July 3, 2023

This past February, it was announced that singer Guernica Mancini, drummer Emlee Johansson and bassist Mona Lindgren were exiting THUNDERMOTHER and were forming a new band together. At the same time, guitarist Filippa Nässilrevealed that she would continue with a new THUNDERMOTHER lineup featuring singer Linnéa Vikström (THERION and AT THE MOVIES),bassist Majsan Lindberg. Nässil has since also recruited drummer Joan Massing (HONEY CREEK).

In a new interview with Bloodstream TV, Filippa opened up about the latest THUNDERMOTHER lineup changes, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, we were together seven years — and that is Guernica, the singer, and Emlee, the drummer. And it [was] amazing; we did so much together. But in the end, we couldn't communicate. 'Cause you travel and you live together all the time. Not even when you say 'hi' to each other. I cannot live a rock and roll lifestyle like this. So I tried to solve it for a long time — like, 'This doesn't work. We have to communicate and be respectful,' and whatever. And it didn't work out. One person didn't come to the meeting, so we had to move forward. Because this is a business as well, and a rock and roll band, and it's supposed to be fun and good and loving also, because we need to support each other. And when that's not the case… Well, I fired [Guernica] — that's the first time I'm saying that now, actually — because she didn't come to the meetings I set up to mediate. We need to talk and be able to work together. Because it's more and more business, and then you can't work and then you can't do your shows. Because it's e-mails and everything — it's a lot of stuff."

Nässil continued: "So friendship — okay, I can buy that; you don't have to be friends. But I think it's much better now anyway. And I'm very happy with… 'Cause I took the old singer… Not the old singer, but a singer that I really loved and admired for a long time called Linnéa Vikström. I actually asked her for the job in THUNDERMOTHER seven years ago, but she wasn't available. She had too much to do, 'cause she sang with THERION, a big metal band, around the world. And [she has] a lot of experience, but we're also good friends. So it's been hard for her to sort of take over something, but it's been fantastic. And everyone says it's really good."

The new THUNDERMOTHER lineup made its live debut on April 20 by playing a "secret" show at Pub Anchor in Stockholm, Sweden.

The latest THUNDERMOTHER incarnation played its first "official" concert on April 22 at Ski & Rock in Sälen, Sweden. They then kicked off a series of European shows as the support act for the SCORPIONS on May 9 in Lille, France.

In recent months, Mancini, who joined THUNDERMOTHER in 2017, gave several interviews in which she described her time with the group as "six tough years" and "a very bumpy ride". She also said that Filippa decided to fire her from the band without consulting the other members of THUNDERMOTHER, a move which they perceived as "very disrespectful towards them, being that they believed that we were a democracy and that we had a say in these things," according to Guernica.

In March, Mancini, Johansson and Lindgren announced that their new band would be called THE GEMS. They have since signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records and have issued their debut single, "Like A Phoenix".

THE GEMS made their live debut on March 22 at Pustervik in Gothenburg, Sweden as the support act for THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA.

THE GEMS' live performances include material from THUNDERMOTHER's last two albums, 2020's "Heat Wave" and 2022's "Black And Gold", both of which featured songwriting contributions from Guernica and Emlee.

Guernica discussed her departure from THUNDERMOTHER in February in an interview with the "Rock And Roll Geek Show". Regarding how she found out she was being fired from THUNDERMOTHER, Guernica said: "I was blindsided. It's almost like I'm in an episode of fucking 'Survivor'. [Laughs]

"I got an e-mail [letting me know that I was no longer in the band]. I had a feeling it was coming because the week prior, [Filippa] had taken me off all our social media accounts. And I thought we had gotten hacked. I wrote to the group; I was, like, 'Girls, I think we're getting hacked. I can't get into our e-mail or Instagram — none of the accounts.'"

Asked if Filippa had any issues with Guernica's live performance or what she was doing on stage, Mancini said: "No, that's not something that I've… no information that I've received. I think that there's nothing you can complain about my performance or my singing, 'cause I've always brought my 'A game.' And if you have problems with that, I think that's strange, considering that's something that people really enjoy and respect the band for. So I think that would be weird."

Clarifying that the reasons for the split were "a hundred percent personal", Guernica revealed that "a lot of things happened behind my back, and I was the last one to know… Like there were meetings behind my back, trying to convince my fellow bandmates that I'm an awful person, I'm all these things that I'm not."

When interviewer Michael Butler noted that all the girls in THUNDERMOTHER looked like they were getting "along really well" when they were supporting the SCORPIONS on a tour of North America last fall, Guernica said: "I deserve an Oscar nomination for my acting. [Laughs]"

Asked how Emlee and Mona found out Guernica was being fired from THUNDERMOTHER, Mancini said: "[Filippa] had a secret meeting behind my back. She just told the girls, 'I wanna fire Guernica, and I already have a new singer.' And the girls were, like, 'Woah. Hold up. Wait a second. We did not sign up for that. And we thought we were a democracy in this band,' because that's something that we'd been told and that's how we've done everything.' So they were shocked."

In early March, Nässil shared a six-minute video in which she addressed some of the questions surrounding the departures of Mancini, Johansson and Lindgren as well as her decision to carry on with a new lineup. She said in part: "Some stuff you read online and even now in some magazines is true and some stuff has more to it," she explained. "I mean, there's a depth to what happened and it's impossible to read in a few lines or a quote from someone. And I wanna assure you and tell you guys that I did my absolute best to work everything out between the old members. I think we should be conscious in what we're saying and trust that I have done my absolute best for peace, love and rock and roll and I did everything in my power to work it out with the previous bandmembers. I would never throw anybody under the bridge. I think that's another private matter. What happened has been behind the curtain, so to speak, so it's not everything that people need to know about or should know about because it's just unnecessary to throw stuff at each other, I think."

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