Mic check…One, Two…
Are you all paying attention now? Good!
I don’t post as much as I would like on Metal Mondays, and this particular topic I debated whether or not I wanted to post it at all. I already said a quick word on it on my personal Facebook, but there’s just something about this that rubs me the wrong way. For most of you who know me, you know I am heavily opinionated and quite unapologetic, when I get a thought and an emotion attached to it, I am a freight train, and you either hop on, or fuck off right out of the way. So here’s what I want to write. Call it an open letter if you’d like.
Yesterday there was a post from Blabbermouth that kept popping up on my newsfeed. I tried to ignore it, but then felt this weird feeling in the back of my mind, call it my spidey sense, and I needed to speak out. The post in question was an interview done with Rob Hakemo who is the bassist of The Resistance. Never heard of him? No worries, that’s okay. In the interview he blasted Jesper Strömblad’s addiction problems out into the public, and not only that but went as far as saying that Jesper saved the band by quitting.
This in itself is pretty funny, not that he said those things–I will get to that in a minute–but essentially he makes this loud and proud statement that the band was saved by Jesper quitting, meanwhile he just crapped all over his chances of being respected and by association his band’s chances.
I met Jesper back in 2008 when he was still in In Flames. He was quiet but kind. I do not know him on a super personal level, so I am not writing this in honor of an old friendship, but indeed as a matter of respect. It is somewhat common knowledge that Jesper indeed has had his battles with alcoholism, BUT my problem with Mr.Hakemo going on record about these things is that, it is not his story to tell. Not only that but how believable of a source is he when he just goes on and on about it like a gossiping 16 year old girl? The line that honestly made me want to punch him in the face was:
“So he’s an alcoholic or drug addict. I think he doesn’t want to go sober.”
Did no one else feel a problem with this statement? His entire statement stands on two assumptions. “I think” isn’t a credible line to be printing. Especially following such a line of thought. Someone also mentioned to me that maybe he was being lead to answer with these statements. I say that someone who has even the slightest bit of common sense would know that saying NOTHING is also an option.
To get a bit more personal about it, and why this infuriated me, I know what alcoholism does to a person. I’ve seen it firsthand on more than one occasion, with people who I love dearly. Had anyone tried to talk shit about their struggles, I would probably rip them apart. Whether or not Jesper is sober and clean at the moment, I can’t say because I truly don’t know. Mainly because it is none of my business. The truth is that addiction is a long battle. It is up and down all the time. Addiction coupled with depression, is virtually one of the hardest mountains a person can try to climb. But these struggles, these demons are VERY VERY personal ones. To go on record, and talk straight out of your ass about someone and have it posted on the internet is the lowest of the low. YOU JUST DON’T FUCKING DO THAT. Honestly I can’t believe we even need to have this conversation.
Here’s the real message I have though. If for some reason you thought throwing Jesper under the bus would have people talking about The Resistance, then well you’re correct on that point, BUT if you thought this was going to be a good thing for the band, and people would be running around trying to listen to the music, just gotta tell ya…”You shot that horse in the face” Personally if I didn’t really bother to listen to the band before, I am certainly not going to bother with it now. You made yourself and the entire band look like a bunch of tools.This isn’t the hall of a school where people will point and whisper about others. You put your livelihood on the line by opening your mouth.
I honestly think Jesper deserves an official apology. There are lines and boundaries you don’t cross. Telling someone’s problems, or in this case Supposed problems out into a public forum, is a big NO NO. I am guessing you don’t really have anyone guiding you through the ins and outs of press. Well let me guide you then, STOP TALKING.
Like I said before, you probably don’t know who Rob Hakemo is, and at this point, no one is going to want to know him. Good luck digging yourself out of this shit storm sir.