It’s been over a month now and absolutely nothing has changed

It has now been over a month since I posted a statement about my forced absence from Sólstafir on the internet. (You can read it here: https://solstafirofficial.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/statement-about-my-forced-absence-from-solstafir/ ). A statement I held back for almost half a year in hope that things could be resolved. It has also been over a month since Erin Lynch, the band‘s manager, wrote and posted a counter statement (she even misspelled my name) from her home in Stockholm accusing me of writing my statement out of spite, and stating that I would indeed „receive(my) fair share. There was never any intention not to do this“. This is in stark contrast with the only official communication that the band has bothered to have with me through their lawyer, in a letter where they say that I am not entitled to any payments after I „left“ the band on 19th January. Now I will always get royalties for radio play and albums sold from from the label. This has nothing to do with the band but goes through STEF, GEMA and other such music copyright institutes, but this is peenuts. The band is and has been selling merchandise for tens of thousands of euros each tour. This includes merchandise that I personally designed and cds and vinyl the band has gotten from the label, which is then deducted from all our royalties, mine too, as far as I know.

Erin‘s statement is a textbook example of passive aggression, stating that „Guðmundur is no longer in the band, because of a deep personal conflict that involves all three remaining members and cannot be solved. He is well aware of this.“
What I am well aware of and what I am not well aware of is irreverent. Here she tries to blow sand in your eyes and make it sound like I am well aware of what actions supposidly caused this rift between us, and that it is my fault. This is simply not true. There was no deep personal conflict that I was aware of until after I got that email on 19th January.
And she continues, writing as if she‘s a member of the band: „If the three of us had felt there was any way of mending the damage and moving forward with Guðmundur, then of course we would have – and we did make genuine efforts to do so.“
Again, this is not true. The band made NO effort of mending the damage. In fact Aðalbjörn‘s response to my pleads to work things out was that we all needed space, distance and silence and to end all communication. In other words he simply wanted to sweep all the shit under the carpet and not even talk about it.

While my offer to the band to settle things out of court, dated 13th may 2015 has still gone unanswered, the only „communication“ the band has had with me or persons related to me has been one email from their lawyer dated 16th June, and another dated 25th June saying they would react to my offer that week representative. They still haven‘t reacted. The only other communication was Svavar Austmann Traustason sending some rather nasty messages to my mother through Facebook. My parents are pensioners and some of the nicest people you‘d ever meet. In fact they have lent me a substantial amount of money for legal fees, as I have been without an income since I was forced out of the band. There‘s no need for the band to drag them into this nasty business on a personal level like this.
Svavar‘s message was full of lies and twisted bits of truth, and these aren’t the only lies the band has been spreading about me. I have seen other messages that Svavar in particular has sent to people supporting me, and a Greek fan also told me that when he asked about me when the band played in Greece in February, he was told I was not touring with them because I was mentally ill. Now it‘s strange that the band, with no more education between them than primary school can diagnose me as mentally ill, seeing as I‘ve seen a couple of psychiatrists after I was forced from the band and both of them said I only have depression but am handling things quite well given the circumstances.
That said, the last half a year has been an enormous strain on me and those close to me, and the worst part of it all is loosing some friends who have decided to place their business relations with the remaining band above our friendship, even though they know the whole story and that I am not getting my fair share of that business. A rather hypocritical stand for an organization I‘ve helped to promote as much as I can for a decade and who‘s motto could be translated into something like „treat each other right“.
I‘d like to stress though that none of my friends who know the whole story have taken the band‘s side, except for their own business relations (like one of them put it „I just have to think about myself“). So don‘t think for a minute that the bands silence is to protect me. On the contrary. I am no saint and I have made my mistakes, but I can account for all my actions and I know when to apologize when I‘ve done wrong.

I have done absolutely everything in my power to conclude this matter with an agreement between myself and my former bandmates but my patience has now ran out as more than half a year of trying has produced nothing but disrespectful silence from the band, except for the things I mentioned earlier.
So I reluctantly inform you all that I have no choice but to take all these matters to court. The use of the name and brand of Sólstafir without my participation, unpaid share of sold merchandise, slander and possibly theft of equipment (after our last gig in Germany in late January we left our touring equipment there, as we were going to use the same driver on our upcoming European tour a few days later. As you know I was forced to not participate in the tour and my airline ticket cancelled without my knowledge. I have not seen my equipment since and my inquiry about it‘s whereabouts has gone unanswered by the band. I have though seen photos of their session drummer using my equipment).
I also found out after all this started that Aðalbjörn had without my knowledge registered all our early songs as his compositions and his alone, despite the fact that we wrote all the songs together. So add that to the list of matters that will be dealt with in court.

To all the fans I want to apologize for taking this course of action, I truly never wanted it to come to this, I truly didn‘t want to spoil your experience of the music and drag the name of Sólstafir through the mud. But I am not at the helm, I did not sail the ship into the cliffs of lawsuits, other people did that while I tried to steer it into calmer waters.
Please remember this.

Guðmundur Óli Pálmason

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28 thoughts on “It’s been over a month now and absolutely nothing has changed

  1. J. says:

    Having been a fan of the band since late 2014 (yeah I know..late arrival), it’s saddening to see where this has gone. I read your official statement and found that your words weigh in over what lies the band is telling fans. I will not be purchasing any Solstafir music, merchandise or attending concerts as a result of what appears to be bullying tactics (lawyers and lies) against you. I think the honesty rests with you as YOU can sign your name to all your posts on here. The band, sadly has taken the shit route and had their “management” and others post on their behalf. To me that is complete and utter bullshit. Hold your head high Gummi, for I see you as the better man for trying to resolve the issues. The rest of the band appears to settle for a session or touring drummer and thereby robs their fans of the real deal. I will declare a boycott of all things Solstafir until you have indicated that you are satisfied with a settlement. I believe that true Solstafir fans should not buy tickets to the shows, should not buy the merch and should not purchase the music until it is shown by whatever means necessary that you are receiving all royalties and proper payment for what you rightfully own and have dedicated years to. I praise you for your strength in a time where the band has taken what was yours and are now channeling their energies into lawyers and legal avenues. Stay strong and true to what you know and rest assured that the true fans know your side of this conflict. Find solace in your art, your family, your true friends and the the fans who believe in you and hope that you can rise above this and continue on with greatness. The strength is yours.

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  2. tsubakuro says:

    The music business is full of law suits. When someone parts from a band, either willingly or forcefully, you can bet lawyers are required. Hey, Bill Bruford was forced to pay to leave Yes.

    Anyway, you have given them plenty of time and it does seem like they are just trying to move on without you and without settling with you. Just leave you in the dust. So do what you have to. I know you have the support of your family and you have plenty of friends and fans who would like to see you come out of this with a fair deal not a raw one.

    I wish you all the best of luck and I will watch this space for updates. The battle lies ahead. Hang in there. I pray reason and justice will prevail.

    Like

  3. Kaka says:

    Are you sure the psychiatrist said you’re ok? You write like a crazy man. Let’s see more of your creative knitted tales.

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  4. Mirror says:

    Too bad you removed the last comment. If you again publish what you removed and say you did not remove it you will be shown to be a liar.
    If you say no post existed you will also be shown to be a liar.
    If not here then in an unpublished article.

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  5. Having experienced a similar thing by myself about 5 years ago, I am totally on your side. Some things will never change, but life goes on and sooner or later you learn to cope with history. Loosing my band which fought for more than 5 years, and so loosing best friends due to The greed of fame, being betrayed by so called friends and or colleagues of the biz, really is a tough thing. It took me more than three years to finally manage to go on and not to suffer from this trauma anymore. Nonetheless it left deep scars that I am still fighting with today. However not day by day, but since 2010 we do not talk to each other anymore, nor did I see one of my former friends til today. Loosing friends, everday structures in my daily doing, loosing all my dreams and whishes within a blink of an eye, has been one of the worst things I ever experienced.I know how you feel.
    Personally speaking, I’ve always been a huge Solstafir fan from the early beginnings (when German magazines like RockHard just gave 1 of 10 points,haha) til the very last album you’ve been involved with. Now, reading all this and suddenly finding myself in rememberance of the experience I have made in the past, I just wanted to let you know that for me (and probably thousands of other loyal fans), there’s just Solstafir with you at the drums. Your drumming has been totally unique and I really love your performance, especially on I blodi og anda! I hope and pray that one day you all will find a way to settle things down. In my case it did not work, but a least I tried several times -and that’s all you can do aswell. Don’t be ashamed, try not to be depressed, put down your anger (I know how hard it is!) and see it as a chance to form something new, to enhance you physical and psychological strength and take it as it is:a great experience. I suggest you listen now to ‘the start of something beautiful’ from Porcupine Tree. I know it is an odd phrase, but time will heal all wounds. And you know what: It’s absolutely true. Take your time – be yourself. You have nothing to loose. Take care, brother

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  6. Vérité says:

    Talking to yourself now Gummi. A sign you are maybe not ok in your head. Mirror and Kaka was right. More people will see too.

    Like

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  8. Karol says:

    Hey there. I got into solstafir’s music some time ago..maybe year.. but it was instant love..I think it was Fjara video on ytube..and today I came across this thing happening. Sorry to hear that. No matter what happens there are ways to solve the problems one way or another and to hear that this kind of shit happens among “friends” is prettyn depressing.
    Stay strong man. Peace:D

    Like

  9. Gino says:

    Three people dont kick one person away from a band for nothing. You had to fuck up big but you try to look like the victim. You got a big big ego and your stories are long. It is said long details contain lots of lies. I read the commentaries to and looks like you erase some things. Maybe you just keep the comments that takes pity on you. Where is all the bad things you the other guys say about you? Show us.

    You got to be hiding something.

    Like

      • Gino says:

        This does not illustrate anything except a big picture of proper workplace. So you want to show this as workplace and not somethings between guys who know each other for many years as friends? That is not acceptable but since you show this maybe the same can be about Gummi. All we get is words from Gummi. We get no proof he is an innocent person. We get no proof for his pointings at the singer. Something is not complete about his writings. I dont think they are all innocent but I dont think they are evil like Gummi wants people to believe. Maybe he hides something. Looks like a small child breaks something then say they do nothing wrong and points to others in the room.

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      • Jean Xu says:

        This is not Chinese. It is also not funny. It’s racist and insulting to make a joke like this Gummi. I don’t think that person’s English is perfect but I think he makes a valid observation. I see you in a different way now. I thought you would be better than this.

        Jean Xi

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      • Hahaha how many names do you write under? Of course this is not a Chinese proverb, that is my point! The Chinese are known for having good and wise proverbs, which his “saying” is not. How can it be racist to point that out?
        It’s like saying I’m racist if you bake a really bad Pizza, claim it to be good and I say “oh yes I’m sure this is an authentic Italian Pizza”. It’s called sarcasm, not rasism, so don’t even try to go down this way!

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  11. evs says:

    holly shit. thats a story. i just found out about your (former) band on youtube, and thought that this is great music. than i read your story. never can i listen to it again.
    i whish you all the best,
    i hope you will win in court.
    i´m really shocked right now about human behaviour.
    those guys are fucking pricks.

    i whish you all the best. may justice be with you.

    Like

  12. Sinor says:

    I just heard of Solstafir for the first time yesterday as I was planning on going to Anathema’s show in Tokyo this summer and noticed that Solstafir was doing the opening. And as I was checking out the music I got here and read your previous post as well as this one and the whole thing makes me sick. Obviously I don’t know you and I don’t know your former band members, for all I know every single word your wrote is utter bullshit.

    However you do sound sincere, everything you say seem to add up – like the fact that you were handling all social media stuff and here you are writing on here even though you were kicked out of the band – and the other members don’t even make the effort to say anything themselves. You declare to have “poured [your] sweat, blood and tears into [the band] for the last 20 years”, you declare to have kept the band afloat for a number of years by your own efforts in a lot of ways, paying with your student loans, design stuff etc. But you also admit being aware of your limitation as a drummer. This does not sound like what someone with a big ego would say considering that it has been your life’s work.
    You do sound like this whole thing makes you sick while the only words from them sound like generic bullshit.

    Still, every word you say could very well be a bunch of lies, but it really sounds like now that success is coming, they need a better drummer and everything you do could be done by someone else for cheaper. Therefore they need you out.
    If they didn’t deem you worthy as a drummer, well, I guess it is their right to fire you. However their are ways to do such things, and the way things were handled really look like they wanted you out silently and, as much as possible, without leaving you anything. As one of the founder of the band I think you deserve better. This is sickening, really.
    “I know you can’t see it right now, but this will be the best thing that ever happened to you!”. Really? This statement is oozing arrogance and hypocrisy.

    I do hope that you’re some sort of pathological bullshitter, that you did something horrible and nothing you say is true; because the opposite really is painful to hear.

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  13. Ilias says:

    Gummi we are with you!
    Aðalbjörn and Svavar told us in Greece that you had some mental issues and that’s why you were left behind, to solve them.
    Let’s say you are truly crazy and you living a fantasy, then why the rest of the band don’t try to contact you and instead they use lawyers and managers? To me this hides something really smelly.
    Know that here in Greece we totally support you and if we knew the whole story before the concerts in February we would have acted.

    Like

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