THUNDERMOTHER guitarist Filippa Nässil has released a video statement in an attempt to "shed some light" on the band's recent split with singer Guernica Mancini, drummer Emlee Johansson and bassist Mona Lindgren.
Early last month, it was announced that Mancini, Johansson and Lindgren were exiting the acclaimed Swedish all-girl act and would form a new band together. At the same time, Nässil revealed that she would continue with a new THUNDERMOTHER lineup featuring singer Linnéa Vikström (THERION, AT THE MOVIES) and returning bassist Majsan Lindberg.
In recent weeks, 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.
Earlier today, 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 (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've seen a lot of negativity going on the last few weeks, and I would like to shed some light over it all.
"I am fully, fully aware of the situation that's going on right now on the web and in magazines, and I'm a little bit shocked, actually, because everyone who knows me and who met me knows I am just a nice person, a good person.
"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.
"As we couldn't communicate, I invited to sit down for a coffee," Filippa said. "And when that didn't happen, I invited to meet with an expert of relationships as a third party, but we couldn't communicate in the end. When there's no joy, happiness or communication, and I tried to communicate, it's not a functioning band. And the band is everything to me. I've done it almost half my life now, THUNDERMOTHER, and it's a part of my identity. THUNDERMOTHER is about having fun, playing rock and roll and meeting you lovely people.
"I'm sure many of you met me on the road. We had a drink together, shook hands. That's who I am.
"I'm thrilled to have Majsan back, who's done hundreds of shows with me in THUNDERMOTHER. She's the THUNDERMOTHER bass player. And I'm thrilled to have Linnéa Vikström, my friend since many, many years, on vocals. And we have a great new drummer we will announce soon. She likes great bands like CLUTCH, FOO FIGHTERS, BLACK CROWES and stuff like that, so a really groovy drummer. And I can't wait for the future."
Nässil went on to say that all the previously announced THUNDERMOTHER concerts "will happen. Not a single canceled show. Everyone has faith in THUNDERMOTHER and so should you.
"We are super stoked to tour with the SCORPIONS in Europe again and doing our own shows," she added. "So that's something we're doing right now — rehearsing."
According to Filippa, the new THUNDERMOTHER drummer will be announced "within a week." She and her new bandmates are also "hoping to release a new song before" they hit the road, but she acknowledged that this may be hard to pull off as "it's crazy hectic right now."
Earlier this month, Mancini, Johansson and Lindgren announced that they have launched a new band called THE GEMS. Mancini and Lindgren told Germany's Metal Hammer magazine that THE GEMS, which sees Lindgren returning to her original instrument, the guitar, is planning to release its debut single, "Phoenix", in April. Mancini and Lindgren also noted that THE GEMS' live performances will 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 last month 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."
On February 2, Nässil released the following statement via social media: "The last year has been full of adventures, new impressions and we have made memories that will last forever. Unfortunately our journey ends in the constellation known to you until today and a new chapter will be written for THUNDERMOTHER with both old familiar and new faces and for sure a lot more adventures and memories to come.
"After seven years of being together, we unfortunately came to the decision that our paths lead in different directions. Guernica, Mona and Emlee will focus on their own careers and I wish them nothing but the best of luck.
"I am thrilled to announce that our bass player Majsan who left for studies 1,5 years ago has finished and will rejoin!
"I am happy to announce that THUNDERMOTHER could win Linnéa Vikström (THERION, AT THE MOVIES) with her incredible power, her extraordinary voice and her charming manners as a new singer for THUNDERMOTHER!
"We are beyond excited and looking forward to the future filled with a new positive energy and with these girls by my side the future is going to fucking rock.
"Let's show the world that there is so much female talent out there and let's give the girls a heart-melting warm welcome to THUNDERMOTHER! Rock must live on!"
Guernica, Emlee and Mona also released a joint statement regarding their departures from THUNDERMOTHER. "It's with a heavy heart that we are writing this," they said. "Filippa has made the decision that Guernica's time in THUNDERMOTHER is over. Because of this, and the lack of agreement regarding the decision-making process in the band, Emlee and Mona have decided to leave THUNDERMOTHER.
"Filippa will continue with a new THUNDERMOTHER lineup. Guernica, Emlee and Mona will continue playing music together and are forming a new band.
"To all the people who have been a part of this journey; Guernica, Emlee and Mona want to say thank you for the support, we love you all. We are so grateful for everything that we've experienced with THUNDERMOTHER, and hope you all will support our separate journeys.
"We understand how hard it is to read this. This is by far one of the toughest situations we've had to go through and right now we are mourning the loss of a big part of our lives. We humbly ask you to be kind and respectful. Thank you for your understanding."
Following the release of their latest album, "Black And Gold", last summer and countless live shows alongside an extensive tour with iconic SCORPIONS in North America last fall, THUNDERMOTHER recently announced plans to team up with SCORPIONS for more European live dates, as well as headline gigs on the "Black And Gold" tour 2023.
"Black And Gold" was recorded at Baggpipe Studios in Stockholm, and was mixed and mastered by Søren Andersen at Medley Studios in Copenhagen.
Last November, Mancini released her first solo single "Inception" via Golden Robot Records.