The stress that touring imbues on the human body is difficult to quantify, but most musicians will tell you that it is very high. Most touring musicians go out of their way to exercise, eat as much healthy food as possible, and most of all, get proper rest. Sometimes the body does not want to cooperate with that last one, though, and such is the case for Nightwish drummer Jukka Nevalainen, who has announced today that he will taking a break from the band to try and deal with his health issues.
Part of Nevalainen’s statement reads as follows:
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.
The full text of Nevalainen’s statement can be found here on the band’s Facebook. The statement is also available in video form above, with English subtitles for those that aren’t fluent in Finnish.
As far as what this means for Nightwish, who just signed a new contract for the North American market on Monday, they’re proceeding with their plan to record new material. The band has enlisted Wintersun drummer Kai Hahto to play drums on their upcoming album, and touring drummers will be brought in as needed once the band has completed recording the album. Wintersun, for their part, showed full support to Hahto for stepping in as Nightwish’s session drummer, a role that he has fulfilled before with other bands such as Swallow the Sun and Rotten Sound. You can read Wintersun’s statement here.
Hopefully Nevalainen is able to find effective tools to combat his insomnia and return to Nightwish in short order. We wish him the best for a speedy recovery.