Former Keep Of Kalessin Singer Thebon Claims He Was Fired, Band Respond


A bit of drama has emerged regarding Keep Of Kalessin‘s recent decision to replace their singer Torbjørn “Thebon” Schei with guitarist Arnt “Obsidian C.” Grønbech. Thebon recently told Blabbermouth:

“I’m not missing in the jungle, I went to study and relax for three months and did not hear anything from the band in that time. I got a message about a band meeting a week ago, but did’t reply because I was preoccupied with other projects, and I was deciding if I wanted to continue with Keep Of Kalessin.

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I read in a press release that they have recorded new music, and even made a video and fired me in public at the Inferno festival. Clearly this proves that they have made their decision about me quite some time ago. This kind of loyalty and friendship is exactly one of the reasons I have been considering leaving the band for quite some time now. I wish them all the best.”

The band themselves have since posted the following explanation of the situation via their Facebook:

Keep Of Kalessin is back and we’re really excited to see the great response that our new video “Introspection” is getting!

However, for us there is a situation that really is a damper on the the excitement and celebration about putting a new video out there, and that of course it is the situation about our former singer Thebon and how this news was broken to the media and fans.

So we will try to explain the situation from the band’s point of view.

Of course we knew that he was not missing in the african jungle like the pressrelease says. It was simply a figure of speach to say that noone actually knew what the hell was going on.

During the summer of 2012 we got an offer to tour with Dark Tranquility in November/December 2012 and everyone except Thebon wanted to do this tour. He had plans to go to South Africa with his girlfriend and since we earlier had agreed that the band didn’t need to be main priority in 2012, the band respected his decision.

However, it was a decent offer from DT and everyone else wanted to do the tour so the band, including Thebon, decided that I should step up and see if I could manage both the vocals and the guitars so we didn’t have to miss the tour. Everyone was happy.

I started rehearsing and it turned out to be a pretty good solution to our problem, however just a few days before the tour everything was cancelled from DT’s side.

We had discussed the possible release of a new EP called “Introspection” before the tour, but all these plans were put on hold now that the tour was cancelled.

The tour cancellation gave us more time to focus on the production of the new album and we recorded bass, guitars, drums and keyboards for the EP.

Vyl then sent out a message to everyone in the band asking for a band meeting to start getting the wheels in motion and discuss the production of the new album as well as the future of the band. To this message we recieved no answer from Thebon and he didn’t show up to the meeting.

We knew that Thebon was later going to South Africa with his girlfriend and that vocals for the album probably would be postponed for a few months.

During these months I started testing vocals on the track Introspection to lay down the lyrics and melodies and found that they sounded really good so me and Wizziac showed it to Vyl.

We had noticed a decline in Thebon’s enthusiasm and contribution to the band so we weren’t sure if he even wanted to continue with us on the next album.

It was at this point that we started to discuss the possibility of me taking over the vocals. All our fans know that I have been the driving force of the band for all these years and we felt it wouldn’t be a bad thing to relate to me as a frontman as I’m doing most of the interviews and promotion anyway.

Since we heard nothing from him we started moving forward without him and finishing the Introspection EP with my vocals on the new single. And we also recorded a video for it.

We had a couple of more meetings where I asked every time if this was the way to go, but it always came down to the fact that vocals were pretty good and it seemed like Thebon wanted out anyway….which he actually confirms in his own statement after he got “kicked”.

We held off breaking any kind of news about this, simply because we wanted to talk to him first. And I still wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do this.

Now, it was more than 4 months since we last heard from him and I started to wonder if he at all cared what happened to the band. He knew we were producing a new album during these months, he knew he had recieved a message from Vyl, months prior, to a band meeting without him answering. Why didn’t he even send a message to hear what was going on?

We held back release and I waited to hear from him when he was back home, but suddenly I heard from friends that he had been home for quite some time and even started a new job here without contacting anyone in the band! I then sent him a message saying “Hey, we have sent you several messages on your cellphone? Do you still have that number? Are you home? Can we have a meeting this week?” Facebook shows that he saw this message within one minute from me sending it, but there was no reply.

In this meeting I wanted to discuss if he even wanted to continue. I still wasn’t sure if this was the right way to go and I wanted him to have a say in it as well. The video wasn’t even finished at this point. And if he wanted out, we could have discussed on the best way to break it to our fans and even let him come out on top. But since there was no answer noone knew what the hell was going on and we simply had to move and accept our label’s plan for release of the new single during Inferno Fest. We were already running way too late with release of new material.

So, he kinda made the decision for us by not responding for almost 5 months because you simply don’t disappear from your duties in a band for such a long time and not responding to hails.

I wish we could have broken the news in a much better way and I think we could have handled this better and I especially regret the fact that our deepest thanks for the years we had together and our best wishes for his future didn’t make it into the first pressrelease!

But what were we supposed to do? He was the one travelling so he was the one who should have contacted us when he got home. At least we made an effort. He made none! We waited as long as possible and held back a release for months because we wanted to talk to him first!!

He even wrote in his statement that he was considering quitting the band. So why is he now blaming the band for being backstabbers?

Either way, we want both parties to focus on the future from now on so we hope he is ok and we wish him all the best for the future. You are an amazing singer and we all still consider you a close friend.


Obsidian C. and Keep Of Kalessin

Now……we move forward!!”

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