Sad news from the Nightwish camp as drummer Jukka Nevalainen has been forced to take a break from the band due to problems with severe insomnia. He has released the following statement on Facebook:
"For a number of years, I have suffered from occasional but very difficult insomnia, something that has been my unwanted companion during many of our tours, too. I’ve done my best to try to control it or at least to cope with it. Still, we don’t even really know why we need sleep, so unfortunately there’s not much information available on why some of us suffer from sleeplessness. There is no 100% cure for the problem.
During the last month, it has become evident for me that due to my insomnia, I can’t fulfill my duties as a musician in the way that I’d want and with the precision that the music deserves. Thus I have decided to step aside from my duties as the drummer of Nightwish during the recording of the forthcoming album and the subsequent tour. I will still be involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of the band, but the dearest and the most important thing, playing, is, for the time being, not possible. Time will tell what the future holds."
Band leader Tuomas Holopainen praised Jukka's decision as "extremely unselfish" and says that he strongly hopes Jukka will return to the band if/when he manages to recover. In the video, the rest of the band offer their support and say that they will wait for Jukka to return.
In the meantime, drummer Kai Hahto (Wintersun, Swallow The Sun) - a good friend of Jukka's who worked as a drum tech on previous Nightwish records - will be standing in for the upcoming album and potentially the tour. "I want to do my best for Jukka's sake," he commented, "as he had to step aside, which must be really hard for him."
Jukka will continue to work on the business and merchandise side of things for the band. "Maybe they'll find the reason for my insomnia one day," he says, "if that's the case I will be running back to my seat."
I hope you will all join me in wishing Jukka the best for the future.