Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Johan Hallgren leaves Pain of Salvation

I look terrible in this photo, but it is me with him and another friend at ProgPowerUSA in 2002


"After 13 years in the band, Johan Hallgren [guitar] has decided to leave PAIN OF SALVATION to focus on his daughter and wife. He will not leave music altogether, but plans to work with music in a way that allows him to stay at home with his family in Sweden. That means that the band's upcoming November/December tour together with OPETH will be his last. He will, of course, be sadly missed, both musically and personally, and very difficult to replace. So, if you know someone who sings and plays the crap out of basically anyone, send him or her our way — we might just have a thing or two to discuss."

Commented Johan: "I'm leaving the band with both joy and sadness. I need to stay close to my daughter and my child-to-come; they will be my greatest concern along with my wife. I will miss everyone I've met during the years, and the band will continue to have a warm place in my heart. So finally, treat yourself and all that surrounds you with respect, and stay with PAIN OF SALVATION — the greatest band on the planet! Sorry if I disappoint you; I miss you already!"

I probably don't have enough time to go into the desired detail and nostalgia about Johan Hallgren. But it was rather memorable not only seeing him with Pain of Salvation the 3 times at ProgPower USA, especially the 1st one in February 2001. But also the conversation I got to have with him and some others, namely my friend Paul Cashman aka Pellaz after their show in 2002.

I'll confess, I even taped it for the radio show of sorts I was doing on KFAI at the time. I never aired it (I don't recall), but listened back to it a few times. Topics like 9/11 (I remember him saying it was like a movie or a Tom Clancy novel watching on television), his dayjob (as a social worker I think), opening for other bands, music (he mentioned Stevie Wonder saying he likes his music because he always seems so happy) favorite foods ("you know, mac-donalds, potatoes..I forget the other stuff he mentioned), television (he really liked Seinfeld), etc came up. I honestly don't recall ever having a more memorable and heartfelt chat with another musician.

It's kind of funny as of course Pain of Salvation has been seen as, more or less Daniel Gildenlow's baby. But I never got to have one of those lengthly conversations with Daniel. But Johan, it may have been more profound.

But as far as him and PoS, this probably will affect them, but given how now he's the 3rd member to leave in as many albums, from that period of the most stable period of the band, I'm not sure really how much more they can change to being purely a Daniel Gildenlow solo band just using the Pain of Salvation name.

I am curious what he may do on his own now, of course. I suppose it might be worth going to the Remedy Lane Forum a bit more to read about what he's up to.