Solstafir drummer Gummi Palmason claims he was fired from the band he helped create in January – then ordered to keep quiet about it.
He describes the band’s statement that he was absent from their tour for personal reasons as untrue. But he says he was told that if he spoke up, they’d rule out any chance of his return.
And he’s accused frontman Addi Tryggvason of trying to register the Icelandic band’s name behind his colleagues’ back after his dismissal.
In January the band named Karl Petur Smith as Palmason’s replacement, adding: “Gummi will not be joining us on this tour due to personal reasons. We’d prefer to leave it at that and ask that you please respect our privacy in this matter and refrain from all questions, speculations and internet rumours. We will follow up when the time is right.”
Now Palmason says in a long statement: “When I woke up on the morning of 20 January I expected to find an email with flight details for the tour that was supposed to start the day after.
“What I found instead was an email telling me I was fired from the band that I‘ve poured my sweat, blood and tears into for the last 20 years, because of communication problems between us that were unjustly being blamed solely on me.
“I begged them please not to do this, this was not the right way to handle things. I was only given the vague answer that they‘d maybe reconsider in a month, six months or a year. I was forced to sit quietly and witness my life‘s work being taken away from me, while it was made clear to me that if I spoke out I’d have ruined my chance of ever returning to the band.”
Palmason says he found out by accident that Tryggvason had applied to register the band name the following day – before the drummer had read the email dismissing him. “This goes to tell that Addi’s story doesn’t add up and that he had been dishonest about his intent,” he adds.
He admits he’s “not innocent of behaviour that has led to the problem we face today” but that the entire band should share the blame, and his “punishment does not fit the crime.”
Reflecting that an upcoming legal battle with his ex-colleagues marks the end of his involvement with the music business, he says: “I won’t miss the business side at all but I’ll miss all the wonderful people I’ve met around the world, and I’ll miss doing what I love, playing the music that I love.”
Palmason adds: “I’ll leave you all with one thing that’s been stuck in my mind since Addi said it to me on 20th January. ‘I know you can’t see it right now, but this will be the best thing that ever happened to you’. I can assure you all, it is not!”
Solstafir have not yet commented on the claims. They’re nominated in the Best Underground category at this year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods on June 15. They appear at the inaugural Ramblin’ Man Fair at Mote Park, Kent, on July 25-26, followed by a run of UK shows:
Jul 28: Nottingham Rock City Basement
Jul 29: Glasgow Audio
Jul 30: Liverpool Arts Club
Jul 31: Birmingham Temple
Aug 01: Colchester Arts Centre