wanted to post the news that he was alive and safe and on his way back. I really, really wanted him to write in his own words on the site or make a video statement or whatever. I really, really wanted that.
"It's likely that Mieszko died at once when the first wave hit Phi Phi Island. That's what we hope. No pain, no fear.
"Some of you might be interested to know what has happened with his girlfriend, Emma, who survived the tsunami. As far as I know she's still hospitalized waiting for everything to heal. She suffered some severe damage to her legs and at times the doctors have considered amputation. But she's getting better and the doctors say that they expect a full recovery, in the sense that she will be able to stand and walk without problems. That's great news.
"I visited her at the hospital a few weeks after the funeral and she spoke much about what she's been through. She says that she remembers everything from December 26, 2004 and she told me some of it. It seems that things didn't happen exactly as been reported here and in interviews earlier. I don't want to get into any details, but one thing she said really struck me and that was that the last time she saw Mieszko he was alive, and he tried to protect her. I love that.
"To the left you'll see a little graphic with Mieszko's face and the text 'In memory of Mieszko Talarczyk.' This graphic is linked to a memorial page where we've collected some stuff and Jon, Urban, Jesper and I have written some eulogies as a final step towards closure (something that still feels impossible). Please read that.
"I promised a text about NASUM's future three months ago… Here it is. NASUM is no longer an active band. There will never be another studio recording or a live show. NASUM ended with the death of Mieszko. No one is sorrier about this than me. I remain the only founding member and NASUM has more or less been my life for the past 5-10 years. All the other members have always had other bands to play with; I've had nothing and have nothing today.
"I think we all came to the same decision without really talking about it. Continuing without Mieszko seemed impossible. The thought of bringing a new member into the band to replace someone who died was terrible in so many levels. It felt unfair to the fans, to us and to that new guy who would have had a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
"It wasn't the way I wanted NASUM to end but we haven't got much of a choice. I can express exactly what the situation of NASUM is in Swedish: Vi lägger av men vi lägger inte ned, which in English would translate to: 'We're quitting but we're not quitting,' or rather: 'We're stopping it but we're not ending it,' to get the meaning of it.
"So NASUM is no more, but we're still here. Our music is very much alive and we'll continue to be here as long as you want us here. We have no issues with continuing to release more records and sell merchandise, and we hope you haven't got any too.
"Maybe there will be a time in the future when it feels OK to get together and do something new again. I would love to be an active member of NASUM again — I said it was my life, right? — and you never know what happens. But don't count on it. I have a urge to grind and I got to grind in some way.
"During April I spent most of my time finishing the collection of all our non-album stuff that has been in the works since forever. It is now done (read this statement) and it going to be called 'Grind Finale' and will be released this fall. The old name felt so inappropriate and I came up with something that probably will be my last title joke (I've had lots!) in NASUM. There will be more news about this release once Relapse gets cracking with the artwork and packaging, but right now you can go to the audio/video page and listen to no less than 21 samples from the freshly mastered (by me, with some help from Dan Swanö) version. Enjoy!
"I don't really know what the future will bring, but as it is right now, it feels like some sun is breaking through the darkness that has clouded us for too long. It feels great to be back. I hope you enjoy this."
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