Those who saw Within Temptation during their string of North American dates this past month may have seen the last of co-founder/guitarist Robert Westerholt on stage. Though he will remain in the band as a song writer and studio performer, the band announced that Westerholt will be stepping down from the road so he can look after his and wife/Within Temptation singer Sharon den Adel’s three children.
Westerholt and Adel released the following statement regarding the move:
“As you know, in recent years we were blessed with the birth of three children. Since then not only our kids but also Within Temptation has been growing fast and we are touring in more countries than ever before.
To be able to fulfill the needs of our children but just as much the needs of the band for now and also in the future, we decided Robert will step down from touring live, (except for the occasional show). With this change we can give stability to our children and from the home studio Robert will have more time writing new music and developing new creative ideas for the live show, the comic and future movies.
What makes the decision easier is the fact that Stefan Helleblad is willing to take Robert’s place in the band on stage. Stefan has been working with the band behind the scenes for some years. As a sound engineer he was involved in the production of our latest three records. Next to being a great sound engineer, mixing engineer and producer he is also a very gifted guitar player. On our latest album, The Unforgiving, you can already hear him play some special guitar parts. His first show will be on September 21st in Heerhugowaard.
So this is not a goodbye but a new step, or actually two steps in a very exciting new and inspiring time for our band. We hope you keep joining and enjoying this adventure together with us and our paths will keep crossing each other.”
Westerholt and Adel formed the symphonic metal group in 1996. Though Within Temptation’s lineup has changed over the years, the two and bassist Jeroen van Veen have been in the group since its birth. As sad as it may be for fans to see Westerholt leaving the stage, at least he’ll still be heavily involved with the group’s new music and future endeavors while still being able to attend to his family.