Recently Norwegian progressive extreme metal titans Enslaved held a special By Norse event in New York City, celebrating their 25th anniversary. The event ended up being a three-day affair, beginning on Friday (9) at the intimate Scandinavia House, a special documentary and two set performance on Saturday (10) at the Gramercy Theatre, and the Enslaved LP signing session at Rough Trade on Sunday (11). It was a tremendous success and a memorable experience for those attended.
However, Enslaved revealed bittersweet news yesterday. While expressing gratitude for the success of the New York event, they announced the departure of keyboardist Herbrand Larsen. Larsen has been with the band since 2004’s Isa and thirteen years later, he’s lost his drive to continue.
Vocalist/bassist/co-founder Grutle Kjellson commented:
“Friends of Enslaved, brothers and sisters! Nothing lasts forever, and we have something to announce. Our keyboardist and vocalist for the last 13 years, Herbrand Larsen is leaving the band. There is no drama in connection with his departure, it was entirely his own decision, and we part ways as friends and with no bad blood in between us.
We want to thank Herbrand for his duties in Enslaved in all these years, for standing alongside us on our adventures all over the world. We had some really good times on the road, in the recording studios and in our practice space. We raise our glasses, and wish you all the best on your next voyage! Thank you friend!”
Larsen added his explanation below:
“After 13 years of being a part of this amazing band it saddens me to say that I will be leaving Enslaved. It was not an easy decision to come to! I love Enslaved and will always do. There is no drama or anger involved in this. I think we all understand why this is the best decision both for me and the band.
I don’t have that 100% drive anymore, the drive you need to be in a band like Enslaved. Only 99% and that is not enough. It’s hard to explain but this is how it is. I remember all the shows we have done together. All the places we have been and all the fans that we’ve met. I remember meeting fans, telling me that our music really means something to them. I remember traveling places I never thought I would see. I remember working with extremely talented people. I remember tough times, sad times but most of all, all the good times. You have all been a huge part of my life and will still be.
For that I’m truly grateful! I’m looking forward to spend more time in the studio. Recording, producing and mixing music. That’s where I want my focus and my drive to be. To Arve, Cato, Grutle and Ivar, thank you for your friendship, your creativity and your support. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for you guys. I am sure you will be even better, stronger and more successful in the future. And you will still continue to be my friends and a big part of my life. Thank you!”