In Flames guitarist Jesper Strömblad has announced that he is leaving the influential Swedish metal band. In a recent statement Strömblad said:
I have decided it is best for me to leave In Flames and to quit the band permanently. The last 17 years have been a blast, and I am proud to have been part of this great journey, with the most talented and amazing people anyone can wish to have the privilege to work with. I'm also the luckiest guy in the world, to have the best fans in the world, who have been supporting me during my difficult times. It means the world to me, and I'm determined to fight and defeat my demons once and for all…. and by the help from you guys, I'm on my way. I'm far from done with music, metal, or whatever my direction is taking me, so be sure to hear from me in the future… May the Force be with you!
The band issued its own statement, saying
We are losing a great guitar player and musician, but in order to keep a very dear friend this is probably for the best. If this feels right for Jesper we are behind him 100% on his decision. It is way too early to speculate about the future and possible replacements and things like that. However, we can assure you that In Flames will continue as a band, release albums and tour the World. The door to In Flames is always open to Jesper. We are, and will always be behind Jesper 100% on his way to recovery. – Anders, Peter, Daniel & Björn.