Earlier today, keyboardist Alexi Munter of Swallow The Sun made an announcement on his personal Facebook Page that he would be leaving the band after being on duty since 2001. I’ve copied his full statement for you below to digest and then will add some personal thoughts on the matter at the close.
“Tomorrow’s show in Houston, TX will be my last show with Swallow the Sun and mark my departure from the band.
I came to this decision during late summer 2016, when I had a burn out which I’m still struggling with. For the past 6 years I’ve been touring and working so much that it’s a small miracle this didn’t happen earlier. Not wanting to leave the guys hanging, and looking for some kind of closure for myself, I decided to force myself to do the shows for this year – even though I barely could find the energy for 1 show, let alone 40 – and then step down.
In addition to burning out, I also sort of had enough, which I believe is as valid a reason as any. I’ve always had things I’ve had a passion for, but never could find the time or the energy to follow up on: photography, graphic design, my own music, among others. I will first take some time off, and then pursue these things I’ve pushed aside for all these years.
Then there is my beautiful soon-to-be wife Olenka, whom I have barely seen for the last year or two. With Aleah’s tragic and untimely passing I became painfully aware of the fact that nothing lasts forever, and I want to cherish the days we have while we’re both healthy and well. I’m afraid I have already damaged my own health, and I don’t want to end up there again.
These have been the best years of my life – hell, it’s been most of my adult life – and I will miss everyone I’ve gotten to know and love during our career and travels. Juha – you are an absolute genius and no one should have had to endure the things you had to. Over the years you, Mikko, Matti, Markus, Juuso, Kai, Pasi, our manager Juha, and our longtime crew members Mikko, Jarno and Toni have become my family in every sense of the word. I feel only the deepest respect and love towards you all, and I am incredibly proud of everything we accomplished together. I want to wish you all the best, but that would be kind of pointless: we have always been the best, and I know you will remain so.”
PiercingMetal Thoughts: I guess all I can say is “thank you Aleksi”; Thank you for being a part of some truly crushing Doom Metal for so many years. Your contributions to the music of Swallow The Sun have been immeasurable. That said, you totally deserve a breather from the rigors of touring to enjoy the simple pleasures of a day to day life. As a music scribe who has been privileged to meet Aleksi on numerous occasions I can raise a glass to the tasks he performed and say that while he will be missed from Swallow The Sun and their upcoming shows, that his creativity will live in on the past recordings and very likely manifest in something new and exciting in the future. Let’s let him recharge his batteries my fellow fans because that will help him return like a champion. I’ll close out right now since I am wiped out from the concert that I attended a few hours ago but you can let me know what you think about his decision and what his presence in Swallow The Sun has meant to you over the years. Good luck Aleksi, I hope to cross paths with you again soon.